Previously today, we spoke a little about this year’s E3 which will be missing two of its key players – Sony and EA, though the latter will still be holding their EA Play prior to the actual event it just won’t be having any conferences. However, assuming there are no more dropouts to be announced, what can we expect to see from Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft and Nintendo? Well, this is our list of hopes from E3 2019.
Note: If it will be anything like last year, there is a chance that another publisher will announce nearer the time that they too will be doing some kind of conference or, more likely, live stream showcasing their upcoming titles. Though, if it is like last year we also hope it’s better than what Square Enix did.
We already know Microsoft are hosting a conference this year as they were incredibly quick to cash in on the fact Sony won’t be attending. For Microsoft and their Xbox brand this is potentially huge. They have been struggling this entire generation to gain ground on Sony’s PlayStation 4 so now is the perfect time to go all out on what first party titles they have cooking from their newly acquired studios and to really make a thing of showcasing how amazing third party titles will look on the Xbox One X.
However, there is also something even bigger lurking in the shadows that many of their core fans as well as the media at large are anxiously awaiting details on. If rumours are to be believed, and we think it makes a whole lot of sense for this to happen, we can expect to see the first details on the next generation Xbox console. Don’t go getting too exciting as with it almost certainly being a fall 2020 release, there isn’t any reason for Microsoft to reveal too much just yet. But wetting our appetite with just a glimmer of news on what we can expect wouldn’t go a miss. It would be a great way to build up hype and anticipation for an early 2020 conference where the console(s) can be fully revealed to the world much like they did with the Xbox One way back in 2013.
We know Microsoft has been busy splashing the cash on purchasing a number of studios as they get ready for the next generation of hardware, and xCloud services. We also expect to see perhaps one or two further announcements on new acquisitions during their E3 conference. Whom that may be, we really wouldn’t know. Who could have predicted many of those they purchased already?
So, what developers has Microsoft now got under their Xbox Studios umbrella? As it stands, Microsoft now owns 343 Industries, Compulsion Games, InXile, Mojang, Ninja Theory, Obsidian, PlayGround Games, Rare, The Coalition, The Initiative, Turn 10 and Undead Labs.
We know what some of these studios are already working on. 343 Industries are working on Halo Infinite, a title that will almost certainly see a cross generation release and we reckon will be a day and date release on both platforms. What better franchise to kick off a new generation while also keeping those on the Xbox One consoles happy too?
Turn 10 will be very much at work on this year’s latest instalment in the mainline Forza franchise, with 2019’s release being the ninth in the series. So we can guarantee to see that title at this year’s conference. Perhaps Microsoft will even showcase some all so pretty, yet all so expensive car on stage too?
PlayGround Games is an interesting studio as though we are well aware they are working on the next Forza Horizon title as well as updates on last year’s title (the latter we may see some kind of update announcement on prior to E3 at one of the Inside Xbox livestreams), we also know they have a second studio that has been recruiting for some kind of open world game. The most likely candidate for such a title would be a reboot in the Fable franchise rather than a brand new IP. If this is the case, we may see the first reveal of this game at E3 with a full blowout next year in readiness for the next generation of consoles.
We can easily move past Mojang as they are obviously behind the massive Minecraft series though we can expect some update announcements this year coming to the Xbox One and perhaps Nintendo Switch too.
Undead Labs likely won’t have anything to announce as they released their second entry in the State of Decay series last year and we expect updates around that particular game will be done through Inside Xbox.
The Coalition we know revealed three new titles in the Gears of War franchise. During E3 2018, we saw the first trailer for Gears of War 5, the turn based Gears Tactics and the mobile title Gears Pop. We know for certain we will find out more surrounding all three of these titles this year, though perhaps less of Gears Pop would be best.
Ninja Theory released the critically acclaimed Hellblade initially for the PlayStation 4 back in 2017 with the Xbox One release early 2018. This year, through Nintendo’s February Direct, we know that the game is also coming to the Nintendo Switch. However, we wouldn’t be too surprised if a teaser reveal of whatever Ninja Theory are working on next gets an announcement. This time we imagine it will be exclusive to the Xbox brand and could well be released for the next generation consoles.
