In just one month, the 2018 Electronics Entertainment Expo will be here, and we’ll be learning all about the games we can expect to play this year, next year, and far into the future because you know there will games that get announced and then vanish for 5 years. And with todays “leak” of some games that are likely to appear at E3, I wanted to take some time and go over what games I know will be there(Because they’ve been officially announced to be there already and/or are educated guesses.), and what games I hope will be at the show. So instead of spending 5 hours rambling, I’m just gonna dive into it, publisher by publisher(Note: I’m not going to cover EVERYONE, just the publishers that have scheduled press conferences.).
Because I’ll likely use videos where applicable, this article will be split up into a series so that you, the readers, won’t have to load a million large images and videos on a single page. As each article goes up, I will add the links right here so that you can jump around without digging too hard.
Going into 2018, Microsoft had very few first party exclusives on their release schedule. Sea of Thieves, one of their most highly anticipated titles in years, launched in March and was met with mixed reception. Some players enjoy, others found that there just wasn’t enough to keep them interested, and others felt that a lot of what they had been promised was missing. This month will see the release of State of Decay 2, a game with less hype behind it, but certainly shows more promise in having more than enough content to keep fans preoccupied for a while. And in the future we have... Crackdown 3, which my excitement for diminished considerably at last years showing. I’m more excited for Ori and the Will of the Wisps than I am for Crackdown. And while that may be all the games we know of that are definitely coming this year, there are other releases for this year that are being saved for an E3 reveal, and others still to fill out the years to come. Here are just a few:
1) Halo 6
Status: Unannounced, but teased for the past few years.
Release: TBA, likely Fall 2019
Hard to believe it, but its been nearly 3 years since the launch of Halo 5: Guardians. We know that 343 Industries has been hard at work on Halo 6 since then, however they’ve remained unusually quiet about the game going into 2018. Numbered Halo games have traditionally launched in 3 year cycles, meaning that this year would be the year. However, Halo games also traditionally have two E3's. One to announce the game, and a gameplay demo before launch the following year. Since the game was not unveiled at E3 last year, and because every Halo game going forward is supposed to have a beta far in advance of the game itself, it stands to reason that the game was quietly delayed into 2019, and 343 Industries themselves teased as much back in January when they talked about their plans for the year. So this E3 we’ll likely received the games teaser trailer which will reveal the full title and the announcement of a multiplayer beta for the end of the year.
2) Gears of War 5
Status: Unannounced, but we know it’s coming.
Release: TBA, likely Fall 2019
Gears of War is the Yin to Halo’s Yang. They’re Microsoft’s two top dogs, the two series it can rely on to sell and carry the Xbox. Gears of War 4 had two E3's, one for a reveal, the other before launch. It also had something close to a 3 year dev cycle, having started development at some point in 2014 and releasing in Fall 2016. And now, here we are a year and a half later, and if we assume that The Coalition will take the same amount of time to put together Gears 5, they’ll announce the game at this years E3, and release it at the end of next year. That is, unless Halo 6's presumed delay knocked it back a year to prevent them from possibly competing with one another.
This title was one of the supposed “leaks” from today.
3) Forza Horizon 4
Status: Unannounced, but it is Horizon’s turn this year.
Release: TBA, likely Fall 2018
There are two Forza series: Motorsport and Horizon. They alternate on a two year schedule. Forza Motorsport 7 was released last year, and Forza Horizon 3 the year before that. So that means this year is the year of Forza Horizon 4, and the rumors going around say that Playground Games has decided on Japan as the new setting. I can tell you with 100% certainty we will see this game at E3 2018.
This game was also on the E3 “leaks” list, however it was referred to as Forza Horizon 5, which would imply a typo unless they just decided to skip Horizon 4 for some reason.
Once upon a time, Microsoft had a third tentpole franchise: Fable. Developed by British developer Lionhead Studios, Fable was one of few RPG’s in Microsoft’s deck. Despite the decline in the series popularity, it still remained a strong brand by the third entry. However, the mixed reception to Fable: The Journey, a Kinect title, and the cancellation of Fable Legends, a 4v1 dungeon master style game that no one asked for, led to the closure of Lionhead Studios. Demand for a proper Fable IV has remained strong over the years, and head of Xbox Phil Spencer has said in the past that Fable isn’t going anywhere. Just last year, Playground Games, the developers behind Forza Horizon, opened a second studio which was reportedly working on a new IP. However, earlier this year, they were hiring for the development of an RPG. It was around this time that rumors began to turn up suggesting that this teams current project is in fact a Fable RPG, which many gaming news outlets reported that their inside sources confirmed this information.
