E3 2019: What to expect

Here we are once again!

Just taking a simple look at my previous entries makes me nostalgic. How many E3’s have I covered ever since I started this humble little blog..? Must be at least over five now. And yet, every year I look forward to it even more. It just goes to show the effect of this industry and how much we as gamers love what we follow. We can’t get enough of it. Every year, for months before E3 even begins there are rumors, “leaks”, searches for anything that might be related to what we’ll actually get at the show by people who are simply too impatient to wait. I know what it’s like, time literally doesn’t go by when we talk about E3 or the release of our favorite titles. And yet, I’ve come to learn that it’s the wait that makes it all so rewarding. Because in the end, once a game comes out, that’s it. You hardly hear of it anymore unless a big DLC is to be released for it or if it is mentioned by some website in a “top-10” kind of article. Otherwise, it’s like all that waiting didn’t even matter. We’re so quick to consume everything nowadays…

But I digress. Here we are at the forefront of yet another E3 and anticipation is once again soaring through the roof. Of course, this year feels a bit off compared to others since there have been some significant changes and there is one huge absence that will however be filled by a surprise re-entry. More specifically, Sony have decided to sit it out in 2019, citing that they just don’t have enough material for an entire showcase. An understandable decision, considering they have already done everything they needed to do to ensure they will remain successful up until the end of the PlayStation 4’s (PS4) life cycle, with the recent announcement of the release date of Hideo Kojima’s
(November 8th) and strong speculation that will also be released at the start of the new year. Also let’s not forget that is still scheduled to be a timed exclusive.

Final Fantasy VII is of course one of the most anticipated titles.

Speaking of , it is that game’s developer that will be called to fill in for Sony this season. After many years of disappointments and calls on deaf ears, it appears the people at Square Enix have finally decided to listen to what their fans want and are coming to E3 2019 with all the big guns in their arsenal. Besides the aforementioned , that is scheduled to release more information “in June” (although that could mean the specific “Final Fantasy VII” concert that will take place in California on June 9th, with the game skipping out on E3 altogether, going down a similar route as last year), the Japanese company in association with Crystal Dynamics have also confirmed that they will be releasing information regarding their long-awaited Avengers project (tentatively titled ), while also bringing to their show the sequel to (thanks to their partnership with the game’s developer Techland). Of course, they will also be showing , the latest expansion of the popular MMORPG title and there are rumors going around of a presence (the DLC episodes are scheduled for release sometime before the end of the year, as stated by the game’s director, Tetsuya Nomura.) So, with all this in store (and more?), it’s easy to see how Square is really “bringing it” this year. It’s quite possible that by the end of it, no one will even remember that Sony wasn’t even there, especially if they finish it with a bang (*cough*, announcement, *cough*).

A lot of third-party developers will also be showing their goods at Microsoft’s showcase, making it by far the most interesting of the the week.

But apart from that, there are many other great things to look forward to at this year’s E3, most notably from Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft and Nintendo, who will all have their own showcases in one way or another.

The American giant plans to host a two-hour briefing on its usual schedule, where it will show off many of its own exclusive titles. According to a recent tweet by the Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, there are over 14 of their in-house studios waiting to reveal what they’ve been working on. So it should be a focus mainly on games, rather than hardware as we may have been used to. We can expect more info on something new on of course and a lot of third-party titles, but apart from that it’s really anyone’s guess what we’re going to see here. Maybe something new from studio Ninja Theory, who knows..?

Same can pretty much be said about Nintendo. The company has gone all out on even before E3 rises its curtains, after the recent announcement of , and and another specific live stream for the franchise scheduled for June 5th, where the focus will be on the two new mainline entries, and . Apart from all that, it really is worth wondering what else they might have hidden for the actual E3 Nintendo Direct? New Mario title? Maybe more info on or ? New characters for ? New Yoshi, DK or Kirby titles? It really is anybody’s guess what we might get yet it is worth noting that these shows go for at least an hour. So they should have quite a lot under their sleeve if they felt they needed to get Pokemon out of the way.

We’re preparing for a whole new generation of Pokemon. And, of course, they will be at E3.

What about Bethesda and Ubisoft..? Well, let’s just say they’ve already left everyone with a sour taste in their mouths before the show even commenced. On the one hand, Bethesda already confirmed that neither nor new franchise will be making an appearance, asking their fans to be “a bit more patient”, while Ubi will be discussing their own highly anticipated title , but only during a short live stream before the show in order to “update fans about its development”. No actual footage will be shown.

As to what we can expect from the two, well, thanks to a certain leak we already kinda know what’s coming from the French studio. There will be three unannounced titles showcased -with hopes that among them will be the new and entries-, while they will also be discussing their new subscription service, the Ubi Pass. Bethesda, meanwhile, will of course be showing off , but other than that not much else is known (new or maybe..?)

Cyperpunk 2077 is a first-person action role-playing game in a dystopian future created by the developer’s of The Witcher, CD Project Red. More info at E3.

And then there are titles that aren’t actually associated with anything, but are confirmed to be at E3 2019. Most notable among them is CD Project Red’s . It’s safe to assume that, with Sony absent, Microsoft will be more than happy to show off this marvel to the gaming industry. Additionally, there are other developers such as Bandai Namco (new action-adventure title info could be released), Capcom ( remake?), Quantic Dream, Take-Two, XSEED and Activision, who could all potentially have their own unique titles to show off. Again, the place to look for them would be the Microsoft showcase, as the company has made a solid effort to bring in more third-party studios to their team.

Finally, EA is also going to be at E3 with their usual sports bonanza. They will also be showing . Hopefully this time, the game won’t be hidden behind a paywall…

And that’s pretty much all we can expect from this year’s E3, which kicks off in less than 10 days now! Unreal how time flies. The games we got in between the two conferences were nothing to scoff at either (my personal favorites being and .) It’s interesting to think about the experiences we’ll have between this conference and E3 2020. Time to get blown away again!

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Alex Anyfantis

Media graduate, professional journalist and self-proclaimed Final Fantasy fanboy. Interests (and die-hard passions) include gaming and sports (mainly football).