E3 2019 will bring many of the biggest companies in gaming under one roof for a week of exciting reveals and surprise announcements. Microsoft, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Bethesda, Square Enix, and more will bring all of their upcoming titles, including some we haven’t even seen yet, to the public. The question is what exactly might these companies announce?
As I do every year, I’ve made some predictions as to what we might see at E3 this year. Yes, some scenarios are more likely than others, and there will probably be a few surprises I never even saw coming, and that’s the fun of E3 predictions. It’s the most exciting time of the year if you’re a gamer and here are a few things that might make E3 2019 the best expo yet!
Halo Infinite Gameplay Reveal
This is set to be a big year for Microsoft at E3, considering the company won’t face any competition from PlayStation, which has bowed out from the 2019 expo. That means that Xbox will be one of only two major consoles at the show, and the only one giving a major press conference. (Nintendo Directs are pre-recorded.)
Part of Microsoft’s plans at E3 this year will undoubtedly involve Halo Infinite, the next chapter in Xbox’s flagship series. While the game was announced in 2018 with a trailer showcasing the new Slipspace engine, the reveal didn’t feature any actual in-game footage. It’s likely that the Xbox conference will close with a lengthy look at the new Halo, even if the game isn’t set for a 2019 release.
No, Halo Infinite probably won’t be ready for release this year or even this console generation. I bet this will be a 2020 exclusive launch title for the next-gen Xbox.
First Look at Halo TV Series
A Halo live-action series is coming to Showtime and it will star Pablo Schreiber as the Master Chief. The show, which is being exec produced by Kyle Killen (Awake) and Steven Kane (The Last Ship), begins filming this fall in Budapest. That means Microsoft won’t have anything to show in terms of footage. That said, a quick glimpse of Schreiber in Spartan armor might be enough to wow the crowd during the Xbox conference. Either way, expect Microsoft to at least mention the TV series based on its most important game franchise.
Gears 5 Gets a Release Date
Microsoft announced a whole suite of new Gears of War games at last year’s E3, including a mobile game based on Funko Pop figures, a PC strategy title, and a new mainline installment slated for 2019 that picks up where Gears of War 4 left off. Expect Gears 5 to have a big presence at the Microsoft conference, as it’s likely to be the console’s big exclusive this fall.
Xbox Game Pass Goes Beyond Xbox
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed in late 2018 that the company planned to bring Xbox Game Pass to PC at some point in the future. While we haven’t seen any actual movement on that front, there’s no reason to doubt that PC will get the excellent on-demand games service. It makes a lot of sense considering that Xbox’s Play Anywhere program already lets users play Xbox exclusives on both Xbox One and PC with the purchase of a single copy of the game.
Then there’s the fact that Halo: The Master Chief Collection, a major release for Xbox One, is finally being ported to PC, further evidence of Microsoft’s commitment to expanding its PC portfolio. While Halo: MCC is coming to Steam at the moment, expect it to be a major inclusion in Xbox Game Pass for PC.
A much wilder rumor has been making the rounds on the internet, though: Xbox Game Pass could also be launching on the Nintendo Switch. That’s right, Microsoft’s mission to make Xbox Game Pass the premier on-demand service of the games industry could extend to competing consoles. We’re already starting to see hints of this possible future with Cuphead, an Xbox console exclusive that’s being ported to the Switch.
Microsoft would absolutely bring the house down if it announced Xbox Game Pass for PC AND Switch at E3. How likely is this to happen? I’d say PC has better odds than Switch.
Xbox Announces Next-Gen Console
How else could Microsoft capitalize on Sony’s E3 absence? By unveiling its next-gen console. Project Scarlet has been in the works for the last few years, and there are plenty of rumors as to what it is, including a streaming-only box that won’t support discs. If so, Microsoft could take this opportunity to convince its fans why going disc-less is the future of gaming.
Considering Sony is taking its time with the PS5, which won’t launch before April 2020 at the earliest, Microsoft might not be in a rush either, choosing to announce its next console at a dedicated event instead of E3. It’s also likely that the console is still at least a year out from its release date and the box might not be finalized.
