Guide to E3 2017: The Third Parties

Bethesda – Saturday, June 11 at 9 PM PT/12 AM ET

  • Bethesda has posted this teaser invite likening Bethesda’s stable of IPs to a theme park with two sections under construction, which suggests we’re going to either get two new IPs or two big sequels announced during the show.
  • That could very well include a sequel to The Evil Within that has been a fan demand for a while now. If the construction zones are sequels, the next Wolfenstein could be the other attraction after two successful games earlier this generation. I’m betting on this being the case for those two announcements since both titles have been heavily rumored since before E3 2016.
  • If they’re new IPs or reinventions of old IPs, like Prey, the only IPs of note I see in their catalog would be something like Rage or maybe Wet if they want to go for an action game with a female lead.
  • Looking at the attractions on that teaser, I can see the Doom and Fallout areas referring to the VR adaptations of their latest titles for Rift and Xbox VR that was mentioned at last year’s E3.
  • Prey and Dishonored 2 are Bethesda’s two most recent releases that could see expansions announced, the latter which would be a surprise after it seemed to perform poorly for such a big tentpole sequel.
  • While many fans would like to see the Elder Scrolls attraction be the sixth title in the famed RPG series, but I’ll take a guess that it’s more of a reference to Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind expansion getting some time during the show to remind people about its existence for fans of the classic third game in the series. To add to this, they will probably also mention the Elder Scrolls Legends card game that will probably have some new content to announce.
  • Quake Champions will probably follow on the beta’s publicity to announce a date for the free-to-play competitive shooter to enter open beta. That date could actually be the night of the show if Bethesda wants their own “And it’s out right now!” moment to dominate the E3 news for that night and the following morning.

 

PC Gaming Show – Monday, June 12 at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET

  • In contrast to the other shows at E3, the PC Gaming Show is hosted by a member of the media that introduces a number of PC developers, publishers, and component makers. You can just look at the list of partners, see what they make, and have a good idea of what to announce, which makes this the least sexy show of them all. This year’s site for the PC Gaming Show unfortunately lacks a big list of partners like in previous years, so this will be a fairly short section.
  • The big sponsor for the show is Intel, so expect some talk of their new products throughout the show.
  • Xbox will be at the show, so expect Phil Spencer to stop by to talk about Windows 10, their Play Anywhere initiative, and maybe announce some new Microsoft games for Windows 10 that they didn’t talk about the day before.
  • Bohemia Interactive are the developers of Arma 3, but they also have some other games like Ylands and Take On Mars for non-hardcore military combat fun. We’ll probably see them talk about new Arma stuff, Ylands, and maybe something else that’s new.
  • Cygames publishes a lot of Japanese games for PC and mobile, so they’ll probably announce something else in that vein during the show.
  • Tripwire Interactive are the makers of Killing Floor, Rising Storm, and Red Orchestra. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam just released, so they could talk more about that series or go back to focusing on the next Killing Floor. They announced Killing Floor: Incursion for Oculus Rift at last year’s show, so we could see more on that as a big Rift VR title.
  • That’s it for the confirmed companies that will appear at the show. Typically, they’ll have a ton of PC-focused companies on stage to show new trailers, gameplay, or announce new games, so I’m betting they’re just finalizing more of those in the final weeks before the show begins. Expect lots of Vive and Rift talk for VR games despite neither of those companies being on the show floor itself.