Rare are extremely busy developing updates to their games as a service Sea of Thieves that launches early last year. So, while we don’t expect any new game reveals this year, we do expect to hear from them next year regarding on what their next project will be. That is unless they have been secretly working on a new Banjo-Kazooie game, or perhaps a new Conker. Or what about that Battletoads that was teased last year?
Obsidian is already working on a Multiplatform game called The Outer Worlds so we can’t see anything being announced by them at E3 this year exclusively for the Xbox brand.
That leaves The Initiative, the studio Microsoft created last year. What could they be working on? And will they be in any position to announce to this year? They may well be working on a new IP, like The Coalition had been when they first formed, but with Microsoft owning a large library of dormant franchises, one does wonder whether they will be provided with the opportunity to reboot one of them… perhaps maybe even Perfect Dark? If so, an announcement trailer is a possibility although don’t expect any gameplay if it does happen.
Bethesda has a lot to prove this year after the terrible reveal and release of Fallout 76. We don’t expect the game to be abandoned, though many may wish they did. We do expect to see some significant improvements in the quality of life aspects though seeing this is Bethesda, that maybe a little too much to ask for. Can we see a real storyline outside of random tapes? Maybe some interactive AI characters? That would be a tall order to implement in such short notice though some kind of expansion is certainly going to be showcased. Whether whatever they reveal will be enough to get people to buy into the game is anyone’s guess. Though, to be honest, with all the other games coming out in 2019, we doubt it.
So what else can we expect to see from Bethesda? Well there is a new Wolfenstein spinoff game coming out called Wolfenstein: Young Blood and that is coming this year so we will be sure to get a full on gameplay reveal for that game as well as a release date. We also saw Doom Eternal showcased last year, though no date has been announced for that game so we will hope to hear something more concrete along with some more gameplay. We expect to hear a 2020 release, perhaps first half, for Doom Eternal.
Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 were both teased last year but don’t get your hopes up for anything further on those titles. They are both coming to next generation consoles, so we will likely hear more about Starfield next year and perhaps see it release at launch for the PS5 and whatever Microsoft calls its next Xbox. Elder Scrolls 6 is going to be a long way away yet so nothing will be said about that game anytime soon. So you better get comfy.
As for what else Bethesda will showcase, well Rage 2 is being released on 14th May which is only several weeks prior to E3. There is a good chance that any DLC expansions will be showcased during the live conference.
We may also see something new regarding the Evil Within franchise, whether that be a spinoff or the third entry we don’t know yet, but it’s been long enough that something is certainly cooking. Will there be a Switch port or either the third two titles? Perhaps, though unlikely. But you never know.
Ubisoft will likely kick off the conference with some bizarre and ever bigger dance routine. They do love the cringe but you can’t fault them for actually injecting energy and passion into their conferences. Of course, this dance routine is all about promoting the next Just Dance game and it is the only real way of advertising the game that makes sense.
Right now, Ubisoft has several games as a service titles under their belts so we can expect some updates for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, The Division 2 which will likely be a big part of their conference seeing how it’s releasing very soon, and perhaps For Honor will get some kind of expansion too. Whether we will ever see anything from The Crew 2 is something we just don’t know. Like the first game, it never really made an impact in sales.
We do know that we will have to see more about Skull and Bones. That is a game which has been in development for a long while and was last showcased back at E3 2017 with an initial 2018 release date. Now with a 2019 release, we have to winner what the delay has allowed Ubisoft to do with the game. Expect a final release date to be announced.
With no new Assassins Creed game launching this year, there have been rumours and speculation that a new Watch Dogs game maybe announced for a late 2019 release. The last game released back in 2016 and although it was critically acclaimed, thanks most likely due to the criticisms surrounding the first game, it never sold too well. That is most likely the reason we have not seen anything else from the franchise, so whether Ubisoft will give it another go is certainly possible though we could also easily see it being left behind. Personally, we wouldn’t mind seeing a new Driver game but that’s eve less likely to happen. Pity.
So that brings us to a couple of interesting long dormant franchises that both did well critically and commercially. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell is one such franchise that was as predictable in getting a new game as Assassins Creed is today. However, that franchise suddenly went dormant after Blacklist in 2013. We assume something is in the works, though it may be just a handful of developers right now. But we hope to see something sooner rather than later.
