Despite what you may have heard, E3 Expo is still a big deal. Many have prognosticated a fall in relevance of the venerable trade show, and indeed, several companies have opted not to exhibit their wares this year. But even so, E3 is still the biggest week of news and announcements for the industry, with the major publishers engaged in a somewhat unnecessary game of one-upmanship. As always, the question is: what will be announced next month? Armed with news reports, rumours, and a dollop of somewhat-educated speculation, we've assembled a list of what we think might (and might not) show up.
CONFIRMED (or might as well be)
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Activision won’t have its own booth at E3 this year, but it’s virtually guaranteed to storm either the Microsoft or Sony booth with its big new space shooter. A gameplay reveal seems likely, especially given that - according to the trailer - the game will include space combat, which the franchise hasn’t seen before. We'll probably get to see the shiny new remaster of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare running in all its new-gen glory. Also look for more Activision space action with the announcement of the next major Destiny DLC (but probably not Destiny 2 just yet).
EA is skipping E3 this year, sort of, running its own event next door. It’s got a host of announcements up its sleeve, and one of the biggest is Titanfall 2, recently confirmed to exist by Respawn. Expect new gameplay features, and hopefully an outline of the proper single-player campaign Respawn is said to be including, by popular request, in the sequel.
Arkane’s anticipated sequel to the well-received stealth-action title will receive a gameplay reveal at Bethesda’s second annual E3 presentation. Expect to learn more about new alternate protagonist Emily Kaldwin and her supernatural powers; the new city in which the game is set; and possibly some of the story. The sizzle reel for this game could be pretty incredible.
The Legend of Zelda
Nintendo’s sole new product confirmed to show up at E3 must be quite something, since it’s literally all the company’s bringing. Said to take place in an open world, and use the Wii U to its maximum potential (especially considering that it’s also being planned as an NX launch title), it may also include male and female protagonist options. With the NX a no-show, it will be intriguing to see how Nintendo markets the game without drawing too much attention away from the Wii U version.
Recently delayed to September of this year (in Japan, anyway), the goofy cartoon JRPG looks colourful and somewhat insane, harnessing its anime visuals for maximum weirdness. It's been confirmed by publisher Atlus as showing at E3, so keep a look out for it, potentially in Sony's show. Persona 4 came out way back in 2008, so there's some anticipation behind this one.
Untitled Deep Silver game
Deep Silver’s CEO has said that the studio will make a "major announcement" at E3 this year. We know Dead Island 2 is back in the works, but recent rumours have revealed the potential title of Agents of Mayhem for the publisher's new IP, at studio Volition. With Saints Row and Metro in its back pocket as well, expect to see some big things from Deep Silver at E3.
Gears of War 4
Microsoft is bound to bring a ton of first-party or otherwise Xbox-exclusive games to E3, like Platinum Games’ Scalebound, the rebooted, cloud-computed Crackdown, Rare’s Sea of Thieves, and more. But arguably the main event of the show - or at least, the act with the biggest headline name - will be Gears of War 4. Touted as a return to the "dark and intense" gameplay of the original Gears, expect lots of monsters, lots of blood, and probably lots of grunting space-marine bros.
Given that Sony has demoed Media Molecule’s Dreams a couple times before, it’s a virtual lock for E3 2016. Media Molecule has been a star player in Sony’s lineup in years past, with titles like LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway on the PS3 and Vita, and Sony clearly hopes Dreams will follow suit on the PS4. And it gets better: Dreams is also coming to PlayStation VR, which will also be making a significant appearance. Check out our preview for more.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Last year, all the Final Fantasy VII remake had to do was flash its name onscreen, and it instantly became a star of the show. This year, with information about its episodic release structure and "dramatic changes" to the combat system out in the open, Square Enix will need to prove the remake is worthwhile on its own terms. Given how significant a remake this is, nostalgia likely won’t cut it - Final Fantasy VII will have to stand on its own as a modern game. It’s probably set to be a centrepiece of at least the Square Enix and probably also the Sony press event. The original is the biggest of big deals in gaming history; pressure’s on.
Another game announced at last year's E3, Nier Automata is a follow-up but not a direct sequel to cult favourite ARPG Nier, under development at Platinum Games. Square Enix likely wants the sequel to go bigger than just a cult hit, so will probably showcase the game's melee combat and story in a significant way.