E3 Expectations: Sony

Sony had a lukewarm conference last year, it had a strange pace as it appeared to have no rhythm, especially when compared to 2016’s conference. This year there won’t be any major first-party announcements, however, they’ll bring 4 major exclusives, and we can expect third-party titles to make an appearance.

The Last of Us: Part II

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The sequel of a modern classic, The Last of Us: Part 2 must either begin or finish the conference. After 2 impactful trailers, we should see an extended gameplay for the first time. We’ll probably find out more about the setting, the story and a release window for the title.

Ghost of Tsushima

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Sucker Punch’s first title since the release of Infamous Second Son, Ghost of Tsushima is Sony’s new IP. Little is known about the title other than the Japanese setting focused on a samurai story. At the conference, we should have a gameplay demo and a release date.

Spider-Man

Spider Man PS4

After appearing for 2 straight E3’s, Spider-Man will come out this year. Last year’s demo was interesting but I feel that it could sell the game a little better. Another gameplay highlighting the story could do just that. But since it’s an Insomniac game, there aren’t many reasons to doubt the quality of the title.

Death Stranding

Death-Stranding

Death Stranding is a really bizarre case, we’ve seen it for years, however, we still have no idea what it’s all about. Each trailer becomes weirder than the previous and we keep getting hyped solely because of Kojima. He has hinted on another trailer and maybe we’ll find out what Death Stranding actually is, but that should be it, as a gameplay demo is unlikely.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

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Announced years ago, Resident Evil 2 Remake remains a mystery. No details were revealed, only a few rumors surfaced but nothing concrete yet. Given Sony’s relationship with Capcom, it should be revealed at their conference and I believe it will happen this year, possibly with a trailer.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar usually doesn’t appear on any E3 conference, however, GTA V’s current-gen console was announced on Sony’s stage. Since we haven’t seen any gameplay and the game will come out this year, we could expect to see the gameplay reveal tonight.

Call of Duty Black Ops 4

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Due to the partnership, that Sony has with Activision, Black Ops 4 should make an appearance. If I had to guess I’d say that Blackout, it’s Battle Royale mode, should be demonstrated on stage.

Dreams

Dreams

Media Molecule’s new title should make a quick appearance with a trailer that should announce it’s release date and a beta. It would be wise to show a gameplay trying to explain what is Dreams, talking more about the campaign and the experience, that remains somewhat mysterious.

New Crash

Crash

The N’Sane Trilogy was an incredible success, surpassing every single expectation. With that, we should see a new title in the Crash series being developed, I believe that if it was announced it’d be at Sony’s conference.

Shenmue III

Shenmue III

Coming out next year, Shenmue III was revealed on Sony’s stage and should make a comeback with a gameplay as we haven’t seen any yet. It would be the perfect setting to reveal this long-awaited sequel to the world.

VR

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This should be very quick, just a regular trailer talking about some of the VR projects coming out to the PS4 in the near future. Given that Sony has admitted that VR didn’t take off as they expected, they shouldn’t pay a lot of attention to it.

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E3 Expectations: Ubisoft

Coming from a very strong presentation last year, Ubisoft should have another great showing this year as they appear to have a good lineup of games. Even though Bethesda has been giving them a run for the craziest conference, Ubisoft should reclaim the title with another bizarre and entertaining presentation.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Assassins-Creed-Odyssey

Again suffering from leaks, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey should have a major presence on the presentation focusing on the changes compared to Origins. According to reports, it will have a much heavier RPG influence and we’ll probably see a gameplay highlighting those changes and introducing ancient Greece. We should get the release date, either Fall 2018 or early 2019, let’s hope it’s not in February.

Skull & Bones

Skull & Bones

Skull & Bones was one of the surprises last year and it felt like a Black Flag sequel but focused on multiplayer. Delayed to 2019, it should have a gameplay demo to show how it differentiates itself from Black Flag and to announce a Beta coming later this year, early next year.

