Third Party Conferences at E3, What Will We See?

There are 3 third-party conferences this year as well as the PC Gamer conference, EA and Bethesda on Sunday with PC Gamer and Ubisoft on Monday, these are 1 hour-long showcases (except PCG) of their upcoming games to show off their line-up for 2016, 2017 and even beyond. I didn’t write about the PC Gamer Show because I didn’t know what to write but presumably Half Life 3 will be there or something.

Electronic Arts:

ea-logo-grey-723x250EA have moved out of the convention centre and their regular Monday time-slot into a new event held over the weekend called EA Play with a conference, here is their announced upcoming line-up:

  • Madden 17 (August)
  • Fifa 17 (September)
  • NHL 17 (September)
  • Battlefield 1 (October)
  • Titanfall 2 (likely November)
  • Mass Effect Andromeda (Q1 2017)
  • NBA Live 17 (Early 2017)

Unquestionably we’ll see all the first 6 titles, it would be a big surprise if we didn’t, I’m not sure what they will do about NBA Live 17 or if anyone even wants to see it.

They also have a bunch of other projects that are sort of announced or known to be coming:

  • Criterion are making a Go-Pro style stunt racing game which was originally shown at E3 2013 in a dev diary
  • Visceral are making a Star Wars game and have a second team I think
  • DICE, apart from Battlefield 1 are making Battlefront 2 (unlikely to be there I’d say, will presumably launch in Holiday 2017), the Battlefront PSVR experience which could be shown at the Sony conference instead
  • Motive, the new studio from Jade Raymond are making a new Star Wars game as well as helping with Visceral’s and a new IP but I suspect it will be a long time before we see any of their work
  • Respawn are making Star Wars games as well as Titanfall 2 but the former is incredibly unlikely to be there
  • Bioware are making a new IP and more in the Dragon Age franchise, its more likely we’ll see the new IP than a 4th Dragon Age game at this point I think, also a new expansion for The Old Republic isn’t impossible alongside Mass Effect Andromeda
  • Popcap recently launched Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2, whether they have any projects in the pipeline for consoles or mobile is unclear
  • Ghost Games are making a new Need For Speed but as a 2017 launch I doubt we’ll see it this E3

TF2With the 6 games above, maybe some DLC for recent releases and 2/3 new announcements we’ll have the entire EA show there, they did mention recently showing some games due possibly as far away as 2018, I think it makes sense for them to show things like the Criterion racer and a new Bioware title which aren’t part of a yearly rotation if they’re going to do that. I wouldn’t expect to see DICE to announce Battlefront 2 before the end of the year at the earliest for example, more likely early 2017 ready for the annual Star Wars event, Visceral’s Star Wars is also a good candidate for showing this E3 too.

I’ll put my predictions for new games at the show as you can guess as Visceral’s Star Wars game, a new Bioware game probably their new IP and Criterion’s game.

Bethesda

bethesda_logoTheir first E3 conference last year made a few announcements, Dishonoured Definitive Edition and the sequel (which launches in November), Fallout Shelter for mobile and a blow-out of Fallout 4 after its announcement which came just before the show, Doom got a campaign demo and some Elder Scrolls Online.

Bethesda have a lot less announced so far than other publishers do but with no sports titles they also release fewer titles, perhaps we can expect a few announcements from them too:

  • Dishonoured II announced at E3 last year just had a Game Informer cover feature and releases this November
  • Fallout 4 DLC just released, it remains to be seen if there is anymore due
  • Doom just released and they have updates planned for the multiplayer, personally I’d love to see a standalone expansion like Wolfenstein The Old Blood

New announcements are obvious then, so what can we expect?