So it’s all, but confirmed that either Fable IV or a reboot is in development at Playground’s second studio in Britain, but it’s still very early. However, it’s still possible for an announcement trailer to debut at this years E3. Many gamers are concerned about Microsoft’s lack of first party titles, and they can only wait so long to hear about any of these games before writing them off as nonexistent. While announcing it years before it will release might not be the greatest idea, it would still let fans know that Fable is alive and well, and will add another first party title to Microsoft’s lineup for the future. It isn’t like Sony doesn’t have similarly long in development games on their end.
5) Crackdown 3
Crackdown 3 is the game that no one expected to see after so many years, but then it turned up at one of Microsoft’s conferences and the crowd went wild. It promised untold levels of destruction and cooperative fun, as well as the return of the franchises’s original developers. However, a few years have passed since its initial reveal, and while its release may be just on the horizon, hype has definitely died down for it. The game is practically guaranteed to appear at E3 this year, and it will be Microsoft’s prime opportunity to try and get fans excited for it. And if they don’t... well.... 2018 might end up being a complete bust for them if this and State of Decay 2 don’t perform well.
6) Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Ori and the Blind Forest was one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever played, fun too. And many others agree with those sentiments. So naturally, when the sequel was announced last year(Coupled with hair-raising music.), everyone got really excited. It’s another game in Microsoft’s portfolio, and an anticipated one that, though I wouldn’t say it’s on the same level as many of Microsoft’s other exclusives.
7) Metro Exodus
Metro Exodus is not an exclusive game, not by any stretch of the imagination. However, third parties do have a tendency to partner with Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo to exclusively debut their games at their conferences. Metro Exodus was revealed on Microsoft’s stage last year and served as one of the show’s examples of what the Xbox One X could do. So naturally, Microsoft would want to get this game back on their stage this year to continue that promotion. And since Microsoft is implementing their ray-tracing tech into DirectX, it isn’t entirely out of the question for Metro Exodus, one of the only titles confirmed to be using the new ray-tracing tech on PC(Though I believe that’s NVIDIA’s RTX tech, not the DirectX one which I assume is separate.), to also debut the tech on consoles, and more specifically the Xbox One X.
Release: March 2019
Odds: 50/50, EA might want all the hype to themselves
While EA announced the game at their EA Play event a day prior, it was on Microsoft’s stage that Anthem got its debut gameplay, all while being used as a demonstration of the Xbox One X, just like Metro Exodus. It stands to reason that like Metro, Microsoft would want to get Anthem back on their stage to continue promoting the power of the Xbox One X. How much of the spotlight that they share with EA’s own event the day before, however, remains to be seen.
Long Shot - Cyberpunk 2077
Release: Your guess is as good as mine.
Yet another game that is not an exclusive, and yet, I have a pretty good feeling about this one being on Microsoft’s stage. CD Projekt Red will have a game at E3, and the only game they’re working on that we know of is Cyberpunk 2077. The Witcher 3, CD Projekt’s previous game, was revealed on Microsoft’s E3 stage and continued to be shown off there until its release. So there is precedence. It’s a long shot, but if it shows up on any E3 stage, it’ll either be Xbox or the PC Gaming Show, and no one watches the PC Gaming Show. Not only would it give Microsoft another game to show off the Xbox One X with, but it would also give them a highly anticipated title to match Sony’s marketing deal with Rockstar for Red Dead Redemption 2.
However, there is a chance it will appear on no stage at all. CD Projekt Red will reportedly be hosting a one hour Cyberpunk 2077 presentation for the press. Whether or not this is a behind closed doors event or will be livestreamed to the public remains to be seen. If the latter is true, then it would mostly eliminate the chances of the game appearing on the Microsoft stage, but not entirely. This presentation could be AFTER Microsoft’s conference, leaving room for a debut trailer at the very least.
If I missed any other BIG Xbox/PC games, I do apologize. A lot of games were announced at last years E3, however many of them are either timed-exclusives(and smaller ones at that.) or stuff that’s likely to get a digital only release because they aren’t big, and as a result, I don’t feel like sitting here all night to sift through every little thing. Of course, you can feel free to discuss those games in the comments below.