Ubisoft – Monday, June 12 at 1 PM PT/4 PM ET

  • Ubisoft helped us out a lot pre-E3 and announced a few games ahead of time with another leaking slowly for the last few months that leads us to believe it’s a real game. The one surprise is that the developers themselves are hosting the show this year and not long-time host Aisha Tyler, as revealed in their E3 teaser video.
  • Far Cry 5 just got a big reveal recently, so expect a big gameplay demo during their show. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t open the show with its powerful message of being set in the US state of Montana.
  • The Crew 2 also got announced along with Far Cry 5, so that should also play a big role in the show. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve added to improve the game since it had some good ideas and ambition, but fell short of fully nailing the idea. That didn’t stop it from reaching 12 million players with the help of PlayStation Plus and Games With Gold offerings among other deals.
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is the long-rumored Ubisoft Nintendo Switch title partnering Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Peach with a group of Rabbids in matching costumes in a turn-based RPG that is as weird of a Mario crossover title as we’ve seen in a long time. This is the first of Ubisoft’s Switch-exclusive titles to be announced, which a bit different than their usual group of original games and ports at any new platform’s launch.
  • The other big new title we know about that will be a big force at the show is the next Assassin’s Creed game, which is rumored to be titled Assassin’s Creed: Origins and is set in ancient Egypt. Ubisoft famously put the series on a one year break to give the team some extra time to get the next game right, so it’ll be nice to see what they’ve got in store for us this fall.
  • Ubisoft’s own preview of their show mentions that we’ll see more of the next Just Dance and South Park: The Fractured But Whole, which should both be out this Fall.
  • I’d expect Ubisoft’s VR experiments with the recently released Star Trek: Bridge Crew to continue with more announcements that continues their investment in weird technology.
  • They also revealed in their last earnings report that they had a new IP that would launch sometime between Spring 2018 and Spring 2019, which means that it would probably be a good game to announce at the closing of the show.
  • The only other thing that’ll linger over this show stems from Vivendi stating recently that they planned to complete their hostile takeover of Ubisoft, which will certainly result in Yves Guillemot making another statement about wanting to stay independent and free from this takeover.

 

Everybody Else

  • It seems safe to assume that Square Enix will have dates for Dragon Quest XI for PS4 and 3DS with the Switch possibly also getting a mention with the Japanese release in July. We could see a localization of Dragon Quest X, the MMO that’s been out forever in Japan on Wii and Wii U, but is coming to Switch and PS4 over there later this year. We may also see the first hints of the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy projects they have with their Marvel partnership that was announced earlier this year. The other SE games they will show in some form includes Lost Sphear, Children of Zodiarcs, Battalion 1944, Project Octopath Traveler, Project Prelude Rune, and if we wish hard enough, we’ll get a glimpse of the FF7 Remake and Kingdom Hearts III that are still quite a ways off. An interesting rumor that popped up recently was that a Life is Strange Prequel from Idol Minds is in the works and could make an appearance in lieu of the sequel season from Dontnod.
  • While Take-Two will have a light presence with NBA 2K18 and WWE 2K18 as their only playable titles, we will probably see Borderlands 3 in some form at a press conference if it’s far enough along at this point to help Take-Two and Gearbox get the nasty Battleborn taste out of our mouths.
  • THQ Nordic has been really busy since they acquired most of the bankrupt publisher’s licenses with many remasters and remakes of their IP portfolio on the consoles and Steam that has helped to give them some good will when they have big announcements to make like Darksiders 3. They have a number of upcoming titles like Battle Chasers: Nightwar, ELEX, Sine Mora EX, and Spellforce 3 that we know about that should get some attention, though it seems like Darksiders 3 will not be at E3. They do have IPs like Red Faction, Titan Quest, Stuntman, Destroy All Humans, and de Blob that have some recognition that could be useful revivals if they have the right developers lined up for that.
  • Konami only has Metal Gear Survive and Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 on their schedule, though the Switch launch release of Super Bomberman R does suggest they’re open to make more new stuff with their recent hiring spree of new talent. That might make them a good fit for some digital games like a new Contra, Frogger, and any other classics they have in the stable.
  • Though Namco is well known for their anime games, this could be a good year for their other works with Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (PS4), Ace Combat 7, Code Vein, Namco Museum, Project Cars 2, and hopefully a new Ridge Racer that is fully original and build from the ground up for this generation.
  • Capcom has a few remasters with Dragon’s Dogma, Mega Man Legacy Collection 2, and Resident Evil Revelations on PS4/XB1. They also have two Monster Hunter games with Double Cross on 3DS and Switch along with Stories on the 3DS. Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite will also be a big part of their showing, though the game I’m most curious to see show up with the Resident Evil 2 Remake that can’t just be a remaster due to the only version of that game being on the PS1. Capcom’s in a weird place right now as they don’t really have much in the way of original titles at this point since nearly everything they’ve released this generation is based on established properties that is in stark contrast to last generation when Lost Planet, Dead Rising, and others that made them an early leader among Japanese games on HD consoles.

 

Thanks for checking out our Pre-E3 content. Stay tuned for the many podcasts, recaps, and such from us during the week of E3.


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