As for the other franchise, that is Prince of Persia. Ubisoft transitioned that series into Assassins Creed and they have never looked back. Unfortunately, that also means the franchise has been left in the dust and it’s unlikely to see any more instalments in the pipeline seeing as it closely resembles their biggest franchise currently on the market.
The past 2 years has seen Ubisoft be kind to the Nintendo Switch, with the official announcement of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle in 2017 which turned out to be a critical and commercial success, despite the fears that spread the internet when it first leaked. Then last year, though not entirely Switch exclusive, Starlink did offer Switch owners the chance to play using Star Fox characters and this year has seen the free expansion entirely based around Star Fox. So will we see this generosity towards Nintendo exclusive software from Ubisoft? We are sure that a sequel to Mario+Rabbids is in the works, so perhaps we will see that announced this year? Perhaps we will see another cross over instead? Or will we finally get a new Rayman game exclusively to the Switch?
Nintendo has a very busy year ahead, and that is just from what we have seen from their September 2018 Direct and their February 2019 Direct. The scary thing is, most of these announcements haven’t even been released as of yet. And on top of that we still have more Smash Bros Ultimate characters to be revealed. So, we can expect to see something regarding character DLC at E3 this year for Nintendo, perhaps in their live Direct too. Whether that be the second character reveal or third character will likely depend on how spread out Nintendo will be releasing the DLC.
We must be finally get to see some actual gameplay of Animal Crossing along with an actual name and release date during E3 this year. In fact, we expect this to be the flagship game that Nintendo base their floor space around much like Mario Odyssey and Smash Bros Ultimate have been in past years. This is certainly one of the biggest franchises coming to the Switch this year.
Also, we are sure to see some updates on Pokemon Sword and Shield though we imagine a better insight will be held back for a separate Pokemon Direct a little later in the year, so details maybe a little thin on the ground. We do imagine it will have some kind of gameplay during a Treehouse livestream however,
Next up on our list of things to expect to see is Luigi’s Mansion 3. We have already seen a snippet of gameplay direct the September 2018 Direct, but assuming it hasn’t been delayed into next year, and October being the perfect month to release the game, we assume there will be a blowout of information at E3 this year. We think a fair amount of this will take place during the Treehouse livestreams.
One of the big surprises to be revealed during Nintendo’s February Direct was that of Astral Chain from Platinum Games. We knew they were working on Bayonetta 3 as that was announced in a teaser reveal during the Game Awards 2017. However, now that we know Astral Chain has been announced for an August release, we can expect to see nothing from Bayonetta 3 until next year at least. However that begs the question, what’s happening with that game? Has it gone through a Metroid Prime 4 restart scenario? Or was this always the plan? Regardless of what is happening behind the scenes, we have every faith it will be worth the wait whenever they decide to show it off. So, with that game out the way, Nintendo will definitely need to focus their attention on Astral Chain. There is so much we just don’t know about that game yet we saw a fairly hefty announcement trailer.
Will we see anything Metroid related? We obviously know Retro have now taken the reigns of Metroid Prime 4 and it’s been restarted. So that game won’t be shown in any capacity for the next several years at least. Does that mean Metroid Prime Trilogy will be announced anytime soon? Doubtful. There is no need as they can keep that shelved until nearer the time. Rumours have been circulating that it’s been developed as of last year and we imagine it was supposed to be announced along with Metroid Prime 4 during the Game Awards before the entire forth game got scrapped and restarted.
However, saying that we did see Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 at the Game Awards so we should see something about that at E3, as that is a summer release. So hopefully Nintendo has a lot they’ve been keeping secret about that game to show off.
Also coming this summer, June to be exact, is Mario Maker 2. That game judging from the reveal trailer, is going to have so much new that there is going to be a lot to discuss just on those elements alone. And yet, Nintendo still has a lot of ideas they are apparently still implementing. So we know Mario Maker 2 will be a massive focus of Nintendo’s E3 Direct and show floor as well as their Treehouse livestreams.
We fully expect to have missed a lot from this list, but we will likely come back to this over the coming weeks leading up to E3. In the meantime, look out for our forthcoming article looking at what EA will likely reveal during their EA Play this year now we know they won’t be holding an actual conference.