In response to the current state of the world, Microsoft has announced that it will be moving all of its events and presentations to a digital format through July 2021. This will apply to both internal and external events, including the Ignite and Build conferences, as well as Xbox’s presence at Gamescom.
It also confirms that Xbox will not be hosting an in-person media briefing at E3 2021, if the show resumes next year after this year’s cancellation.
In an email to Microsoft MVPs, the company explains, “In light of the challenges presented by COVID-19 … Microsoft has made the decision to transition all external and internal events to a digital-first experience through July 2021.”
While the company has likely been looking into digital experiences for future events anyway, the current pandemic has likely accelerated these plans and Microsoft is now making a decision to hold all events digitally for the next year.
A decision like this serves a few purposes, the greatest of which is eliminating, or at least greatly reducing, the unknown. The company and its many teams can now properly plan, organize, and execute unveilings of products and services and host developer conferences without the shadow of whether an in-person event may need to be postponed, delayed, or cancelled altogether.
It also provides users of their products and services a much clearer picture of what to expect from the company in the coming 12 – 14 months. Gamers now definitively know not to expect an in-person event at Gamescom in August or any sort of physical marketing activations for the Xbox Series X launch this holiday season.
That said, Microsoft is able to deliver unique experiences via a number of platforms for many of its users, in the technology, productivity, education, and gaming arenas, and if any company is poised to do so, it is the Redmond-based company indeed.