Slowly unveiling the console, giving yourself enough of a window to create excitement ahead of launch while also being able to control the conversation, seems prudent. We all remember what happened when Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One so many months ahead…
Square Enix Unveils The Avengers Project
It feels like Square Enix announced its secret Avengers Project ages ago. The publisher dropped the game’s one and only trailer, teasing the defeat of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, in early 2017 and we haven’t heard anything about the game since.
So what do we know for sure? The game is being developed by Crystal Dynamics, the studio behind the Tomb Raider series, with help from Deus Ex developer Eidos Montreal. Shaun Escayg, former Naughty Dog creative director, and Stephen Barry, a 27-year games vet from EA and Visceral Games, have also joined the project in leadership roles at Crystal Dynamics.
Beyond that? All we know about The Avengers Project is that it’s an action-adventure game and that it’s tentatively called Marvel’s Avengers. Square Enix is hosting its own E3 conference this year, which means it has a few things to announce. Expect The Avengers Project to be the headliner.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Finally Gets a Release Date
Square Enix loves announcing projects years before their release date for some reason. Specifically, the wait for the remake of Final Fantasy VII has felt interminable. First announced at E3 2015, Final Fantasy VII Remake has yet to make another meaningful appearance at the show. But the game finally popped up again during a PlayStation State of Play live stream in May, which is a strong indication that it will be at E3 as well. That would be the perfect time to announce the game’s release date.
Doom Eternal Gets a Release Date
Doom Eternal was announced at last year’s E3 with a 2019 release window. With nothing else going on for Bethesda in the fall (as far as we know), this highly anticipated Doom sequel will likely fill the holiday spot for the publisher. I’m looking forward to it!
Cyberpunk 2077 Gets a Release Date
Here’s another game we’ve been talking about for quite some time. To say that Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most highly-anticipated titles at E3 2019 is an understatement. This new sci-fi RPG based on the tabletop game Cyberpunk 2020 comes from The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red as the studio’s follow-up to the incredibly successful Witcher 3. From what we’ve seen of the game so far, Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t look like it’ll disappoint.
It’s hard to say whether Cyberpunk 2077 will be ready for a 2019 release date, but I think a 2020 date is more likely. A May release date worked out well for The Witcher 3, so CD Projekt Red might be keen to drop their next title in the spring as well.
Metroid Prime 4 Returns
Metroid Prime 4 was first announced in a Nintendo Direct during E3 2017, but a lot has happened since then. Bandai Namco Studios was originally hired to develop the game, but by January 2019, the third-party studio was off the project, replaced by Metroid Prime creator Retro Studios, which was starting work from scratch.
This is good and bad news. While I’m glad Retro Studios is once again working on the franchise, this also means that the wait for a new Metroid Prime game just got a bit longer. It’s highly unlikely we’ll see anything substantial from this game at this year’s E3, but maybe another short teaser to reassure fans that things are back on track might be the right move for Nintendo. Either way, don’t expect to see Metroid Prime 4 until 2020 at the earliest.
Metroid Prime Trilogy for Switch
Nintendo might want to appease fans anxiously waiting for Metroid Prime 4 by re-releasing the first three games in the series for the Nintendo Switch. In fact, a rumor to that effect has been floating around the internet since April. Metroid Prime Trilogy for Switch really isn’t such a far-fetched prediction.
A New F-Zero Game
Nintendo has brought most of its major properties to Switch at this point, including Mario Kart, which will never get any better than Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the best Mario-themed racing game ever made. So maybe it’s time to bring back one of Nintendo’s other racing franchises: F-Zero.
The publisher hasn’t released a new F-Zero game since 2004’s F-Zero Climax, which, well, Nintendo kinda warned us it was the climax of the series… This is just wishful thinking, but maybe, just maybe, F-Zero will zoom through Nintendo Direct with a vengeance.
New Castlevania Title from Konami
Konami hasn’t done much with Castlevania since 2014’s Lords of Shadow 2, a bad game that apparently convinced the publisher that there was no money left to be made with the franchise. But if Netflix’s Castlevania animated series proved anything, it’s that fans still love these stories, and it seems like Konami has taken note of the renewed interest.
Late last year, Konami released Castlevania Requiem, a PS4 re-release of two of the series’ most beloved installments. A little less than a month before E3 2019, the publisher is re-releasing eight more classic Castlevania games, including many of the titles that started it all. Might Konami be preparing us for something even bigger?
