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Monday, June 21, 2021

E3 2021 Virtual Portal Closing June 30

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Here's what was in the portal to begin with.

Ever since a month before E3 2021 when they announced that the whole special gimmick of E3 2021 would be their virtual online portal, we've been wondering how that'd manifest and what role it'd actually play in the E3 2021 experience. They opened registration a week or so before the event began to fans, with fans being able to access it only starting on the first day of E3. The media had access a week early.

It turns out that the media got to alpha-test the portal, and then when E3 actually began on June 12, all of the fans got to beta-test it and it didn't work. Almost no company (except CAPCOM from what we watched) ever gave lip service to the portal during the expo's proceedings. So with it not working and no one giving attention to it... we didn't factor it into our E3 Weeks 2021 coverage.

Now the portal will close on June 30. So what was in it?

The first thing you did was make an avatar. I kinda like mine, though the site constantly had error messages throughout the creation process which made it a real struggle. There's a friends system (and accompanying people finder), but that's silly for a portal that won't keep existing and so your friends will be lost. The exhibitors have virtual booths, where they're supposed to write blurbs about their company and products, as well as the opportunity to link to articles and embed videos with the goal of taking you off the portal and to the vendor's own website. Many companies, like Nintendo and Take-Two Interactive, left their booths blank. (Though with the latter, that's probably by design because they're at E3 to spread diversity, inclusion, and equity messages; not to market videogames.) Even some booths for media outlets like GamesIndustry.Biz totally didn't update their booth once the show started with their articles. I get the feeling the E3 staff had to beg companies to put content in their booths, but they had no leverage to actually do so.

There's also a forum, which is just one board with several pre-made topics created by the E3 staff. You cannot write your own new topic; just reply to existing ones. These range from “AAPI in Gaming” with 1 reply (“Stop Asian Hate” as the whole message) to more popular topics such as “Game Announcement Hype”. I don't think you can still make comments anymore, however. And while you could, hyperlinks also weren't allowed.

E3 2021 virtual online fan portal forum site sucks
Brodie Knee is legit here.
What isn't legit is that green “active” dot, because no one is active at the time of taking the screenshot.

E3 2021 online virtual fan portal forum health and gaming Ring Fit Adventure
This was my only message on the forum. But it was a good comment.
(But I missed plugging as literally the best place on the Internet for regular Ring Fit Adventure content.)

For the activities that do exist on the platform, there is a gamified points and rewards system. However, it's hidden behind an atrocious user interface. Like, to the point where if you click on your avatar at the top right and then click MY CURRENT QUEST AND THE PROGRESS (that's how it's actually written), it makes a side dialogue box appear with two tabs: GOALS and REWARDS. Clicking REWARDS actually closes the dialogue box... so... yeah. And it's unclear where else on the platform you're supposed to find the rewards, so the whole fulfilling part of gamification isn't actually accessible. The GOALS is a long scroll-y thing that I assume lists all of the missions on the platform, which are things like, “View one of our Articles!” for 20 points from SK Telecom and “Watch any video that we have uploaded.” for 20 points from Burgos Games. (They only have one video, and it's just seven seconds long for Neko Ghost, Jump! and has 236 views, so that should tell you the reach of the gamification.)

I THINK the points represent a level-up system, and rewards are unlockable by levelling up, but it also says 0/0 so the system is broken. What a mess.

E3 2021 gamification virtual portal goals rewards points
That REWARDS tab doesn't work, and you can see the 0/0 progress. It'll stay like that.

Usually when beloved community spaces are being taken away, there are users that protest the shut down, such as with Miiverse and the Nintendo NSider Forums.

...No one, between game publishers and users, will miss the E3 2021 Virtual Portal.

Want to participate in a gamified program on a videogame-related website? Well, KoopaTV has one of those—the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program—and it actually works and has clearly laid out (USEFUL) rewards. (In large part because it's an entirely manual process and doesn't rely on broken technology.) Sure, it's by definition not scalable, but apparently neither was the E3 2021 Virtual Portal since it was broken throughout the expo when it started getting traffic.

The E3 2021 Virtual Portal was so bad that they're skipping E3 2022 and taking the year to figure out how to do better for 2023.


  1. Truly a sad day, make sure to mark this on your calendar!

    1. It's also the last day of the current KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program round. :x

    2. Really? Dope. Oh and you should be happy to know that I gave in and bought the two newest ace attorney games (not the new localized one) because they were on sale. It was literally the last sale day too. I just wonder who is going to win this loyalty round… ;}

    3. TAKE THAT!

      Just know that I'm still gonna spam articles whenever the Ace Attorney games go on sale in the future. But glad you bit on it.

  2. I MISS YOU , 3 E VIRTUL PORTAL !!!!!!!


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