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Nintendo vet Fils-Aime says leaked E3 2021 plans not “all that compelling”

Company’s former US boss hasn’t been blown away by the ESA’s vision for this year’s show.

The former president of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime has given his two cents on what is apparently planned for this year’s E3.

Speaking to Danny Pena on Gamertag Radio – as spotted by VGC – the Nintendo vet said that what has been laid out in leaked plans for E3 2021 doesn’t sound that exciting. A report earlier this month said that this year’s LA trade show would be a digital-only show with streams from top-level publishers, as well as influencers and media partners.

Event organiser – US video games trade body Entertainment Software Association (ESA) – is also saying that demos would be released to the public during the show.

“E3 as an event and a moment in time where new content is shared and celebrated is truly magical for the global games business,” Fils-Aime said.

“I have to say that what I read doesn’t sound all that compelling. Doing this digitally is absolutely right. The reason for that is that there’s more than the 60,000 people that would typically attend an E3; there are millions more interested in finding out what’s going on. Executing an event digitally is the way to bring that to life.”

Fils-Aime went on to say that getting hands-on with new games is one of the key components of a successful E3 and that the console firms need to figure out a way of enabling this for their audiences. While part of the plan for this year’s show involves demos, he feels that more can be done to make the most of a digital-only E3.

“Having said that, the platform holders need to find a way digitally to enable their fans to experience the content,” he continued.

“That’s the key for E3; the ability to be playing The Last of Us Part 3 for the first time or to play that next Breath of the Wild game for the first time or to play the next great game coming from the new amalgamation of all the great Xbox studios; to play for the first time is what’s magical.

“What I’ve read, as I’ve said, doesn’t go down that path. If you don’t have all of these different elements working together: the big announcements, the hands-on, the opportunity in a well-defined timeframe to have all of these announcements. That’s what’s key to a successful E3 in the future. Candidly, if the ESA doesn’t do it, then other people will.”

One such person is Geoff Keighley, who debuted the four-month-long Summer Game Fest in 2020 and is bringing the event back in a “more condensed” form this year.

Reggie Fils-Aime worked at Nintendo for more-than 15 years before retiring from the company in April 2019. For 13 of those years, he was president and COO of the Japanese giant’s North American branch.

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