It’s time to kick off our E3 2018 predictions! In the weeks leading up to E3 2018, Nicholas and I have decided to roll out a different article each week, with each piece focused on a different company that will be holding a conference or presentation. To start things off, we’ll be going over what we expect to see from the Bethesda E3 2018 showcase. Of course, we couldn’t approach anything related to Bethesda without involving our good friend and Multiverse Show co-host, Ivan. With his input, we’ve put together a list of things that might appear at the show, then given our thoughts in a group discussion for each particular subject. So let’s get to it. Here’s our Bethesda E3 2018 predictions!
A Prey Expansion or Standalone Title
Samuel: Prey was my personal Game of the Year for 2017 however, the unfortunate reality is that it didn’t sell well. Doing a standalone title like this which is a good way to recoup some money as well as showing support to the gamers who purchased Prey. There’s plenty of evidence a new smaller game is happening, with the teasing from the Twitter account and cryptic Reddit comments. There’s also a lot of unique ways any new title or additional content could be rolled into the storyline, given how Prey‘s story focuses on a lack of memory. I think it’s safe to say we’ll something related to Prey this E3, one way or another.
Nicholas: Arkane hasn’t done any DLC packs since the first Dishonored. Dishonored 2 didn’t get DLC, it was instead followed up with a smaller standalone game, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider. It’s also a great way of luring in buyers for the first game. I feel it’s important to also mention that Arkane Studios has two teams: one in Lyon and one in Austin, so they can ship AAA games faster than would otherwise be possible.
Ivan: As you guys have said, there’s pretty much no way this isn’t happening. I definitely think it’s dropping Summer 2018, way ahead of the big dogs that’ll dominate the fall. It’ll be more of the same but likely with new settings, weapons and enemies, sort of like what Wolfenstein: The Old Blood did. It also helps to draw more people in to try Prey if they missed it last year.
The Elder Scrolls Online
Nicholas: The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) has really turned around from its initial release, going from a 71 on Metacritic to a game with over one million unique players per month. The new expansion is set in Summerset and it’s the second major expansion the game has received. Releasing on May 21st for PC and June 5th on consoles, it’ll be the big summer title for Zenimax. With that in mind, I think we’ll get a recap of the expansion’s launch at E3, with maybe a smaller content tease during the show.
Samuel: With that big expansion announced, I have to agree, it’s impressive ESO has turned things around. It’s unique for Zenimax and Bethesda in that it’s their only real service game, so it makes sense that they’ll continue to double down on it. The momentum from the expansion’s launch will carry into E3, though I don’t think they’ll show more than a glimpse of any new content.
Ivan: As far as I’m concerned The Elder Scrolls Online has run its course. Its job was to provide Elder Scrolls fans, (or more specifically Skyrim fans) with a drip feed of content to keep them happy. Regardless of what else comes this year, I think we can expect ESO to start winding down a bit after this latest expansion. It’ll still exist but mostly to serve as a lead-up to The Elder Scrolls VI, regardless of what form that game takes and whenever it arrives. To put it another way, it’ll be what Agents of Shield is to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Whatever Bethesda Game Studios is up to
Ivan: The way I see it, there are three possibilities with distinct probabilities.
- Option one: The Elder Scrolls VI. It’s time. Skyrim has been ported to almost everything under the sun except smartphones (and even that is likely just a matter of time). A surprise announcement of The Elder Scrolls VI at E3 2018, with a November 2018 release date, would bring the house down. Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII are occupying late and early October respectively. The Elder Scrolls is an incredibly strong franchise and could easily hold its own in November. Bethesda has slim pickings this year, yet they’re still holding a conference? They have to have something big. I’d give this about a 50% chance of happening.
- Option two: Starfield. A long-rumored new IP centered around science-fiction, it makes a modicum of sense. It’s something fresh, with lots of potential in the space-opera genre given how Mass Effect has been put on ice. As a new IP, it wouldn’t launch this year, instead aiming to dominate sometime in Spring 2019. This has about a 35% chance of happening.
- Option three: A Fallout spinoff. Not a proper Fallout title, but a collaboration with another studio, like Obsidian Entertainment. After all, Bethesda did just update Fallout 4 with pet support, which is quite interesting to say the least. This is by far the most unlikely option, with around a 15% chance of happening. One way or another, Bethesda Game Studios’ time has come to shine. They have to have something.
Samuel: For me personally, a new science-fiction game is the most exciting, simply because I’d love to see what Bethesda Game Studios can do with an entirely new setting. While The Elder Scrolls VI would definitely be awesome, I feel like The Elder Scrolls Online is still strong enough that it might be just a hair too much competition. We also have to keep in mind that Bethesda Softworks has acquired BattleCry Studios (who were previously owned by Bethesda’s parent company Zenimax) and rebranded them as Bethesda Game Studios Austin. Are those two studios working on the same game, or is Bethesda Game Studios Austin laying the groundwork for a next-gen title while the main studio ships something new this year? I’m leaning towards the latter.
Nicholas: There’s a lot of rumors out there, so it’s difficult to say exactly what it might be. Whatever they’re working on, Call of Duty has been pushed into early October, which never happens. Red Dead Redemption 2 launches near the end of October, so there’s definitely potential for a strong franchise to hold in November. If it’s not The Elder Scrolls VI or Starfield, it could definitely be something a Fallout: New Vegas 2, or something similar.
Nicholas: With the recent Xbox One X/PS4 Pro enhancement patches, there’s renewed interest in DOOM at the moment. The 2016 reboot did extremely well in May, so there’s no reason to assume the next game wouldn’t be out in May 2019.
Samuel: This E3 will be three years since DOOM was shown off. It released in May 2016, so Id Software should be ready to show off the next game, which will definitely help flesh out their conference.
Ivan: Here’s where I have to seriously disagree with you guys. I don’t think we see it, at all. Maybe a teaser, like the teaser for Wolfenstein: The New Colossus that was dropped in 2016. Reality is though, Bethesda doesn’t need DOOM to have a strong conference. DOOM is a big name, it makes way more sense to hold it for next year and launch it as a fall title, especially since most of their other studios still won’t be ready at that point.
So that’s our Bethesda E3 2018 predictions. We all agree something related to Prey is happening and that one way or another, Bethesda Game Studios has something big to show. We’re in disagreement over DOOM 2 however, otherwise we can all agree that Bethesda should have a very strong show this year. It’ll be interesting to see what happens come June 10th.