The Electronic Entertainment Expo, more colloquially known as E3, is one of the most exciting gaming events of the year. It’s here where major video games publishers and developers come together to share their upcoming release slate, giving enthusiast players an inside look at the games they can look forward to playing for the rest of the year and the first half of the next. E3 2019 will officially kick off on 11th June and there’s already plenty to look forward to.
From pending video game reveals we already know about to swirling stories from the rumour mill that are pretty much guaranteed, here we’ve gathered up all the information you need relevant to E3 week. We’re going to break down each of the 7 major conferences, some predications of what they’ll likely announce, as well as what to expect to see from each. This Console Deals E3 Portal is your one-stop shop for everything gaming between the 8th and 11th June. Let’s get into it!
Upcoming E3 conferences
The main events of E3 come in the shape of press conferences. But don’t worry, that’s much more exciting than it initially sounds. Most video game press conferences at E3 take anywhere between one and two hours, where it’s just wall-to-wall announcements from each publisher who discuss what will soon be released from their upcoming portfolio. This year’s E3 sees 7 main press conferences. And below we’ll break down what you can expect from each.
Electronic Arts – Saturday 8th June, 17:15
Electronic Arts is one of the industry’s largest video game publishers, most well-known for such Triple-A franchises as Battlefield, Need For Speed, and, of course, most of the major sports titles like FIFA and Madden. They kick off the entirety of E3 (as usual) not with a press conference, but a live stream event called EA Play, which will give viewers around the world a close look at everything worth looking forward to.
What games will be on show? FIFA is such a behemoth of a brand that there we’ll almost certainly get a look at what’s in store for FIFA 20 – if indeed that’s what it’ll be called. EA also recently gave us our first proper look at their upcoming Star Wars game, Jedi Fallen Order, so it’s almost a dead certainty that gameplay of this galaxy far, far away will be shown. Apex Legends, Madden NFL 20 and The Sims 4 should also get some time in the limelight.
Any surprises in store? EA have shown before that they’re no stranger to funding smaller titles like Unravel and Sea of Solitude, so there’s every possibility we’ll see the reveal of another indie game in this vein. Given the poor reception and sales of Anthem, though, we highly doubt there’ll be any word on post-launch DLC. EA has already confirmed that, while a new Need For Speed will arrive before the end of 2019, there’ll be no time dedicated to it during its press conference.
What’s the EA Play live stream schedule? EA Play is a full three-hour livestream that showcases gameplay and debuts behind-the-scenes of upcoming titles. Here’s the schedule (BST):
- 5:15pm: Countdown to EA PLAY
- 5:30pm: Star Wars™ Jedi: Fallen Order™
- 6:00pm: Apex Legends
- 6:30pm: Battlefield V
- 7:00pm: EA SPORTS FIFA
- 7:30pm: EA SPORTS Madden NFL
- 8:00pm: The Sims 4
Bethesda – Sunday 9th June, 01:30
Bethesda’s 2019 E3 press conference will be the fifth in its history and is scheduled to take place on Sunday 9th June. The bad news for us Brits is that it’ll livestream to us roughly at 1:30am in the morning, but it could be worth staying up until the early hours to see what they have in store. Bethesda are most notable for their work with the Fallout and Skyrim franchises, though we doubt we’ll get word on a new entry into either of those franchises. There are, however, some other games we know will be there.
What games will be on show? The big game that will eat up most of Bethesda’s press conference is the sequel to 2016’s Doom, subtitled Eternal. It was first revealed during last year’s E3 and then gameplay later surfaced after Quakecon 2018, but it’s likely we’ll get a closer look at the sequel’s major changes. They will likely announce further plans to rehabilitate Fallout 76. And the publisher may also provide updates on other games we already are aware of, such as Wolfenstein: Youngblood and the seemingly far-off Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6.
Any surprises in store? Bethesda haven’t let a lot slip by way of incoming announcements. Of course, last year’s leak from Walmart Canada confirmed the exisistence of the recently released Rage 2 so there’s every chance they could have another hidden card up their sleeve. If this is to be anything it’s likely to be the third entry into Tango Gameworks’ Evil Within horror series, which we haven’t heard anything about since 2017. Evil Within 3 could be revealed this year and release in 2020 as Bethesda’s next big Triple-A game.
Xbox – Sunday 9th June, 21:00
Xbox made a lot of big waves last year with the announcement that they’d purchased four huge development studios to help fill the content gaps in their library. Undead Labs (State of Decay), Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice) and Compulsion Games (We Happy Few) now all exclusively make games for Xbox, along with a newly formed studio called The Initiative headed by Darrell Gallagher, the former chief of Crystal Dynamics. This year’s Xbox conference will hopefully shed a light on what some of these studios are working on.
What games will be on show? Getting the expected stuff out of the way, yes, Gears of War 5 is confirmed to be there. We’ll probably see more regarding the top-down spin-off Gears of War Tactics too, and learn more about what style of game Halo: Infinite will actually be. We’re also likely to hear more finalized details on Project xCloud, Microsoft’s planned game streaming platform and main rival to Google Stadia.
Any surprises in store? As already alluded to, if there are any surprises in store at Xbox’s E3 press conference we’d expect it to be from one of the newly bought development studios. Any of these games would represent a fresh IP for Xbox’s stable of classic franchises and would help them move beyond their usual stable of Halo, Gears of War and Forza. Another huge surprise would be the Xbox Game Pass service coming to other platforms, like possibly Switch? It’s not crazy considering that Microsoft allowed Cuphead, an Xbox exclusive, to be ported on Nintendo’s platform.