Watch Dogs 3

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This is more of wishful thinking than a guarantee as nothing leaked about the project. It’s been almost 2 years since Watch Dogs 2 came out and an update hinted at a London sequel. Since they already have The Division 2 and AC Odyssey on the show, I believe that they will only announce it next year so it won’t overcrowd their conference.

The Division 2

The Division 2

Coming from a gameplay at Xbox’s conference, The Division 2 should be another game to have a big presence at Ubisoft’s presentation. Located in Washington now, we should find out more about the story, the improvements, and promises related to content. We’ll probably see a developer talking about how they are looking to fix the mistakes made on the first one and a new gameplay.

Splinter Cell

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The probable surprise that closes the show, clues about a Splinter Cell comeback seem to corroborate this assumption. Michael Ironside hinting at a new project at Inside Xbox and Sam Fisher’s presence in Ghost Recon: Wildlands show that Ubisoft wants to bring the character back to the spotlight.

The fact that Metal Gear appears to have died also creates an opening in the stealth genre so that Splinter Cell could dominate. Fans have been clamoring for a sequel and this should be a great time to announce it.

Just Dance 2019

Just Dance Panda

The cringe-worthy moment of the conference every year, Just Dance 2019 will make a comeback and let’s hope it will be like last year. A singer went there, sang and that was it, making it easier for everyone. Personally, I would like to see the dancing panda back.

Transference

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A strange psychological thriller that was announced last year, Transference should make a quick appearance with another trailer and a release date. Originally slated for 2018, no news came out about the project and we should hear more about it on the conference.

UbiArt makes a comeback

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This is more a personal wish, as the UbiArt games have been some of my favorites this generation. I absolutely adored Child of Light and Valiant Hearts and it would be amazing to see sequels or maybe an entirely new project using the engine. These projects didn’t have the scope of most Ubisoft titles but they showed a lot of creativity and heart.

Starlink

Starlink

A game that feels some years too late, Starlink was announced last year to little fanfare. The toys-to-life genre died a few years ago and it feels strange to see Ubisoft releasing a title focusing on it. We should see a trailer, maybe a gameplay with a release date.

The Crew 2

The Crew

Coming out this month, The Crew 2 should have a quick showing just to remind people that the release date is close. They might talk about the season pass but I don’t think it’s likely, we’ll probably just see a trailer, a developer talking about the success of the closed beta and the date of an open beta.

Siege and Wildlands Update

Wildlands

This should be quick as they will only talk about new characters, missions, maps or another season pass.

Aisha Tyler Back

Aisha Tyler Ubisoft

Loved by some, hated by others, Aisha Tyler as host of Ubisoft’s conference became a staple of E3. Last year she wasn’t a part of it but we could see a comeback this year.

E3 Expectations: Square Enix

After skipping last year’s E3, Square Enix is about to come back with the expectation of a deeper look at their games. This year they come with some eagerly awaited sequels and the possibility of some very interesting announcements.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

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The final chapter of the trilogy, Shadow of the Tomb Raider will end the story of how Lara Croft became the Tomb Raider. Apparently focused on how Lara’s choices impact her and those around her, it is one of the most anticipated games of the year. At the conference, we should see a larger gameplay demo focusing on the world and the innovations brought to the series.

Kingdom Hearts III

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5 years after being announced, and more than 13 years after the release of Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts III will be released in January 2019. Combining various Disney properties such as Toy Story, Frozen, Wreck-it Ralph, this Square Enix’s RPG will represent a new opportunity for the franchise. There should be a gameplay demo highlighting many worlds and the more action-oriented combat.

Just Cause 4

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A surprise announcement since Just Cause 3 wasn’t a huge success, Just Cause 4 comes to consoles in December. The story appears to be a little bit more serious, something unusual for the series and hurricanes should bring a new element to gameplay. Speaking of gameplay, we should see one to show what’s new in this unique franchise.

Avengers Project

Avengers

One of the titles that are part of a partnership between Square Enix and Marvel, The Avengers Project was revealed last year. This year we should find out more about the project, the genre, the name and possibly a release window. What better stage to introduce such a high profile project than at E3, probably with a trailer.

