Lockdowning the E3 prediction game

It's that most magical time of the year. No, it's not your bimonthly call from your STD doctor giving you an all-clear. No, it's not the birthday you'll spend alone smashing discounted storebought cake into your mouth because it's the only thing left that gives you feeling on a day that means absolutely nothing to you anymore. No, it's not new underwear day, although hey, it could be both - treat yourself. Personally, I rock Fruit of the Loom Big Man Premium boxer briefs, the Cadlilac of swaddling asses.

It's something far more spectacular, magnificent, splendiferous than that. It's E3 in a week, mothafuckas!

DJ! Play me some sweet jams to set the mood! Somethin' rockin, somethin' kickass! Play me that goddamn George Michaels shit Gerry Rafferty business because Deadpool already did the George Michaels joke!

PREDICTIONS!

I have 'em. You have 'em. Let's talk 'em.

First, Giant Bomb E3 hero of folklore and myth @marino has made a super handy Google Doc showing you - yes, you - what times you can expect all the E3 conferences big and small, no matter what time zone you live in. How he comes up with this voodoo, I have no clue. I suspect he spends the months up to E3 bathing in the blood of ritualistically slaughtered chupacabras as the beginnings to some sort of spell, but that has not been confirmed at this time. Check out his swelling, pleasing, so-big-you-won't-be-able-to-comprehend it document here and come away one satisfied customer. I know I did. Rowr.

EA

EA's taken some of the fun out of their conference by announcing their scheduled lineup. That sounds boring on paper, but think about it this way, fellow Americans - no more tearing our nose hair out of sheer boredom when soccer, arguably the world's worst sport behind baby lawn darts, is discussed. Here's their schedule.

In any case, nothing here seems too surprising. With them making some power moves with the Sims lately, that seems like it has the most potential to see a major announcement during the stream, but I doubt we're likely to see a new Sims game. I think they're getting out ahead for a reason, and we're very likely to see EA stay strictly to this lineup.

Microsoft

Microsoft announced fourteen exclusives would be showing up at their conference this year. That's a big coup, especially since Playstation's fucking off and not doing an ill-advised fifty-eight theater walking tour for ten minute promos of its upcoming games. Seriously, Sony, making video games people walk? What the fuckity fuck?

This is, in my mind, the conference to watch. I'm going to guess Microsoft casually announces the working name of Xbox Deuce Point Five or whatever numbering convention thye've randomly picked this time, but doesn't show the hardware. I'm also going to guess that with their continued push towards backwards-compatibility across multiple systems, all games announced will be available for both the current Xbox One and its successor the Xbox 6969YOLO420BlazIt.

Please, Phil Spencer, make a Sparky's dream come true and name your machine that.

Right. Games! Fable 4. That's it. That's all they have to announce. And it'd better be a goddamn proper Fable game, or... or... or... I won't really care. Seriously, there was one great game, one good one, and those happened so long ago all I can rally remember fondly is the cool waypointing system. But this is, potentially, the next Xbox's selling point. It would be a huge tentpole for them this year with no Sony conference and most everyone else in a holding pattern until the new consoles.

We're going to see something from Halo Infinite, but I doubt it's still more than a tease. It seems like Halo Everything on PC will be the focus for the franchise, and that's perfectly great. Reach was awesome, and I will still continue to brag I'm the world's best Warthog driver when there is absolutely no empirical evidence to suggest I'm even the 1,000,000 best. That's 'millionth" to those of you who passed third grade math so your principal could afford a brand new leather chair on which he is very definitely not sitting and looking at fucked-up porn while talking to your mother about your bad behavior.

We're also likely to see some Outer Worlds DLC exclusivity and maybe a tease of whatever inXile and Obsidian have coming down the pipe. Outer Worlds will continue to give me hazy, pleasant feelings in my mental underpants.

Gears will make an obvious appearance. There will probably be overly muscled bros and brosettes broing. Wow, wild prediction.

What else, what else? Indies. Indies are a hugely safe bet for exclusives. Geometry Wars, maybe. A Playdead platformer experience. I'm gonna throw out a wild card and say Stardew Valley 2. That'd be a cool announcement.

