What Should We Expect To See At Bethesda’s E3 Conference?: An Analysis

In an interview following last years Bethesda press conference, Bethesda’s own Pete Hines was asked by Polygon editors whether or not they would have an E3 conference next year. His answer was vague and inconclusive, and suspended fan’s fears that the presser would only be done to be a one stop shop for Fallout 4, “I don’t know sitting here today, what next E3 looks like. If it’s a good idea, and we think we have enough to talk about and show, we will. If not, I’m happy to go back to a booth.”

Yet on February 1st 2016, Bethesda announced they would do yet another E3 conference, 7PM on June 12th more specifically. While it doesn’t come as a shock considering the success of the last one, (Bethesda’s E3 Conference was the most viewed and talked about show of that week, partly due to Fallout 4) many questions still remain. By the time the conference premieres, one of Bethesda’s two flagship titles (DOOM) will have already been released, and we highly suspect that Fallout 4 DLC and a Dishonored 2 gameplay reveal wouldn’t be enough to carry a whole conference. With that in mind, I’ll be analyzing what we should expect to see, and what are the far shots.

We’ve also sorted the list into three categories, Likely, Somewhat Likely, and Unlikely, based off of sources and probable speculation.

Likely:

Fallout 4 Console Mod Support, Re-Release and DLC:

Chance of Arriving:100/100

Expected Run-Time: 10 minutes

Reasoning: The only time Bethesda didn’t elaborate fully after promising DLC was due to poor sales of 2011’s Rage, something Fallout 4 successfully avoided by a clear margin. However, with all the DLC being completely out at that point in time, it’s possible Bethesda will announce that they’ll bundle it in a Game of The Year package, like what they did with Dishonored. Bethesda has treated their fans particularly well over the years with Vinyl Soundtracks and packages containing all Fallout games, so this move wouldn’t exactly come out of nowhere.

Another probable announcement is mod support for consoles. Bethesda Game Studio’s own Todd Howard stated it would be available in 2016, and with Bethesda getting themselves in the limelight of all gamers, then would be the perfect time to announce it.

Dishonored 2

Chance of Arriving:100/100

Expected Runtime: 20 minutes

Reasoning: With Dishonored 2 having gone silent for more than six months, it’s reasonable to think that it will be another one of Bethesda’s attempts at polish, to get it ready for the big show. Last years lengthy DOOM gameplay reel made quite a stir last year, something that wouldn’t have been as effective if cut brief. Bethesda has noticed how much their lineup and conferences are concerned over quality vs quantity, so we should expect this to be one of the heavy hitters.

Fallout Shelter DLC/Updates:

Chance of Arriving: 90/100

Expected Runtime: 5–10 mins

Reasoning: Long before release, Fallout 4 was expected to be a critical and commercial darling. Fallout Shelter didn’t have the same kind of goodwill, until it went head to head with it’s peers at last years presser. Now it’s the most played Fallout game of all time, (attracting die-hard and casual fans), and with Bethesda recently opening a Montreal studio to focus more on mobile endeavors, we would be surprised to not see them go all out.

Elder Scrolls Legends

Chance of Arriving: 80/100

Expected Runtime: 10–15 minutes

Reasoning: Much like Dishonored 2, this will be one of the more practicable reveals to expect at the show. It will be interesting to see if the reason for the game’s last-minute 2016 delay will be subtlety hinted at, and also to find out if it will be as successful as Hearthstone, or fumble like Elder Scrolls: Online. Either way, we’re eager to await the result.

Doom DLC

Chance of Arriving: 80/100

Expected Runtime: 10 minutes

Reasoning: We expect Bethesda to put a big emphasis on DLC and post-release content at this years presser, and DOOM is no exception. Others may be skeptical due to a quick turnaround, but there’s a multitude of things they could show. These include multiplayer maps, single-player content, and new level editor (Snap-Map) features, and the overwhelming variety makes it all the more destined.

Elder Scrolls Online DLC

Chance of Arriving: 70/100

Expected Runtime: 5 mins

Reasoning: Let’s face it. No matter how big of a fan you are of The Elder Scrolls Online, it’s showing at last years event was essentially filler to draw to an epic Fallout 4 climax. We expect Bethesda to execute this in a similarly composed way, as the saturation of two Elder Scrolls spin-off titles is definitely unwanted for fans.