Life is Strange: The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit

Adventures of Captain Spirit

Another story in the Life is Strange universe was announced at Xbox’s conference. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit marks the return of Dontnod to the franchise and should work as an appetizer for the second season. It will be free and will come out on the 26th of June. I hope there will be a teaser for Life is Strange 2.

Left Alive

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Announced at TGS last year, Left Alive was supposed to come out in 2018 but since the reveal trailer we haven’t had anything new coming out about the project. Part of the Front Mission universe, the shooter could make a comeback at Square’s conference with a new trailer and release date, probably coming out in 2019.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

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After going through development problems, to the point Square took the control of the project back, I believe Final Fantasy VII Remake will make an appearance after being under the radar for a while. Nothing major, I think they’ll show gameplay just to try to ease fans, however, I don’t think we’ll have a release date.

Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler

A game that became known for its unusual name, Octopath Traveler has gained a lot of attention for its beautiful art style and interesting characters. Since it’s coming out in about a month we should expect a trailer.

Dragon Quest XI

Dragon Quest 11

The same goes for Dragon Quest XI, we should see a trailer as we’ve already seen gameplay. It will come out to the West in July and it shouldn’t take that much time in the presentation.

 

E3 Expectations: Bethesda

Coming from an interesting conference last year that felt more like a Nintendo Direct than an average presentation, Bethesda comes to E3 once again but this time with the feeling that we know everything we’ll see. Rage 2 and Fallout 76 have already been announced and it doesn’t appear they will have much more to show. But Pete Hine has promised that we’ll see more than one unannounced projects.

Fallout 76

Fallout 76

An announcement that took everyone by surprise, Fallout 76 is still shrouded in mystery, as not many details about the project have surfaced. According to reports, it will stray from the common Fallout formula. Apparently, it will be an online game like Dust but still focused on singleplayer missions. We’ll probably see a gameplay demo looking to explain how it will work and how it will differ from Fallout 4.

Rage 2

Rage2

Coming completely out of the right field, Rage 2 was leaked and since officially announced. A sequel to a game that wasn’t particularly beloved or revered, Rage 2 took everyone by surprise, especially because of how different it looks compared to the original Rage.

Gone the grey art style of the original, here comes this colorful punk visual, focused on a frenetic action filled with explosions. The partnership with Avalanche Studios looks like the right choice as they’re known for creating exciting action games given their history creating the Just Cause series. We should see some extended gameplay.

Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset

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Released earlier this month, the Summerset expansion of Elder Scrolls online shouldn’t take much time. There will probably be a trailer highlighting positive reviews, talking about how successful it’s been and that must be it.

Another Mobile Game

Fallout

It has been a while since Fallout Shelter came out and it was quite successful so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Bethesda announced another mobile game. This time I’d guess it will take place in the Elder Scrolls world.

New Elder Scrolls

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Almost 7 years ago Skyrim came out and took the franchise to a whole new level, becoming one of the most successful RPG’s ever, being released on every possible platform. It’s been 3 years since Fallout 4 was announced and Todd Howard’s team hasn’t revealed any new games. According to Pete Hines, the team has been working on several projects and even though he said it wouldn’t come out in the near future, a new Elder Scrolls could be announced at the conference.

New Todd Howard Project

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Speaking of Todd Howard and his several projects, one of them could be announced as one of the other surprises that were promised. There’s no idea of what the projects are about but given their pedigree, we can expect a quality game. A teaser or even a gameplay demo could be on stage.

Prey DLC

Prey

This has been hinted for months now. Prey wasn’t the game that many expected but it does have a fanbase craving for more content. We should expect something similar to the scope of Death of the Outsider, that came to Dishonored 2. At E3 they could bring the title again to the spotlight by showing something new, most probably a trailer.

 

 

E3 Expectations: Microsoft

Coming from a lackluster presentation last year that had a lot of games, but not very meaningful exclusives, Microsoft hopes to show to the industry that they are working on their first-party library. According to rumors, Microsoft might have some tricks up their sleeves, and we can hope to see a few exciting announcements.

