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E3 2021: Starfield, Breath of the Wild 2, and more games we expect to see

The E3 season has definitely snuck up on us. It feels like just yesterday we were all still bundled up in our winter clothes, and suddenly — bam! Now our days will be filled with refreshing livestreams of big game announcements. Until the event begins, we can only speculate as to what will be shown, which is a time-honored E3 tradition in its own right. So while we are waiting for the actual announcements, let’s ponder on the games we’re likely to see on the E3 floor … well, the digital one, that is.

Starfield

This one has been a long time coming. Starfield is Bethesda’s next big sci-fi game. The publisher announced Starfield at E3 2018, but there hasn’t been much new information about it since. Bethesda’s Todd Howard has stated that a good portion of the game is currently playable, but we have not seen anything new since the vague 2018 teaser trailer. It has been heavily hinted that Starfield will be a centerpiece for the Bethesda conference at this year’s E3, so it’s a safe bet that we will see at least something about this game during Microsoft and Bethesda’s joint showcase.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

Speaking of games that only have one trailer, Breath of the Wild 2, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, will most likely get some love this year at E3. Earlier this year, Nintendo held a Nintendo Direct that talked about the Legend of Zelda’s 35th anniversary, but the company explicitly stated that It had no news about Breath of the Wild 2. Maybe that means Nintendo is saving it for E3 this year.

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Elden Ring

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The theme for these first three titles is clearly games that have only had a trailer announcement followed by at least a year of silence. Elden Ring is an upcoming action RPG from the minds of FromSoftware and George R. R. Martin — truly the peanut butter and chocolate combination of fantasy worlds. The trailer was released in 2019 and we have not heard anything official since, only whispers and rumors. This year’s E3 is the perfect time for FromSoftware to take the stage to give us more information about this wildly anticipated action roleplaying game.

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite Warthog
Image used with permission by copyright holder

To give some context about Halo Infinite, we knew that it was in development since before the Xbox Series X and Series S had official names. Fortunately, unlike the first three games on this list, we have had more than just one trailer for Halo Infinite. Since 2018, we have learned the scope of the game and how it is going to be the last Halo game for 10 years. Don’t worry: The plan is for the title to get frequent updates, similar to Destiny. Originally planned as a launch title for the Xbox Series X, it still has no specific release date. Now, all we know is that it will be released later this year. Since there is still a bit of ambiguity, this year’s E3 is a perfect place to settle that matter and see some more gameplay.

Splatoon 3

Let us jump back to the world of Nintend and talk about Splatoon 3. Announced earlier this year, the third installment in the “kid-now/squid-now” paint series will be taking a bigger focus on single-player content. In the announcement trailer, we saw a vast ruined desert, a complete departure from the lively and colorful Inkopolis. Nintendo hooked us with the mystery of the single-player campaign; now it’s time for it to reel us in with some juicy multiplayer content at this year’s E3.

Dragon Age 4

It has been almost seven years since the last installment of the Dragon Age series. A myriad of unanswered questions were left for players to fixate on for far too long. We got a small teaser last year with an animated title trailer and news that the game will be removing the multiplayer mode and only focusing on single-player content. Fans are incredibly curious to see what the game will actually look lik, and E3 this year is a great place to do that.

Skull & Bones

This is another game that has seen little information and multiple delays, but it has still captured the hearts of many players who are drooling for some visceral ship-to-ship combat. Skull & Bones was announced at the Ubisoft press conference in 2017 with an eye-catching trailer that focused on everyone’s favorite part of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag (besides the sea shanties): Ship combat. Sadly, we didn’t hear much about the game after that save for  news of a delay. It was then pushed back one more time to late 2021. Well, it is now mid-2021 and we still don’t know too much about it. Hopefully, Ubisoft will spend at least some time in its press conference showing off more of that sweet ship battle gameplay.