  • Machine Games released Wolfenstein The New Order in May 2014 and The Old Blood a smaller standalone release in May 2015, a teaser for their project – presumably a sequel to The New Order is likely
  • Tango Gameworks released The Evil Within in October 2014 with sales cited in UK and North America, it might be a bit too soon for a sequel to be announced, I guess it depends when they are intending to release it, there has been rumours of it though so I wouldn’t entirely rule it out
  • Arkane Austin were tasked with making the sequel to Prey 2 using CryEngine and I think it is time to see that game although it could be a ways out from release and if its even still called Prey 2
  • Battlecry Studios were making a free-to-play multiplayer shooter called Battlecry but talk on that has gone quiet and they seem to be assisting other studios now, if it lives we might see that retooled or re-unveiled, or maybe they are on something entirely new
  • Bethesda Game Studios as mentioned have just released the Fallout 4 DLC, it is rumoured they will announce Elder Scrolls Skyrim Remastered for release this holiday, I think this is a good bet. Todd Howard mentioned they had a few new projects in development and as well as a much further out assumed Elder Scrolls VI and Fallout 5 I suspect this is something they will release to keep their userbase happy (on consoles anyway), mod support would be a good addition too
  • iD are likely to be focusing on Doom for now but there has been a few new mentions of Quake in their job listings, it would be a surprise for them to have something ready to announce so soon but perhaps they could surprise us
  • ZeniMax Online Studios are still developing Elder Scrolls Online, the Thieves Guild DLC came out in March so it might be time for them announce what is next
  • They could have made some new partnerships with something to unveil although they prefer to acquire partners and do development internally so maybe this is less likely.

Dishonored_2_release_date_price_platforms_pre-order_official_trailer_thumb800For me I think the obvious announcements are a Wolfenstein sequel, Skyrim Remastered and Prey 2, that a pretty good set with the previously announced Dishonoured II and probably some Elder Scrolls Online. It would be a packed show if they got Tango’s next game in there whether it’s a sequel to The Evil Within or a new IP, the former more likely I’m guessing.

Bethesda preferred to have more extended gameplay demos of their titles last year at E3, it will be interesting to see if they mix it up this year with shorter demos but more games, E3 is the place for maximum exposure though and I think if there was anything even a bit further out in later 2017 they might be tempted to announce it to give a good idea of their release plans to keep next years conference interesting too (if they do one).

Ubisoft:

UbisoftLogo610Ubisosft keep their usual slot for this E3, Aisha Tyler is still hosting and they have more exciting games to show, hopefully!

Here is a list of their upcoming titles:

  • Watch Dogs 2 (November)
  • For Honor
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands
  • South Park The Fractured But Whole
  • Eagle Flight (VR title)

They have a good line-up of upcoming titles and are yet to detail the release dates of many of them, presumably Eagle Flight launches with PSVR and on Oculus Rift this holiday, Ghost Recon and For Honor are likely to spread between the end of the year and early next year particularly after the successful March release of The Division. South Park The Fractured But Whole is another title that could be anytime between this holiday (not a good slot for it in my opinion) or follow 3 years after The Stick of Truth in Spring 2017. Watch Dogs 2 is confirmed for November so perhaps Ubisoft will spread their other releases over the next 12 months.

A new IP is due to be announced at E3 which is likely to be open-world as a service based game given that is their future according to their CEO Yves Guillemot, I think its reasonable to expect some expansion details for The Division particularly with the first seasons pass content due on Xbox One at the end of the month, maybe a larger expansion akin to something in the $40 range on its own is teased. We could also see more content for The Crew which seems to be doing well for them and a complete omission for Assassins Creed is perhaps unlikely, maybe a collection or something?

Watch-Dogs-2What else could be there? Far Cry 5? Primal just launched but who knows. A new Splinter Cell? Blacklist was in 2013 before next-gen console launches and was a great game but didn’t set the charts on fire which undoubtedly disappointed them, perhaps an open-world game? Something Rayman? More UbiArt titles? Prince of Persia returns? Beyond Good and Evil 2? Zombi sequel?

There are a few options around which they could potentially go for, I think a new Splinter Cell is possible but the new IP is a certainty, perhaps something else that isn’t so similar to that will also be there along with all the titles above, Just Dance will probably also get a shout and maybe a new hip modern artist doing a live performance that everyone will be super hyped to see!