Halo 6

Halo 5

It’s been almost 3 years since the release of Halo 5: Guardians and it appears to be the perfect time to announce the next iteration of Microsoft’s flagship franchise. The third main title of the series released by 343 Industries is surrounded by mystery and some uncertainty.

While Halo 5’s multiplayer was one of the best in the series, the campaign left a lot to be desired, something that really felt out of character in a franchise revered by its rich story. The silence surrounding Halo 6 has been very interesting, as there’s no idea on which approach Microsoft will take or if it will work as a reboot or as a sequel.

On Sunday we will find out what the future of the franchise holds. I would guess we will at least see a teaser trailer, but that will mean it won’t come out this year, if it comes out in 2018 I’d say that the conference will begin with a trailer and end with a gameplay.

Gears of War Spin-off

Gears

There are many talks about a Gears of War 5 announcement, but it seems too early to start talking about it, Gears 4 was released less than 2 years ago. Announcing a spin-off, however, could work extremely well, as Microsoft did with the Forza series, that grew with the release of the Horizon sub-series.

It could expand the franchise, avoid fatigue in the series and provide more time for The Coalition to work on the main titles. For a while has been rumored a survival horror game in the world of Gears, and it could become Microsoft’s main Fall product. I’d guess we’ll see a gameplay and it will come out in November.

Forza Horizon 4

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This is the safest bet in the entire conference since Forza became an annual franchise. The surprising fact about it was that the Horizon series surpassed the Motorsport series both critically and commercially. Given the huge success of Horizon 3, we can expect for Horizon 4 to be even bigger and hopefully better.

There are rumors regarding a Japanese or English setting, with Japan appearing as a clear preference from fans. We can expect an extended gameplay and a possible September release date.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the will of the wisps

After Ori and the Blind Forest’s critical and commercial success, its sequel was announced in last year’s conference with a beautiful trailer. We’ll probably see another trailer and a release date, I’d say in August so it won’t be buried by bigger releases in September. It could be released as part of Microsoft’s Fall schedule, but it doesn’t have the size to compete with AAA titles.

Crackdown 3

Crackdown 3

After another delay, Crackdown 3 will have a defining moment at E3. A franchise that isn’t big enough to create hype on its own, it will need to have an exciting showing to regain some traction, generate expectation around the project. We should see an extended gameplay with some major improvements and a bigger focus on Terry Crews’ character.

The Last Night

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The most interesting game from last year’s conference, The Last Night is due to appear again, and we should see another trailer and finally a release date. I think it will either come out in this Summer or Earlier 2019.

Below

Below

Announced in 2013, Below has been through a rocky development, to the point it was delayed indefinitely in 2016. But it has resurged this year and we will probably get a release date on it. Given how long the game has been talked about, I think it might be available after the conference, or in July.

Ashen

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Revealed in 2015, Ashen is another indie exclusive with a long development cycle. Its unique design style and Souls-like battle system have garnered a lot of interest. Due to its slated 2018 release date, I believe it will come out in early August or early September.

Studio Gobo’s Exclusive

Studio Gobo

A partnership that was announced a while ago still remains a mystery, as we know absolutely nothing about it. If we look at their background, they mainly worked on the Disney Infinity series, but also in For Honor and F1 2012. If I had to guess, I’d say that they are working on a new Banjo game, possibly Conker, given their history.

Bohemia Interactive’s Project

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Hinted by a tweet from the composer of the project, we might have a reveal on Sunday. Their project should be another exclusive and a shooter based on the studio’s history. It already has a tagline “What if Humanity Falls” and the studio has retweeted an Xbox tweet talking about Inside Xbox on Monday, almost confirming the announcement.

Cyberpunk 2077

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One of the most awaited games of the last few years, CD Projekt Red’s next major RPG is expected to make its debut on this E3. Since they have a past with Microsoft, it will probably appear on their stage. The fact that they can show it on the X gives it more credence, as it would make sense to show it running on the most powerful console available. It will probably have a huge gameplay demo and it should come out in 2019.