We know that a new Castlevania mobile game, Grimoire of Souls, is on the way in 2019, but that might just be an appetizer for a new, mainline installment in the franchise, a title to revive the series’ place as a AAA gaming juggernaut. If that’s not the case, at least we’ll have Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night just a few days after E3.
New Splinter Cell Announced
Don’t bet money on it, but considering Ubisoft has some holes to fill in 2020, E3 2019 might be the right time for Sam Fisher’s return. All we know about Ubisoft’s 2020 slate is that it’ll feature the next Assassin’s Creed game, and that will probably release in the fall. So what might Ubisoft have planned for next spring?
While the new Watch Dogs Legion is more likely to open 2020 for Ubisoft (that’s pure speculation), Splinter Cell would undoubtedly be the more exciting option. The franchise went on hiatus on a very high note with 2013’s Blacklist, and fans have been asking for more adventures since. So far, Ubisoft hasn’t obliged beyond Sam Fisher easter eggs in Ghost Recon Wildlands and Far Cry New Dawn.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot explained to IGN in April 2019 that the pressure of continuing the beloved series as well as the success of other franchises have kept the company from starting a new Splinter Cell project. Was Guillemot being coy or is Fisher destined to spend a few more years on ice? We’ll find out during the Ubisoft conference!
Assassin’s Creed Ragnarok Revealed
While the Assassin’s Creed franchise is taking a break this year, there’s no reason Ubisoft couldn’t tease the next installment in a short video. Rumor has it that the new game, allegedly titled “Ragnarok,” will focus on the world of vikings. Short of this being a samurai game, this sounds like the most exciting direction for a new AC game. Why not flaunt that at the biggest games conference of the year?
Back 4 Blood Is the New Left 4 Dead
World War Z may be a fine homage to the original cooperative zombie shooter, but Back 4 Blood comes from the actual creators of Left 4 Dead. Turtle Rock Studios returns for a new take on the PvE zombie shooter it helped pioneer.
While we don’t know much about the new game, the studio has teased that it won’t just be more of the same: “You’ll be able to shoot up a lot of zombies like in Left 4 Dead, but there’s a whole lot of new stuff in Back 4 Blood which makes it unique.”
It’d be nice to get a first look at all that “new stuff” at E3. Maybe at the Xbox conference or the PC Gaming Show?
Bond Is Back
I make this prediction every year just so E3 can continue to crush my dreams. Well, I haven’t learned from my mistakes. The James Bond 007 license has lied dormant since those atrocious Activision games and no other publisher has shown any interest in doing anything about it. But with a new movie on the way next year, Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007, could now be the time for a studio to bring the greatest spy in all of entertainment back to consoles? Probably not, Mr. Bond.
Ken Levine’s New Game Unveiled
Ghost Story Games, legendary BioShock creator Kevin Levine’s new studio, was born out of the ashes of Irrational Games in 2017. The studio’s focus is on smaller, narrative-driven games as opposed to the scale of AAA blockbusters like BioShock, but we have no idea what Ghost Story’s first project may be otherwise.
Levine said in 2017 that he was most inspired by Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor‘s Nemesis system, in which characters remember and react to your past actions in the game, when launching the new studio and that more could be done regarding “reactive narratives” in games.
“To be able to then have a narrative that seems traditional – like our other games (BioShock or System Shock 2), one of those kinds of narratives – but can react and comment on much more small-level actions the player takes – that’s the goal,” Levine said at EGX Rezzed in 2017.
Levine teased that his new game’s sci-fi narrative is unlike anything you’ve ever seen and will be set in a smaller, detailed world as opposed to a sprawling open-world. I’m dying to know more, though!
BioShock 4 Brings Down the House
Ghost Story Games’ first project isn’t the only game Take-Two Interactive might have up its sleeve. 2K has reportedly been hard at work on the next BioShock game since last year, a top-secret sequel that has yet to be confirmed by the publisher.
The revolutionary sci-fi-horror shooter series has been on hiatus since 2013 — plenty of time for a new team of developers to begin shaping a new installment. I’m not saying this game will be out any time soon, but a brief teaser letting us know that the series will continue at a later date on next-gen consoles might be enough to break the internet.