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The biggest games we didn’t see at E3 2021: Hellblade, Splinter Cell, and more

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.

Splatoon 3

Splatoon 3 release date, trailer, weapons, and everything we know | GamesRadar+

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.

Bayonetta 3

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.

A Switch Pro console

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.

The Elder Scrolls VI

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.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2

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.

Splinter Cell

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.

Beyond Good & Evil 2

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.

Skull & Bones

Skull & Bones on PS4, Xbox One, PC | Ubisoft (US)

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

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.

Elden Ring

Well, we saw it at Summer Game Fest, but that’s not technically E3, is it?

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Emily Morrow
Emily Morrow is a games journalist and narrative designer who has written for a variety of online publications. If she’s…
Here’s the full schedule of summer video game livestreams
Promotional art for Starfield.

E3 is not taking place this year, but a plethora of independently created video game announcement livestreams are popping up. From Sony to Geoff Keighley to THQ Nordic, a lot of people and companies are airing video game livestreams that gaming fans will want to tune into over the course of this summer.
These are the most important video game reveal-focused livestreams that you should keep an eye on between June and August 2022 via Digital Trends' Summer Gaming Marathon coverage.
June 2: State of Play
State of Play | June 2, 2022 [ENGLISH]
Sony is holding another State of Play at 3 p.m. PT on June 2. Similar to March's showcase, this one will feature multiple games, rather than being dedicated to one game like Sony's Gran Turismo 7 and Hogwarts Legacy State of Play streams. Specifically, Sony says in a PlayStation Blog post that its fans should expect "exciting reveals from our third-party partners, plus a sneak peek at several games in development for PlayStation VR2." It doesn't look like God of War: Ragnarok will show up here, but it will certainly be a welcome surprise if it does.
June 6: LRG3 Showcase
Physical game distributor Limited Run Games and Mega64 announced that they would hold the third annual LRG Showcase at 1 p.m. PT on June 6, 2022 on Twitch. The LRG3 Showcase will feature 30 games overall, mainly highlighting titles that Limited Run Games plans to give a physical release to over the next year. 
June 7: Sonic Central
June is a big month for Sonic as Sega continues to share new info on Sonic Frontiers and prepares to release Sonic Origins on June 23. As part of its June festivities for the blue blur, Sega is holding yet another Sonic Central livestream to reveal "project, partnerships, and events happening in 2022." It begins at 9 a.m. PT on June 7.
June 9: Upload VR Showcase
Fans of VR games will want to tune into the Upload VR Showcase at 8 a.m. on June 9. This presentation is solely focused on highlighting upcoming VR games from developers big and small. While Upload VR isn't teasing any specific games for the show, the article confirming the event claims that it will have "the most new game reveals we’ve ever featured at a showcase, including some from companies yet to release VR games."
June 9: Summer Game Fest
At 11 a.m. PT on June 9, Geoff Keighley will host his second annual Summer Game Fest livestream dedicated to showing exciting games from publishers big and small. The re-reveal of Elden Ring happened during last year's stream, so this is definitely a stream that you'll want to keep an eye on. The tweet above confirms that major publishers like 2K, Activision, Capcom, EA, PlayStation, Sega, WB Games, and Xbox are participating. The showcase will last two hours. 
June 9: Day of the Devs: SGF Edition 
Summer Game Fest's showcase will be immediately followed by Day of the Devs: SGF Edition at 1 p.m. PT. This showcase will highlight a variety of upcoming video games. A press release for the event confirms that it will feature a new trailer for Bear and Breakfast and a new game from Monument Valley developer Ustwo Games, in addition to plenty of other independent developers. 
June 9: Devolver Marketing Countdown to Marketing
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Devolver Digital will hold another satirical showcase at 3 p.m. PT on June 9. Titled the "Devolver Marketing Countdown to Marketing," expect this showcase to poke fun at how companies countdown to their main showcases with pre-shows and highlight some new games from Devolver. Cult of the Lamb is confirmed to be there, and Devolver is also promising to reveal some new games during the show. 
June 10: Epic Games Summer Showcase
At 11 a.m. PT on June 10, Epic Games is holding its own video game showcase. It says the event will primarily be focused on "diving into new announcements and updates for PC titles on the Epic Games Store" that are launching both in 2022 and next year. 
June 10: The Outriders: Wordslayer Endgame Broadcast
At 11:45 a.m. PT on June 10, Square Enix and People Can Fly will hold yet another Outriders Broadcast. This livestream will be specifically focused on endgame content for Outriders: Worldslayer, a massive expansion for the sci-fi shooter that is launching on June 30. 
June 10: Tribeca Games Spotlight
As part of Summer Game Fest, Tribeca will highlight its 2022 game selections during a livestream at 12 p.m. PT on June 10. We know that Tribeca's game selections this year are A Plague Tale: Requiem, American Arcadia, As Dusk Falls, Cuphead - The Delicious Last Course, Immortality, Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, The Cub, Thirsty Suitors, and Venba, so this livestream won't have much in the way of surprises. Still, it will provide updates on some of the industry's best-looking indie games.
June 11: Future of Play Direct
Future of Play Direct Livestream I Summer of Gaming 2022
IGN is getting in on the video game showcase fun with the Future of Play Direct at 10:30 a.m. PT on June 11. IGN promises that the event will have "new game announcements, trailers, musical performances, special guests, and more." While the event will likely be focused on indie titles, some cool new game may emerge during this showcase. 
June 11: Wholesome Direct 2022 
Wholesome Direct 2022 Teaser Trailer
Wholesome Direct is a yearly livestream that highlights cute indie games that are much more wholesome than violent. The event's organizers tease that this year's event will have "new game reveals, exclusive footage, and even games that will launch during the show," so it's worth tuning into if you want to see what cute indie games should be on your radar. 
June 11: Future Games Show
Future Games Show 2022
GamesRadar is holding yet another gaming showcase at 12 p.m. PT on June 11. Future Games Show livestreams often focus on highlighting cool indie and AA games, so don't expect the next major AAA bombshell to be here. But we can expect reveals from companies like Amanita Design, Team17, and Thunderful. Overall, GamesRadar claims that 40 games will be shown during June's Future Games Show. 
June 11 and 13: Guerrilla Collective 3
The Guerilla Collective is an indie showcase that takes place over the course of two separate days. The first presentation takes place at 8 a.m. PT on June 11 while the second one follows it up at 1 p.m. PT on June 13. You can see lists of many of the indie games participating in both the June 11 and June 13 events on the Guerrilla Collective's website. 
June 12: Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase

The Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase (no Activision just yet) returns at 10 a.m. PT on June 12. Even though Redfall and Starfield were both recently delayed to 2023, this is still probably going to contain our best looks at these games yet! On top of that, there are plenty of other upcoming Xbox exclusives that Microsoft could show like Avowed, Fable, the new Forza Motorsport, Contraband, and Perfect Dark. Ultimately, Microsoft has a lot to prove with this year's showcase as it needs to demonstrate why 2022 will still be a compelling year for Xbox consoles and Game Pass without Redfall and Starfield. Check out everything that was announced.
June 12: PC Gaming Show
Just a couple of hours after Xbox and Bethesda's showcase, you can expect PC Gamer to hold an announcement-filled livestream of its own. The PC Gaming Show starts at 12:30 p.m. on June 12 and will contain over 45 upcoming PC games. Titles teased by PC Gamer so far include Arma 4, a Half-Life: Alyx mod called Levitation, Immortality, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2, Victoria 3, and unannounced games from Klei Entertainment and 11 Bit Studios. If you're a fan of PC Gaming, this is definitely a show you'll want to tune into. 
June 13: Capcom Showcase

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E3 isn’t dead just yet as ESA plans physical show for 2023
e3 returns full force in 2023 logo

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ESA President and CEO Stan Pierre-Louis said in an interview with The Washington Post that E3 2023 will combine both in-person and digital elements. He attributed the success of last year's virtual E3 to the expanse of its reach to fans and journalists around the world who couldn't afford to fly to Los Angeles for the convention or couldn't attend it for other reasons. He added that people still want to connect and network with each other in person.

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Usually, there’s an established rhythm to the video game industry. Fall, for instance, tends to be when publishers release their biggest games to pump up their holiday sales. Summer, on the other hand, has always been about hype thanks in no small part to E3, the Super Bowl of video game showcases. So when the Entertainment Software Association canceled E3 2022, it left a vacuum in the usual hype cycle. Companies were going to have all these exciting games to show, but no spotlight to shine them under. E3 wasn’t going to happen, but the industry wouldn’t just let the summer marketing potential fly by.

As a result, this summer is a lot more chaotic than previous ones. Big reveal streams and press conferences that would usually take place in a tight four-day span have spun out into their own independent events. Summer Games Fest, Microsoft + Bethesda Showcase, Ubisoft Forward, Nintendo Direct, Square Enix Presents … you’re going to need a roadmap to navigate it all.

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