E3 2016 for Bethesda: Facts, rumors and speculation

The safe bets

We don’t have any inside information, but it’s safe to assume the presence of certain Bethesda products at E3 2016.

Arkane Studios announced Dishonored 2 at Bethesda’s event last year with a CG trailer that introduced us to the game’s two playable characters: Corvo Attano, the protagonist of the original Dishonored, and a grown-up Emily Kaldwin, the young princess from that game.

Bethesda has already said that its E3 2016 showcase will feature the debut of Dishonored 2 gameplay footage. By that point, the game’s release date of Nov. 11 will be less than five months away. We’ll presumably get a glimpse of the new southern setting of Karnaca, and perhaps hear some lines spoken by the game’s all-star voice cast.

Doom - Revenant screenshot crop 480Doom - Revenant screenshot crop 480Doom

Doom‘s multiplayer component hasn’t been nearly as well-received as its single-player campaign, but we’ve known for a while that developer id Software is working on multiplayer downloadable content. While the studio will deliver free updates to SnapMap, the in-game suite of creation tools, players will have to pay for new maps, weapons and characters. Three add-ons priced at $14.99 each are on the way, with the first one coming this summer, so an E3 showing is probable.

Bethesda Game Studios recently launched Far Harbor, the first big expansion for Fallout 4‘s story. The developer is planning more add-ons for the game later this year — according to the company, the expanded DLC plan warranted an increase in the price of Fallout 4‘s season pass to $49.99 from $29.99. So it’s likely that we’ll get a glimpse of those upcoming DLC packs at E3.

Bethesda announced its first digital card game, The Elder Scrolls: Legends, at its E3 2015 press briefing. Originally scheduled for a release later that year, Legends was pushed back to 2016 and launched in a closed beta last month. Developer Dire Wolf Digital is looking to set Legends apart from games like Hearthstone with a single-player campaign that features branching storylines. The studio hasn’t yet offered details about the campaign, and E3 seems like a good time for that.

The maybes and the educated guesses

We’re now moving to less stable ground, connecting the dots and thinking about what Bethesda might do at E3.

BattleCry is still a thing, as far as anyone knows. Bethesda founded BattleCry Studios in Austin, Texas, in 2012 to develop free-to-play games, and the company announced BattleCry for Windows PC in May 2014. The class-based competitive multiplayer title was supposed to get a worldwide beta in 2015, but last fall, Bethesda said it had concerns about the game.

Prey 2 screenshot crop 480Prey 2 screenshot crop 480Prey 2

If there were ever a time for BattleCry to to resurface, this would be it — unless, of course, Bethesda has shelved the project.

Bethesda announced a follow-up to the 2006 shooter Prey in 2011, and Prey 2 developer Human Head Studios stole the show at E3 that year with a stylish CG trailer as well as an impressive demo. By late 2014, the publisher had canceled Prey 2, saying that the game “wasn’t up to our quality standard.”

However, rumors have been swirling for three years that instead of shelving the project entirely, Bethesda put another developer on Prey 2: the Austin, Texas, branch of Arkane Studios. And a recent report suggests that Bethesda will make it official at E3.

Could this finally be the year that Prey returns? And if so, what would the game even be at this point?

MachineGames’ first title, Wolfenstein: The New Order, managed to be perhaps the best shooter of 2014 while resurrecting a series that had been missing in action for five years. The studio followed it up with a smaller prequel, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, that launched in May 2015 to a relatively lukewarm reception.

We haven’t heard a thing about what MachineGames is working on now, although job listings on the company’s website indicate that it’s staffing up for a first-person game of some kind. Perhaps the Sweden-based subsidiary of ZeniMax is going back to the Wolfenstein well.

Tango Gameworks, the Tokyo-based studio that Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami founded in 2010, has been quiet since finishing the DLC for its first game, 2014’s The Evil Within. That puts it on a similar track to MachineGames, in terms of time elapsed since its most recent project. So while there’s no indication of what Tango might be working on, it’s presumably working on something, and that something may just be revealed at E3.

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