Splinter Cell

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A rumor that has been going on for years but that this year appears to finally turn into a reality. The fact that Sam Fisher made an appearance on Ghost Recon: Wildlands and Michael Ironside’s interview at Inside Xbox where he hinted about a possible new title seems to corroborate the idea of an announcement.

All of that converging on a possible sequel and his return to the character for good. Given the series history on Xbox consoles, it would make sense if the title debuted on Microsoft’s stage. Not necessarily a gameplay, but at least a teaser trailer, with a gameplay demo on Ubisoft’s stage.

Anthem

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Having its gameplay debut on Microsoft’s stage last year, it is expected that Anthem will make another appearance. Maybe with a trailer focused on the story, but another gameplay would be welcomed, even though they might not want another huge sci-fi title on stage. The announcement of a beta exclusive to the console could also happen.

Kingdom Hearts III

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This may be a long shot, but since it’s the first title to come to the Xbox consoles, it would be interesting to see a trailer or a gameplay on Microsoft’s conference. If it happens I believe they would also announce the release of all the remakes to the Xbox One.

Sea of Thieves

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Their main bet in the first semester, Sea of Thieves had a successful release but was heavily criticized by its lack of content. I think they will release a trailer talking about future DLC for the game, highlighting the expansions that have been announced and their expected release timetable.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

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The sequel to Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow won’t be an exclusive as the previous title of the series was, but I believe it will make an appearance on Microsoft’s stage. It will probably be its gameplay debut, highlighting the changes on the gameplay side and the stunning graphics.

New Studios

Playground Games

They will probably use some time to address their first-party woes, and I think they’ll bring Matt Booty to talk about investments on new studios. Playground’s purchase should be announced and the opening of new ones.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

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After Assassin’s Creed Origins’ incredible success last year, a new entry in the series wasn’t expected. However, Ubisoft surprised us with Odyssey, that will take us into ancient Greece, and if rumors are correct, will go even deeper on RPG mechanics. A gameplay demo should be expected and a release date, either Fall 2018 or early 2019.

Game Pass

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It should be a celebratory moment, talking about how successful it has been and the overwhelming reception. New games should be announced, especially their first-party games. Forza Motorsport 7, Horizon 3, Cuphead and other should come to the service this year.

My crazy guess is that they will announce that AAA third-party titles will be available on release. If I had to guess I’d say Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Splinter Cell will be the first titles to adhere to that.

Changes to Xbox Live Subscription

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The backbone of the Xbox division, Xbox Live Gold has been supporting the console and has been working as a great subscription service. But I believe that they will announce an evolution of the service, that they will create a premium option combining it with Game Pass. You will be able to access both services for a single price, it makes sense as Microsoft looks into converging their products and focus on becoming a service led company.

Battlefield V

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Their partnership with the Battlefield franchise has been very successful and it should receive a special attention. We should see an extended gameplay demo of the campaign and they should mention the fact that all DLC will come first to Xbox consoles.

ID @ Xbox

ID @ Xbox

Some titles of the program may appear on stage with quick gameplay demos, and I believe we’ll see a trailer that will focus on some of the best titles to come.

Japanese Titles

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Like last year, new Japanese titles should take the stage in order to confirm their focus on the Japanese market. I think the release of Nier Automata and Nioh will be announced.

Avengers Game

Avengers

Announced earlier last year, Crystal Dynamics’ Avengers title has been radio silent in the past year. This would be an interesting time to finally show it to the world, especially because Square Enix will have a conference this year. I would only expect a teaser, a gameplay demo would be little unlikely, but I hope I’m wrong.

Rocksteady

Rocksteady

Heavily rumored as a Superman game, Rocksteady’s new title has been greatly anticipated since the release of Batman Arkham Knight. I believe it should appear on Microsoft’s stage given Sony’s exclusive Spider-Man game. I don’t think Sony would want for another hero game to steal Spider-Man’s thunder. A gameplay demo and a release date in 2019 should be expected.

Project Dark

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This sounds more like wishful thinking, but this has been a rumor for the past few years and it would be a lovely surprise. It’s a franchise that would work really well on current consoles, with a modern gameplay. I don’t think it’s being worked by Coalition but I think they are assisting on the project if it’s real.

