Microsoft seems to have prematurely revealed its plan to hold an open beta for Halo Wars 2 next week during E3. Multiple outlets have found an active listing for the beta on the Xbox Store. It says players will be able to try the real-time strategy game’s multiplayer from June 13-20.
It just so happens that Microsoft will also hold its E3 press conference on June 13, prompting many to speculate that Microsoft intended to surprise players with the news that the beta would be available during or directly after the show.
Microsoft announced in August 2015 that Total War series developer Creative Assembly would take over for developer Ensemble on the sequel to its Xbox 360-exclusive real-time strategy Halo game. Unlike the original, Halo Wars 2 will be released on Xbox One and Windows 10.
Rumors that Halo Wars 2 would feature in Microsoft’s preshow press conference began last week when some concept art from the game showed up on Twitter. One of the images, which has since been taken down, was a concept version of the box art shown on the Xbox Store listing that did not include the Halo Wars 2 logo. Users who have been able to find the listing — it isn’t searchable — have disseminated the game’s box art and some screenshots from the game on Reddit.
The listing effectively confirms yet another of the many games that will be shown at E3. In the past week, developers have released trailers announcing a slew of games that pundits and fans expect to see at the show, including Watch Dogs 2, Saint’s Row developer Volition’s Agents of Mayhem, and Mortal Kombat maker Netherrealm’s follow-up to its DC Comics-themed fighter, Injustice 2.
Although Microsoft hasn’t said much about Halo Wars 2 since it was announced, the game is presumably on track to hit stores this fall.