Wolfenstein 2

Chance of Arriving: 70/100

Expected Runtime: 5- 10 mins

Reasoning: With a voice actor interview giving away Wolfenstein 2’s existence and release window, we’re intrigued to see how the series will continue after a polarizing ending, but we’re more curious to see how it will be presented and shown. A gameplay trailer would seem too early, but a simple CG snippet would be too bland. Yet, Machine Games did take a year to announce their last Wolfenstein, so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

Some Form of A Remaster:

Chance of Arriving: 70/100

Expected Runtime: 5–10 mins

Reasoning: On a H.A.M Radio Show by Bethesda Youtuber MrMattyPlays, insider guest Shinobi602 was certain that there would be some sort of remaster at the show. And with Eurogamer later confirming that this would be Skyrim, it seems pretty likely, as both have reliable track records.

Somewhat Likely:

Quake Reboot:

Chance of Arriving:60/100

Expected Run-Time: minutes

Reasoning: We’re totally on board for a new Quake, but it seems a bit too early to be announcing the project off the heels of Doom. If Id Software has upsized a bit however, this has a much higher possibility of appearing at the show’s stage.

Tango Gameworks Next Project/ The Evil Within 2

(Unofficial Box-Art)

Chance of Arriving: 60/100

Expected Runtime: 5–10 mins

Reasoning: If Bethesda followed corresponding suit to last year, we shouldn’t be expecting a Tango GameWorks announcement as much as we would believe. There also could have been a stall in game production with the switch to a more modern and fluid, iDTech6, but their new website update makes it seems like Tango may be in the right place after all.

Plus, The Evil Within was the best selling debut of a survival horror game until Dying Light, so don’t expect Bethesda to go softly into this new foray.

Unlikely:

Bethesda Game Studios New Project/ Elder Scrolls 6

(Unofficial Art)

Chance of Arriving:40/100

Expected Runtime: 5- 10 mins

Reasoning: With Todd Howard revealing that Bethesda Game Studios has three brand new projects in the works, we expect that one of them will get some sort of formal tease. This is because Bethesda Game Studios is getting sufficiently bigger after the commercial triumphs of Fallout 4, and moving all mobile game tasks into a new office allows them to carry a bigger workload. Even if it is presumable that Bethesda is deep into pre-production on all of these titles, they could still grasp more hype by mentioning their next project, but not directly namedropping it. (Similar to what Rocksteady did whilst announcing Batman: Arkham City)

Prey 2/ Arkane Studios France Next Project

Chance of Arriving: 40/100

Expected Runtime: 10–15 mins

Reasoning: The infamous journalists over at Kotaku (or more specifically Jason Schrier) have been 100% right about any Bethesda concerned leaks over the past half-decade, with one of them detailing the specifics of Prey 2’s resurrection. Although Bethesda Marketing VP did call the game cancelled at last year’s PAX, Kotaku’s track record is too good that we can’t let this one go. (Especially with all the leaked emails they showed)

And, with Dishonored 2 already in production by another Arkane studio, it would be too wasteful to get sidetracked on an expansion pack this early!

Zenimax Online Next Project/ Starfield

Chance of Arriving:40/100

Expected Runtime: 15–20 mins

Reasoning: According to a trademark application filed a year and a half back, Zenimax has some sort of project in the works titles Starfield. With The Elder Scrolls Online fizzling out in popularity over the years, a new space centered MMO could bring many intrigued players back. The only negative to this is that Bethesda would be competing with Star Citizen, but we’ve seen the company craft their own niche before.

Battlecry/Battlecry Studios Next Project

Chance of Arriving: 30/100

Expected Runtime: 10 mins

Reasoning: For all the potential Battlecry, we’re sad to hear that it’s likely cancelled. Bethesda has been supposedly evaluating the quality of the project for about six months, which would leave little wiggle room for an appearance if they decided to change their mind. Plus, the game has seen middling preview reception and coverage when compared to other AAA giants like Battleborn and Overwatch. With Bethesda having invested so much into the game already (they even made their own studio for the damn thing), we wouldn’t be surprised to see contract work take it’s place.

Conclusion:

Bethesda has quite a heftly lineup going into their upcoming E3 show. Although it’s not as big as the blowout last year, we still think that there is a lot to look forward to. Bethesda is always a company that tends to nail surprises, so expect to see one or two longshots in the mix, as well as the rest of the fray.