Banjo-Kazooie Anniversary

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It’s been 20 years since the release of the original Banjo-Kazooie and it would be a great time to release a remaster all of the titles. It could also work as a way to hype the release of a new entry in the franchise.

Features

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A part of the show that should be boring but that has brought some great news in the past few years. This year I think it won’t be as explosive as backward compatibility but I think mouse and keyboard compatibility, avatars, wishlist and a refund policy will come to the console this year.

 

E3 Expectations: EA

Another E3 has come around and that brings many expectations and many leaks, as we apparently know the vast majority of games that will be shown. However, some surprises are bound to happen, with some conferences shrouded in mystery, such as Microsoft’s. Let’s begin talking about EA, that will kick things off once again, and even though it didn’t look that exciting at first, some possibilities arose that could be very interesting.

Anthem

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Their biggest bet in the last few years, Anthem is their new IP that represents their entry in the Game as a Service market. Bioware helms the project with the comeback of Casey Hudson to the studio and in spite of the rich background they have, many doubts circle the project.

Questions about Bioware’s ability to create enough content to keep the game alive, if they will successfully combine a significant story, create an exciting world, and bring great mechanics to a mainly multiplayer experience. Something that neither Destiny nor The Division managed to do.

Andromeda’s failure also created uncertainty about the studios’ current state, as stories regarding its troubled development surfaced as well as about what could happen if Anthem fails, given EA’s track record of closing studios. We can expect to see a trailer at EA’s conference and a large gameplay chunk at Microsoft’s.

Battlefield V

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Not many surprises should happen here, as Battlefield’s return to WWII after many years looks great. We might see a little bit of the campaign, but we’ll probably see more of the multiplayer, that like Battlefront last year, will probably have a live match after the conference. We should see some new mechanics in action. The most unexpected thing that could be announced would be a battle royale mode.

Sports

 

As it always happens, there will be a section of the show dedicated to sports. We should hear about new mechanics, more ultimate team, and story modes. Alex Hunter should make a comeback in FIFA 19, Devin Wade and Colt Cruise will start their career in Madden NFL 19 and NBA Live should see an improvement after a good iteration.

Respawn’s Star Wars

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After Battlefront II’s debacle, some good publicity around EA’s partnership with Star Wars would be welcomed and the announcement of Respawn’s Star Wars would absolutely help. Directed by Stig Asmussen, that directed God of War III, the project has been in development for quite some time and should be about time to announce it to the world.

There aren’t many details about the game, as it remains a secret. No details if it will be single or multiplayer focused, but on Saturday that should change, as hinted by Vince Zampella, head of the studio, on Twitter.

Skate 4 or Reboot?

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This long-requested comeback might actually happen this year, given some strange coincidences that occurred recently. The servers, that have long been dormant, were switched on in the week of E3. Maybe it’s nothing, but the company has been in need of good publicity and announcing the return of a beloved franchise wouldn’t hurt them.

Unravel 2

Unravel

The first title of the EA Originals initiative, Unravel was a great debut for the program and as we know a sequel has been in production for more than 2 years now. We could expect a teaser trailer, maybe even some gameplay.

EA Access

EA Access

EA Access has proved to be a successful endeavor of EA, but since the launch of Game Pass, it feels like it needs to go through some changes and improvements. Need for Speed Payback and FIFA 18 both appear to have been released on the vault, but we should expect for the announcements on Saturday and more on what’s to come, such as backward compatible titles and dates for other releases.

Dragon Age and Motive’s title

These are long shots, but there’s always the possibility that it could happen, probably as teaser trailers. Since Dragon Age Inquisition we haven’t heard a lot about the future of the franchise, even though having 2 projects of the same studio in the same conference wouldn’t make a lot of sense, a teaser could serve to entice fans. When it comes to Motive, we only know that they developed Battlefront 2’s campaign, but not much about their project. It probably won’t appear as it risks overshadowing Anthem, but we might hear something about it.