Square Enix – Monday 10th June, 02:00
Square Enix baffled everyone last year with their attempt at a first E3 press conference, giving us what was ostensibly a clip show that shed further light on games we already were aware of. Many of us assumed that it went so disastrously they wouldn’t attempt another in 2019, and yet here we are, where we find Square Enix with a golden goose of a game up its sleeve (more on that later). We’re inclined to say that it’s a big show, as the 2am Monday slot was previously reserved for PlayStation.
What games will be on show? We recently got a closer look at the Final Fantasy VII remake in a PlayStation State of Play, which previously went MIA after it’s initial 2015 E3 reveal. Square Enix will hopefully reveal more info as to when we can expect it to release and whether it is still planned to release episodically. On the subject of Final Fantasy there’ll likely be more news about upcoming events hitting the Realm Reborn MMO. What is guaranteed to be on show, however, is the official reveal of Square Enix’s Avengers game. Little is known about it, other than it will feature co-op.
Any surprises in store? Square Enix is arguably the only games publisher on this list where we have no clue of what surprises lie in store. We’re pretty certain that almost all their effort will be used to sell us on Avengers, but there’s every chance we could see an announcement of a new Tomb Raider game. A Final Fantasy 16 reveal is highly unlikely – especially with the VII remake already in the works.
Ubisoft – Monday 10th June, 21:00
Ubisoft always deliver a great E3 press conference, one full of variety thanks to a lot of different franchises being in their portfolio. It’ll be easy for us UK viewers to watch live as it’s streaming at the convenient time of 21:00 on Monday, so here’s hoping there’ll be plenty to get excited about. We already know that Assassin’s Creed is wisely taking another year off this year, which should free up some time to shed light on some other upcoming triple-A releases.
What games will be on show? One game that has to be on show at Ubisoft’s E3 press conference is Beyond Good & Evil 2, Michel Ancel’s long-awaited follow-up to the classic Zelda-like. Also on display will be the latest iteration of Just Dance (because those always perform well) and an extended look at Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. Skull & Bones, the open-world pirate game from Ubisoft Singapore, has recently been put on ice. However, we’re expecting further insight on what lies ahead for both The Division 2 and Rainbow Six: Siege, which are two major live-service cash cows for Ubisoft.
Any surprises in store? Ubisoft was responsible for one of the most recent “what the heck?” announcements at E3 with the reveal of Mario X Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. Whether or not they can match this again is anyone’s guess, but if there’s any game that’ll do it it’s the reveal of Watch Dogs 3. The previous game teased a possible London setting at the end, which would work as the perfect playground for any tech-savvy hacktivist. A new Splinter Cell has also been heavily teased and is within the realm of possibility.
Nintendo – Tuesday 11th June, 17:00
For the past couple years Nintendo has opted to not do a traditional live press conference, instead choosing to direct and film a packaged Nintendo Direct video that results in far less streamlined. It’s worked well for them in the past so there’s no reason to expect it won’t this time, and Nintendo will still be at E3 in the form of Nintendo Treehouse, which is an interview livestream that kicks off immediately after their E3 Nintendo Direct.
What games will be on show? Nintendo’s big game this year will be Pokémon Sword and Shield – the first true Pokémon to makes its way onto Nintendo Switch. Expect reveals of new Pokémon as well as a closer look at the new Galar region. Then there’s a totally new Animal Crossing to learn more about, same for Luigi’s Mansion 3, and we would we baffled if Nintendo’s E3 Direct didn’t tease us with a new fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. All in all, there’s lots to look forward to from Nintendo at E3 2019.
Any surprises in store? The existence of Metroid Prime 4 and Bayonetta 3 were all major surprises in the past, so you can be certain that Nintendo will have plenty of other unexpected treats in store. There’s been rumblings for the longest time that a Star Fox racing game exists, and that would be a good direction for the cult classic series to go in. What else we’ll see is anybody’s guess, but there’s bound to be something we’re currently unaware of waiting in the wings.
Game studios primed to surprise
The Batman Arkham trilogy managed to surprise everyone by consistently keeping up the quality while also proving that it was indeed possible to make good superhero video games. Well Rocksteady, the London-based developer responsible for the series, has remained silent ever since the last game’s release in 2015, making this year’s E3 a safe bet to finally see what everyone there has been up to. Rumours have been running rampant for quite a while, with everything from another Batman game inspired by the Court of Owls comic storyline to a new take on Suicide Squad being speculated. It’s likely Rocksteady will stay in the superhero realm, but in what way?
Famously snapped up as a new first-party studio by Microsoft during last year’s E3 presser, Ninja Theory was previously a powerhouse of an indie developer notable for the likes of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. The latter released originally released in mid-2017, meaning now is the ideal time to learn more about Ninja Theory’s next project. They now have the weight of a Triple-A publisher behind them, which could make things interesting.
Led my Shinji Mikami, the legendary visionary behind Resident Evil, Tango Gameworks returned survival horror to its roots with both The Evil Within and its 2017 sequel. Both games left a little to be desired sales-wise, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t enough momentum to build off of with a third entry. Mikami himself has been confirmed to be in attendance, so whether it’s for another Evil Within game or something entirely new, expect something exciting from Tango Gameworks.