E3 2016 Preview: Bethesda

Last year, Bethesda decided to host their first E3 press conference and also made it the first E3 press conference held on a Sunday.  But without a game as big as Fallout 4 this year, there were questions about whether or not they would be back.  But sure enough they are, and they are taking the 7 PM Sunday time slot again.  This year’s show probably won’t feature a game as big as Fallout, so it will be interesting to see how they divide time between their titles.  Bethesda is also a lot less leakier than everyone else holding a press conference, meaning that a lot of this blog is based purely on assumptions.  2016 has already been kind to Bethesda, as the recent reboot of Doom has been well received so far.  We’ll see if they can ride that momentum through the conference, into the fall, and then into 2017.

Dishonored 2

dishonored_2_e3_2015_2Emily

Dishonored 2 is going to be Bethesda’s premiere game for this fall, launching on November 11.  The first one sold better than it was expected to, but this is still a bold move and a huge vote of confidence in both the franchise and Arkane Studios.  Dishonored is a game that is made for stage demos.  Depending on how much time they have to fill, they could easily run through an area stealthily and then show the same area approached in a more aggressiv.  I expect them to show some ways to mix powers together and stress the importance ofe fashion experimentation in the game.  They might also show off the differences between the two main characters.  I could see them either opening or ending the show with Dishonored 2, but regardless it will definitely be the focus.

Fallout 4 DLC

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Fallout 4’s first three DLC packs are already out, and they have nothing further announced.  However, they have said that these packs are only the beginning, so I expect to get an update at E3 about the next few pieces of DLC for one of the best selling games of 2015.  Fallout 3 had DLC that took you outside of Washington DC to Alaska and Pittsburgh, and while the recently released Far Harbor took Fallout 4 from Boston to Maine, I would expect the next DLC to leave the New England area entirely.  But I don’t expect to see a whole lot of gameplay.  We might see some if they don’t have mcuh else to show, but ultimately it’s jsut going to look like Fallout 4.  I think an announcement and trailer is all they need.

Doom DLC

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Doom DLC is much less likely to be there.  Not only did the game just come out, but the DLC is planned to be all multiplayer stuff, which is the least popular part of the game.  I think an announcement that there is going to be singleplayer DLC would be a good announcement to make, but there probably hasn’t been enough time to make that decision internally, and it wouldn’t be ready for a few months at the earliest.

New Machine Games Game

May 21st, 2014 @ 23:45:55

Moving on to games that are not announced yet, the most likely announcement that will happen at the show is that of a new Machine Games project.  And I think there’s a good chance that their next game will be another Wolfenstein.  2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order was a big success, so I think it would be smart of Bethesda to continue that franchise.  They might want to work on their own IP though, which wouldn’t shock me.  Regardless, I don’t know how much we will see.  The safe bet is that we will just get a trailer, but The New Order has been out for two years now.  If the game is going to come out in the first half of 2017, which would seem likely, then they might have some gameplay to show.  Wolfenstein might even be the game that they close the show on if they think it is a big enough deal.

New Tango Gameworks Game

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The other studio that launched a game in 2014, Tango Gameworks, is much more of a question mark at this point.  First, I think they are less likely to be at E3 than Machine Games.  The Evil Within was not nearly as popular as Wolfenstein, and it also came out later.  I could see Bethesda saving them for a 2017 reveal.  However, I think an announcement here isn’t the most absurd idea.  Their next game will probably be ready next year, and we don’t know how much Bethesda has to show.  I think a trailer for their next project is not out of the realm of possibilities.  What it will be is also a tough question.  The Evil Within received a mixed reception, so I don’t think that a sequel would be a priority for Bethesda.  But I imagine they also want Shinji Mikami to work on a horror game.  Personally, I’d love to see him make something like Vanquish again, I just don’t think that will happen.

The Elder Scrolls VI

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This would be a really dumb announcement to make.  Fallout 4 is still being supported, and Bethesda had so much success announcing and releasing that game within the span of a few months.  But I wouldn’t totally put it past them.  It would certainly be unexpected, and Bethesda might have branched into two teams after the launch of Skyrim.  A new Elder Scrolls might be closer than we think.  I don’t think The Elder Scrolls VI will be at E3, but it’s possible.

Elder Scrolls/Fallout Spin-Off

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Now this is more likely.  A Fallout: New Vegas style game in one of these franchises meant to tide people over until the next Bethesda Game Studios game is something that probably exists.  However, I don’t think it will be announced this year.  Whether that game is another Obsidian Fallout or something from the newly formed Bethesda Game Studios Montreal, I think it will be announced in 2017.  The main reason is that Fallout 4 DLC is still coming out.  I don’t think Bethesda wants to cannibalize sales and excitement fro continued support of Fallout 4 by saying there is another game in the pipeline.

The Elder Scrolls Online

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The Elder Scrolls Online was a moderately successful MMO, but it’s still going strong.  The Dark Brotherhood expansion just released, and the game keeps getting more players.  However, excitement for it seems to have slowed down.  And with the latest expansion just being released, I doubt they would have anything to announce at E3.  That didn’t stop them last year though.  They didn’t announce anything about the game, but they did have a video update reminding people it exists.  If Bethesda needs to fill time, I could see them doing something similar here.

Battlecry

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Battlecry might be dead.  The game never looked good, and last year Bethesda said that they were “evaluating” it.  In the sea of “hero shooters” this one did nothing to stand out.  I think the game is dead, but it might also be reworked.  If we see it, it won’t look anything like what we saw before, but my guess is that we will never see it again.

Prey 2

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Here’s a quick summation of the Prey 2 scenario.  Human Head was working on a sequel to Prey, and it looked really good.  However, the developer was taken off the project, and Prey was given to Arkane Austin.  Arkane Austin is a sister studio to Arkane Lyon, the studio working on Dishonored 2.  Bethesda has denied these reports on multiple accounts, but that’s because an internal, company wide email was sent telling people to deny these reports.  This all happened three years ago, but there is no reason to believe that the project is not still in development.  And while I think it might be wise to announce it after Dishonored 2 is out, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it this year.  It would be a great announcement to end the show with, assuming the game looks as good as it did four years ago.

And that’s it for Bethesda.  I think the best case scenario for their press conference would be Dishonored, Fallout DLC, Wolfenstein, Tango’s game, and maybe Prey 2.  If they come out with all five of those, it would be a big show hard to top.  It also wouldn’t have any filler.  Last year’s show felt like it was obligated to show stuff for Battlecry and The Elder Scrolls Online.  Hopefully they don’t feel that way again, and hopefully the Sunday night Bethesda press conference becomes a regular thing.

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