Dragon Quest 12: The Flames of Fate

OK, hare me out. We know that the game was literally just announced a couple of days ago, and only as a title teaser. However, one could assume that Square Enix wanted to wait for E3 to show off more of the game. The 35th-anniversary stream and E3 happened to be very close to each other, so the timing would make sense. Square Enix will be presenting games at E3 this year, so this is in the realm of possibility. 

Andrew Zucosky
Andrew has been playing video games since he was a small boy, and he finally got good at them like a week ago. He has been in…
With E3 2022 canceled, these are the summer gaming events to watch
E3 logo

We learned this week that 2022 will be the second year since 1995 to not have any kind of E3 expo. While the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) says E3's physical and digital cancelation this year enables it to "devote all our energy and resources to delivering a revitalized physical and digital E3 experience next summer," it also raises questions regarding how game announcements will happen this summer. Companies like Microsoft and Nintendo often tie big reveals to E3, so what is the industry's plan now that E3 2022 is officially canceled?
So far, we only know of a couple of events that will take place, though there's still time for a lot more to be announced. For those wondering how E3 2022's cancelation will impact summer 2022's game reveal landscape, we've broken down everything that is and isn't happening -- and that might happen -- in the coming months. 
What's not happening
E3's absence leaves a crater in the usual gaming hype cycle. Typically, the yearly event took place for a week in Los Angeles and served as a spot where game publishers could announce and advertise their upcoming slates of titles and game-related products. In 2020, the ESA canceled the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it returned digitally in 2021 with mixed results. 

On March 31, the event organizers at the ESA confirmed that there would be no digital or physical E3 event this year. That was quite surprising as more and more in-person events are returning, and the ESA even demonstrated that it could hold the event digitally before. The event may return in 2023, but this year the E3 event that typically consolidates many gaming announcements to one week in June won't play out like normal.
Outside of E3, we also know that EA won't hold its yearly EA Play Live event this summer. Typically, the publisher has its own events outside of E3, but chose not to this year because "this year things aren't lining up to show you everything on one date." That means that if we get new information on titles like the Dead Space remake or the next Dragon Age and Mass Effect, it won't be at an E3-adjacent event. 
What is happening
There are still some major gaming events that will take place this summer. This June, the biggest one is Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest. The creator of The Game Awards plans to hold a Summer Game Fest Kickoff Livestream full of new trailers and announcements. Last year's event featured the release date of Elden Ring, so there are certainly high expectations surrounding the showcase, especially as E3 won't be drawing away any reveals. An indie-focused Day of the Devs presentation and other Summer Game Fest-branded events are also expected to take place this June. Keighley tweeted that Summer Game Fest festivities "will be less than one month this year." 
IGN confirmed that its Summer of Gaming event would also take place in June and feature exclusive trailers, gameplay, and interviews. Bethesda has also teased that it will show Starfield this summer, and we're supposed to get another look at Final Fantasy XVI soon.
As for in-person events, a couple of them are happening later in the summer. Gamescom, a European gaming expo equivalent to E3, will happen in person in Cologne, Germany. In Japan, the Tokyo Game Show will be the final big in-person summer event between September 15 and 18. While E3 might not be happening, it's clear that some digital showcases will happen this summer and that events outside of America are still on track to take place in person. 

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Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 should wait for a Switch Pro
Link runs across Hyrule in the sequel to Breath of the Wild.

Someone has to say it and I'm willing to fall on this sword. The latest delay for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild 2, or whatever it ends up being called, is a good first step. It shouldn't be released this year or really any year where Nintendo's main platform is the Switch.

https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/1508806409797963784

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E3 2022 won’t happen in-person (and Summer Game Fest has already clapped back)
A purple E3 logo floats in the air.

For the third year in a row, E3 2022 will not happen as an in-person event. The Entertainment Software Association, which organizes the expo, has confirmed that the physical show has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the virus' new Omicron variant. In fact, the ESA didn't technically confirm that the show will happen in 2022 at all.

The news was broken by VentureBeat, which released a statement from the ESA regarding the yearly video game press conference. “Due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not be held in person in 2022,” the ESA tells VentureBeat, “We are nonetheless excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.”

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