Nintendo’s Direct Was Most Viewed Show of E3 2021 — By A Lot

Who “won” E3? Well, if the numbers have anything to say about it, Nintendo did — and by a lot. According to data collection group Stream Hatchet, Nintendo’s E3 Direct was the most watched showcase of the entire four-day event, reaching a staggering 3.1 million peak viewers. The next closest, the Xbox and Bethesda showcase, sits at 2.3 million peak viewers, 800,000 less than the Mario-makers themselves. Xbox is then followed by Ubisoft, with 1.4 million, Square Enix with 1.3 million, and Devolver Digital, with 1.1 million.

While all these numbers might just seem like, well… numbers, they actually give us a lot more information apart from who is E3 2021’s big “winner.” Following E3’s numerous blunders in recent years, the conference’s cancellation in 2020 due to the pandemic, and the emergence of Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest, many folks were wondering what E3 2021 might look like and, more importantly, if it would still command the same respect and viewership it did in the past. Turns out, it absolutely does.

According to statistics provided by Twinfinite, E3 2021 reached over double the viewers that E3 2019 did, with 2019’s most-viewed conference, the Xbox Showcase, capping off at 1.5 million viewers. Furthermore, back in 2019 Nintendo only reached 728,000 viewers, which seems wild considering their powerhouse status in gaming. This just goes to show how much hype for a new Legend of Zelda title, paired with the surge of Nintendo popularity following Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s release, has elevated the developer in recent years. It’s also worth noting that the strange n’ scrappy Devolver has now surpassed the PC Gaming Show to be in the top five most-watched E3 conferences, and is only slightly behind the folks at Ubisoft and Square Enix. So, while E3 might not look the same, it now feels safe to say the conference isn’t going away anytime in the near future.