Bethesda

Bethesda will be, first and foremost, focused on disposing of its shit-stained sheets. I thought they might gloss over Fallout 76, but they just had Todd Howard out in the wild saying gamers who play it now would be pleasantly surprised. Unless they turned Fallout 76 into a unicorn and rainbow simulator, I really don't think he's on the mark with this statement, and it feels like a pre-emptory probe to set up a DLC announcement. Fuuuuuuck. That said, though, I fully expect them to say on stage there will be another traditional Fallout game in the future and to stay tuned, because no one likes having to sleep in poo-crusted beds.

Doom Eternal and Youngblood will continue to be things. I like those franchises well enough but can't really get too excited over what are likely asset regurgitations for a bit of quick cash before the new cycle of consoles. That said, I genuinely hope they're spectacular. Hell, I hope every game ever is spectacular, for that matter.

Starfield should be the highlight of their conference, with at least an explanation of what it is, if not a major demo. I think the time is right for them to launch a new RPG in 2020, something probably early on PCs with a new console launch whenever those happen and the house of Howard is confident they won't break the machines ala Playstation 3.

Will there be anything else? Blades, probably. A new Fallout Shelter seemed likely last year, but now I gott imagine they're gun shy about the franchise.

Devolver Digital

Chaos. They will bring chaos.

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There will be sponsors, and sponsors, and sponsors, and oh yeah, I think this is where THQ Nordic has said they have two unannounced games, and I wouldn't be surprised if they dropped a third. What these are, I'm not sure, but they've been out saying Dead Island 2 is still alive and I will hold to my tiny sliver of hope (not a euphemism, though it is accurate) one of the games is that. I want to hope the other is a new Saints Row, because I haven't joined the elite and thumb my nose at 3 while drinking my mimosas out of a proper wine glass and not a poorly washed out jug. Wildcard third game? Timesplitters.

I'm also thinking we see some smaller indie projects announced here, which is probably a given. I'm just not too sure as to what we'll see, actually. That new Undertale thing? Maybe that's leading to a new game announcement. Oh, right, we might see that Baldur's Gate announcement here too. That would be rad. This is also where I'm betting we'll see the next DLC character for Mortal Kombat get announced.

Ubisoft

It seems like Ubi's getting out and announcing stuff ahead of time, which leads me to wonder what they'll actually announce that's new. Watch Dogs 3 would be awesome and seems like a no-brainer given that Assassins Creed is taking the year off. I'm betting we also have a big, bombastic dance game, because that was a terrific way to open that show last year. Honestly, I almost wish Ubi opened the conferences, because that would set the mood the entire week.

I don't know. Of all these companies, I like Ubisoft more and more. Odyssey was awesome. I'm really looking forward to whatever Division 2 holds for me (and we're probably going to see some DLC for that announced). I just want some good ol' Ubi enthusiasm. New games or not, just make me happy, Ubisoft. You seem really good at that.

Kinda Funny

Greg will bathe in wing sauce. Oh, that's not an E3 prediction. Tha'ts just going to happen.

Square Enix

Hmm. Square's hard to read anymore because whatever seems to be the smart move for them, they obstinately choose to run in the opposite direction until they crack their head on a slow-moving bus. We'll probably see some FFVII Remake gameplay (ugh), that Avengers RPG will likely be loaded with lootboxes and moneymaking schemes (double up, ugh ugh), and I very much hope we see another new RPG from them. Dying Light 2 is scheduled to be published by them so I suspect it will consume a big chunk of their conference (hooray!).

I'm going to make one wild-card prediction here and say that Square partners with Nintendo to drop a new Final Fantasy Tactics Advance on Switch. Now seems like a great time for one of those. Then again, it's Square, so if they did announce it, it'll probably be a DOTA-inspired action game instead of a traditional tactics RPG.

Nintendo

Nintendo could go in a lot of different directions here, but I think they'll keep the major announcements to a minimum and instead focus on what they've already announced. I gotta imagine Mario Maker, Ultimate Alliance 3, and Fire Emblem will dominate it. There will also probably be a large focus on indie games, but I doubt we're going to see anything major be announced as far as, say, SNES ports. Of all the predictions on here I've made, that's the one I'd love to be proven wrong on most.

And that's it! What are your predictions? Got any pie-in-the-sky wished-for games coming out of E3? Anything you want to see more of that's already been announced? Hit me up, and prepare your body, your mind, and your soul for a lockdown.

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