With the E3 2021 extravaganza rapidly coming to a close, it’s time to reflect on the ways in which our hopes were dashed. There are already a ton of lists out there that recap everything presented at the show, but what about the games we didn’t see?
With big players like Sony and EA skipping this year’s show, it was inevitable that there were going to be plenty of MIA games. Outside of the usual suspects, there was a slew of games we desperately wanted to see but that just didn’t make the cut. Regardless of whether these games (and one console) are stuck in development hell, delayed because of COVID-19, don’t actually exist, or are just waiting for a different day in the sun, here is a list of some of the biggest missing names from E3 2021.
As jam-packed as Nintendo’s E3 Direct was, it was still missing a few big upcoming titles. A few days ago, I said that we’d see either Breath of the Wild 2 or Splatoon 3 at E3, but not both. As it turns out, Breath of the Wild 2 won out, leaving Splatoon fans a little disappointed that there wasn’t more content following Nintendo’s bombshell announcement earlier this year.
Very little is known about Splatoon 3. A cinematic trailer for the game showed new locations, customizations, and weapons, but no actual gameplay has been revealed yet. Fans will have to keep waiting patiently for the game’s 2022 release window.
Speaking of missing Nintendo announcements, there’s still no word on the highly-anticipated third game in the Bayonetta franchise. The game was first announced at The Game Awards in 2017; since then, no footage has been shown and no release window has been given.
Despite the lack of news, Nintendo assured fans in early 2019 that the game is still in production. Nintendo reiterated this statement more generally in today’s Direct, saying that it has plenty of games in production that aren’t ready to be shown yet. We can only hope that Bayonetta 3 is one of them.
This one isn’t technically a game, but it’s still a highly anticipated upgrade from Nintendo. Rumors of an “upgraded” or more powerful Switch console have been flying for the past few years, and many fans were hoping to see it premiere at E3 along with games that would take advantage of the higher graphical fidelity.
Nintendo did state that it was focusing on games, not hardware, during this particular Direct, but you can’t stop fans from dreaming. The trend in consoles does seem to favor incremental upgrades rather than entirely new platforms, so it remains to be seen whether Nintendo will give fans a mid-cycle power upgrade.
This one is practically a meme at this point. Despite Bethesda taking pains to partner with Microsoft for a joint show, the developer didn’t mention The Elder Scrolls VI, leading fans to wonder if they simply hallucinated that first trailer.
TES VI’s announcement wasn’t even really a trailer — it was just the game’s title over a (presumably) in-engine landscape shot. Skyrim turns 10 years old this year, so you’d think Bethesda would want to say a little more about its upcoming successor.
Also notably missing from Microsoft’s show was the much-anticipated sequel to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. The game has been confirmed as an Xbox and PC exclusive, which makes it all the more strange that it wasn’t part of Microsoft’s spotlight.
Hellblade 2 hasn’t been seen since its reveal at The Game Awards in 2019. Some are speculating that it may be seen at Microsoft’s second show later this week. Even if that turns out to be true, it’s odd that Microsoft would want to shunt one of its most anticipated games to a side show rather than make it part of its main production.
Nothing appears to have changed this year for the Splinter Cell series. There hasn’t been an entry since 2013’s divisive Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and fans are starting to get desperate.
Based on Ubisoft’s comments when asked about the series, it appears as though Splinter Cell isn’t one of its biggest priorities right now. At one point, Ubisoft creative director Julian Gerighty announced that a new game was in development, but the company disputed the claim. All we can do is keep our fingers crossed for another adventure with Sam Fisher.
Another Ubisoft game that didn’t make an appearance was Beyond Good & Evil 2. A sequel to the 2003 original was announced in 2017, but there has been little gameplay, art, or narrative content shown since then.
Ubisoft posted an update on the game’s website in July of 2020, stating that “[the game’s] presence at events — whether digital or in-person — will be extremely limited for the time being,” but nothing new has been shared since then. It’s unclear why nothing has been shown, which is more than a little worrying for fans.
This upcoming pirate game from Ubisoft was one of the most unique things announced at E3 2017. Fans were excited at the opportunity to live out the in-depth pirate dreams they’d first fostered in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.
Though Ubisoft has set a 2022 release window for the game, no new updates have been shared on the Skull & Bones website since 2018. It remains to be seen whether more details will be provided about the game’s promised naval combat and diplomacy mechanics.
Call of Duty announcements are often the biggest, most brash trailers to come out of E3, but there were none to be found at the 2021 show. (Maybe that’s why this year felt a little quiet.) Publisher Activision seems to be more focused on supporting Black Ops: Cold War and Warzone right now, but that doesn’t mean that something new might not be on the horizon.
It’s likely that we’ll get a new entry at least fairly soon; fans are always excited at potential new settings and modes for the series. Getting a new Call of Duty every couple of years is more dependable than most things, so I bet that we’ll see something before long.
Well, we saw it at Summer Game Fest, but that’s not technically E3, is it?
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