For more analysis articles and features like this one, please check out The Cube on Medium.com, or our twitter account @TheCubeMedium

Info was sourced from Polygon, Gameranx, Engadget, TechInsider, Kotaku, Gamespot, TechnoBuffalo, and CinemaBlend

(For more information on subsequent research and sources, please read below)

Sources:

  1. Mcelroy, Justin, and Griffon Mcelroy. “Polygon Live: Bethesda | Polygon E3 2015.” Polygon. Vox Media, 12 June 2015. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. <http://www.polygon.com/a/e3-2015/polygon-live-bethesda>.
  2. Studios, Bethesda Game. “Bethesda.net.” Bethesda.net. Bethesda Softworks, 16 Feb. 2016. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. <https://bethesda.net/#en/events/game/fallout-4-add-ons-automatron-wasteland-workshop-far-harbor-and-more/2016/02/16/77>.
  3. Green, Holly. “Bethesda Announces Special Edition Re-Release Of Fallout 3 Soundtrack On Vinyl.” Gameranx. Gameranx, 28 Oct. 2015. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. <http://gameranx.com/updates/id/31310/article/bethesda-announces-special-edition-re-release-of-fallout-3-soundtrack-on-vinyl/>.
  4. Steele, Billy. “Bethesda’s ‘Fallout Anthology’ Collection Comes in a Mini Nuke Case.” Engadget. AOL Tech, 23 Aug. 2015. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. <http://www.engadget.com/2015/07/23/fallout-anthology-pc-collection/>.
  5. Gilbert, Ben. “The Best Game of the Year Is Getting Even Better in 2016.”Tech Insider. MongoDB, 3 Dec. 2015. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. <http://www.techinsider.io/fallout-4-dlc-mod-support-details-2015-12>.
  6. Takahashi, Dean. “Fallout 4 Maker Bethesda Is Working on 3 New games.”VentureBeat. VentureBeat, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. <http://venturebeat.com/2016/02/18/after-fallout-4-bethesda-is-working-on-3-new-games/>.
  7. Nunnely, Stephany. “Fallout Shelter Is the “most Played Fallout” in the Series with 4 Billion Sessions.” VG247 Fallout Shelter Is the Most Played Fallout in the Series with 4 Billion Sessions Comments. VG247, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. <https://www.vg247.com/2016/02/18/fallout-shelter-is-the-most-played-fallout-in-the-series-with-4-billion-sessions/>.
  8. Schrier, Jason. “Five Years And Nothing To Show: How Doom 4 Got Off Track.” Kotaku. Gawker Media, 13 Apr. 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. <http://kotaku.com/five-years-and-nothing-to-show-how-doom-4-got-off-trac-468097062>.
  9. Makuch, Eddie. “Wolfenstein: The New Order 2 Teased By Voice Actress.”GameSpot. CBS Interactive Inc., 23 Sept. 2015. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. <http://www.gamespot.com/articles/wolfenstein-the-new-order-2-teased-by-voice-actres/1100-6430823/>.
  10. Mikami, Shinji. “Shinji Mikami Creating a Challenging Environment for Young Creators.” Shinji Mikami. Zenimax Media Japan, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. <http://www.tangogameworks.com/mikami>.
  11. Duwell, Ron. “The Evil Within Breaks Record For Sales in the Survival Horror Genre.” TechnoBuffalo. TechnoBuffalo LLC, 14 Nov. 2014. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. <http://www.technobuffalo.com/2014/11/14/the-evil-within-breaks-record-for-sales-in-the-survival-horror-genre/>.
  12. Haas, Pete. “Batman: Arkham Asylum 2 Premier Trailer | CINEMABLEND.”Batman: Arkham Asylum 2 Premier Trailer. Cinema Blend LLC, 12 Dec. 2009. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. <http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Batman-Arkham-Asylum-2-Premier-Trailer-21671.html>.
  13. Schrier, Jason. “Leaked E-mails Suggest Bethesda Misled Gamers About Prey 2.” Kotaku. Gawker Media, 15 Aug. 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. <http://kotaku.com/leaked-e-mails-suggest-bethesda-misled-gamers-about-pre-1149092622>.
  14. Makuch, Eddie. “Zenimax Entering Starfield?” GameSpot. CBS Interactive Inc., 1 Apr. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2016. <http://www.gamespot.com/articles/zenimax-entering-starfield/1100-6406229/>.
  15. Yin-Poole, Wesley. “Bethesda Has “concerns” about Battlecry.” Eurogamer. Dx.net, 8 Oct. 15. Web. 23 Feb. 2016. <http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-10-08-bethesda-has-concerns-about-battlecry>.
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