Next week, the world’s largest video game expo, E3, will open its doors to press and fans in Los Angeles.
Thousands of gamers, journalists and industry players will descend on the city’s convention centre where the hottest upcoming titles will be showcased and plans for the next year in gaming will be revealed. Millions more will watch the news break on livestreams on channels such as YouTube and Twitch.
The big publisher keynote press conferences will likely draw the most attention from those unable to attend. With that in mind, we present our predictions and wishlists for this year’s E3 expo.
Microsoft and Sony will do battle (again!)
Microsoft is still lagging behind Sony in the console wars, with the PS4 outselling the Xbox One quite significantly.
This may be because PS4 owners have seen a raft of excellent exclusive titles for their console – a lot of which are new IPs – while Xbox One holders haven’t really taken much to Microsoft regulars outside the Halo, Forza and Gears Of War franchises.
Microsoft needs a shot in the arm if it’s hoping to compete – at the very least it should reveal the release date for Crackdown 3 – while Sony will likely consolidate its leading position by taking the foot off the gas.
What we want to see from Sony
- Release dates for Days Gone, The Last Of Us 2 and Death Stranding
- More news about the sequels to Horizon: Zero Dawn and Bloodborne we keep hearing about.
- Some DLC for God Of War
What we want to see from Microsoft
- Release date for Crackdown 3
- More games and fewer features please
- A brand-new exclusive Xbox One IP that absolutely blows our socks off
Nintendo will do its own thing (again!)
Out of the big three publishers, Nintendo, is the one that is the most wide open. Ever since abandoning the format of a physical keynote at E3 in favour of a Nintendo Direct stream, the Japanese publisher has managed to keep a lid on new developments right up until it feels its time to announce them. The only reason that we know that Mario Aces and Super Smash Bros will likely make an appearance is because Nintendo has already revealed they exist.
So really, all bets are off. This makes our wishlist a little longer, though, and we have to say we’re probably the most excited about this publisher’s revelations. Don’t disappoint us, Nintendo.
What we want to see from Nintendo
- A new Kid Icarus game for the Switch
- A new Pikmin game for the Switch
- A new Animal Crossing game for the Switch
- A new Punch Out game for the Switch
- A new PlatinumGames game for the Switch
- A new… we could do this all day, really…
In recent times, Square Enix has been overshadowed at E3 by some of its big competitors (Ubisoft, EA and the big three among them). That having been said, the publisher had some decent years in the rearview, returning its floundering Final Fantasy franchise to glory with FFXIV and, banging out a new IP in NiER Automata and even finding time to push out quirky hipster drama in the form of two Life Is Strange games.
This year it’s likely the publisher will want to build on its strong push, placing its popular franchises front and centre.
What we want from Square Enix
- A release date for Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
- A release dat for a new Kingdom Hearts game
- A sequel to NiER – or at least a new game from PlatinumGames
Bethesda will ramp up
Bethesda’s relatively new to the keynote game, but over the last couple of years the publisher has come out strong, announcing games a couple of months before they’ve seen release. This year, two games – RAGE 2 and Fallout 76 – have already been announced, causing speculation Bethesda’s keynote may just be a deep dive into both games.
It would also be great to see whether the publisher has more titles in the pipeline – maybe a sequel DOOM, Prey or Dishonored – or a brand-new IP to show off. Whatever happens, it’s doubtful we’ll be a seeing a brand-new single player Elder Scrolls game.
What we want to see from Bethesda
- A brand-new IP
- More news/release date for Quake Champions
- A sequel to Prey or DOOM or Dishonored
- A brand-new single player Elder Scrolls game (yeah, like that’ll happen)
Electronic Arts will spend a lot of time saying ‘we’ve heard you’
EA had a pretty dire year in 2017. While its annual FIFA instalment was beloved by all and sundry, its insistence at putting ‘pay-to-win’ mechanics in its games in the form of loot crates incensed its audience. The scandal became so bad that Disney stepped in and ordered their removal from Star Wars: Battlefront II. Not only that, EA came under fire for the dismal Mass Effect: Andromeda and for shuttering Visceral Games.
This year, we expect EA to make an appeal to fans to rebuild what little credibility it has left. We also expect it to show off Anthem (the sci-fi shooter announced last year) and the brand-new Battlefield V, which takes EA’s shooter franchise to World War II.
What we want to see from EA
- More information about Battlefield V and Anthem
- The revival of some decent EA IPs like, say, Dead Space or SSX
- A promise that EA has completely abandoned loot crates as a business model (which we don’t expect to get)
Ubisoft has taken a rather different approach to a lot of its competitors. Rather than release games with a short support cycle, the French publisher has been releasing DLC at a steady pace for games that are over a couple of years old. Rainbow Six: Siege, For Honor and Ghost Recon: Wildlands have all been supported with regular updates, leading them to becoming some of the most regularly played games in the world.
This is why we expect to see a boatload of DLC content announced at E3 for games alongside trailers and footage from games we already know are in the pipeline – such as The Division 2, Beyond Good & Evil 2 and Skull & Bones. A couple of new titles would be rather welcome, though…
What we want to see from Ubisoft
- A release date for Beyond Good & Evil (it’s taken long enough)
- A new Splinter Cell game (we miss Sam Fisher)
- More information on that new Assassin’s Creed game
It doesn’t matter what we want from Activision/Blizzard, we know what we’re going to get – this is why the world’s most bankable publisher doesn’t bother holding a keynote, and usually pitches up at either Sony’s or Microsoft’s presentation. Activision will talk up Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4, Destiny and possibly Spyro.
Blizzard won’t say a word and will likely wait until Gamescom or BlizzCon to make any announcements.