We’re back with the latest edition of “E3 Predictions”, this time going into detail on video game publisher Bethesda. If you missed it, we’ve also gone into detail on what Google and Microsoft’s strategies could be.
Bethesda finds themselves in the most precarious position of all the companies doing a conference. Nintendo, Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Square-Enix need only bring the games. But Bethesda? They have to run an apology tour. Fallout 76 released to negative critical reviews and fan reception, somehow possessing all of the flaws of the usual Bethesda games but with little of what made people love their older games. They’ll have to explain their plans going forward: will they abandon the game, or will they continue to work on the title, and find a way to bring back people who were turned off by the original half-hearted launch?
Probably even more concerning is they’ll have to answer that question without any of their darling games to fall back on. They’ve already confirmed Starfield isn’t coming, which makes sense. Even relying on their “one game every three years” schedule they’ve kept up lately, that game is still another two years away from completion. And that’s assuming they won’t be pushing that release back further so no 76-like accidents pop up. They’ll also have no Elder Scrolls VI to confirm, as if they aren’t ready to talk about Starfield, they sure aren’t ready to discuss what comes after that.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood: They went into detail with this game earlier in the year, but expect this to be the place where we get an extended look at the gameplay and a better grasp of our two protagonists. There’s also a small chance they’ll hint at Wolfenstein 3, but don’t count on it. Bethesda prefers keeping things close to the chest, and only announcing things which are due out in the next 12 months before the next E3. What’s more likely is we see them explain more about the Wolfenstein VR experience, Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, which is due out the month after E3 in July.
Elder Scrolls: Blades: While The Elder Scrolls VI won’t be here, it’s likely Bethesda will go into detail on what’s next for their mobile title, Elder Scrolls Blades. Mobile titles need to constantly grow and expand to begin with, and Blades has gotten off to a rocky start after being received fairly well when it was first announced last year.
Quake Champions: Quake Champions has made an appearance at Bethesda’s last E3 and the one two years ago. Since 2018 though, they announced the game would be going Free 2 Play and supporting itself via a Battle Pass. While it isn’t able to come to consoles due to “hardware limitations”, it’s a good time to point out that Bethesda was one of the only games mentioned during Google’s Stadia press conference. Confirming the game has been reworked to support the streaming console would be a pretty strong show of support from the publisher for Google’s experimental console. And if nothing else, they should be ready to show the next phase of what they want Quake Champions to be.
Doom Eternal: Intended to take Doom to the next level, this title sees players return to Earth, discovering that demons have made their way there, leaving them forced to push them back and off their world. The game is supposed to be bigger in every way from the last title–bigger levels, more enemies, and more weapons. They’ve also added an asymmetrical multiplayer mode known as “Invasion”, where other players can enter your campaign as demons. This seems to be a particularly ambitious incarnation of the franchise, especially since Doom Eternal is also meant to be apart of Goo gle Stadia’s platform. Presumably this will finally give people looking for visceral first-person action the release date they’ve been waiting on.
Other Notes: Arkane Studios has been silent for a while now, and while Dishonored is off the table and Prey is still doing DLC, that means there’s a chance we’ll see one of their other, newer projects. At least one of them is next-gen however, so they might hold off until next year.
While we’re at it, Shinji Mikami and Tango Gameworks have been quiet for quite some time now. In 2017 that meant a surprise reveal for The Evil Within 2. While there hasn’t been any scuttlebutt pointing towards an Evil Within 3, that doesn’t rule out a sequel…or a new IP.
This is a surprisingly short list of games, but Bethesda’s shows have never been especially long, unless they decide to put on an impromptu rock concert. Ultimately, expect their conference to run in the range of 30-40 minutes and be kept kinda tight. Not every publisher exists to drench gamers in new titles, and honestly Bethesda might just be on to something by using the time where everyone’s eyes are on one event to update their fans on new projects.