We’re continuing on the E3 2021 prediction train this week! This time, the station we’re pulling in to is for Microsoft.
While the Xbox Series X/S remains highly sought after next generation consoles, they continue to be incredibly hard to get a hold of. Couple that with the fact that the big launch title, Halo: Infinite, was delayed and 2020 didn’t seem to have a ton of highlights for the company.
Still, they continue to knock it out of the park by offering flexible subscriptions and services which really cater to the player, with Game Pass being at the front and center. It’s because of these features that Microsoft has really started to regain its momentum and once the hardware becomes readily available to all who want one, it could be a major force once more.
Personally, I’m expecting big things from Microsoft at E3 2021. The company always tends to pull out all the stops and this year should be even more significant with Bethesda now under their roof as well. That was certainly a major recent highlight for Microsoft.
There’s a lot to get to here, so lets try to make some predictions, shall we?
Halo, Halo, and more Halo.
Following its unfortunate but likely necessary delay last year, fans have been dying to get another look at how Halo: Infinite has been progressing over the past year. This seems like a no brainer prediction, but many questions will be answered finally at E3. Expect a new story trailer, a lengthy gameplay demo, as well as a launch date. Oh, and multiplayer should be a big focus this time as well, as well as a beta date announcement.
It goes without saying that 343 and Microsoft will be using the show as a chance to prove that the delay was beneficial. I’d expect a much stronger showcase with improved graphics for sure. No more memes this time as Microsoft will be aiming to prove to players that things have significantly improved since the debacle that was the July showcase.
I still believe the new Fable from Playground Games is a ways off, but following a year after it’s teaser trailer, I’d imagine we’ll be getting a lengthier trailer at the very least. I’d love to learn more about this title, if it relates to the past games, and how the game will push the franchise forward. I’d love to be wrong, but this strikes me as a 2022 title.
A New Acquisition?
At the last E3, Microsoft wowed the crowd by announcing a handful of new studio acquisitions. The company hasn’t been shy about seeking additional developers if the fit makes sense and there’s been plenty of rumors that a potential Japanese developer could join the likes of Double Fine, Bethesda, and the growing stable of first party studios. If there’s any time for a big announcement, E3 is certainly it.
That Hellblade is Double Fine
I don’t think it’s any surprise, but Hellblade 2 and Psychonauts 2 will definitely be featured at the show. I’m also expecting gameplay to be shown off for both, and a likely 2021 launch date for Hellblade.
Rare is Everwild
Hey, remember that Rare game about nature? Yes, I think it’s time to showcase Everwild and again, E3 would be the perfect spot to do it. I’d love to know what the game actually is and how it plays.
Oh, and one more thing…
Also, while we’re talking about sure bets, I can’t see Forza Motorsport as well as a new ID@Xbox sizzle reel not being showcased as well. I mean, some sort of Forza will be there. Motorsport seems like the safe bet since it was already shown off last year, but rumors about Horizon 5 being located in Mexico have been floating around so who knows.
It’s also possible that one of the many indie style games they showed off last year could be stealth launched after the show as well. Gunk, Ascent, CrossfireX, etc.
State of Decay 3 will also likely be at the show as its gone quiet for a little too long at this point.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is another big Xbox Series X title, so don’t be surprised to see it featured.
The Bethesda Connection
Obviously, the big news this year is that Bethesda is going to be heavily integrated into Microsoft’s presser this year after being acquired. While the company always has a few surprises in store, there are multiple high profile games in development which could get shown off in some capacity.
Starfield probably has the best shot for a full showcase after its tease a couple years ago. Fans have been eager for more information so I can’t see E3 2021 going by without Bethesda finally talking about this mysterious title. I’d be shocked if it wasn’t an Xbox and PC exclusive. Elder Scrolls 6, while still years away, could get a fancy trailer, but I’d be shocked if it got anything more than that. Starfield is likely coming before that game, so all hands are likely on deck to finish that one up.
ESO is always typically showcased and Fallout 76 fans could even get a small update on upcoming content.
Machinehead Games is working on an Indiana Jones title, so it shouldn’t be too surprising to get an update on that game as well, though it is still likely early in development. A trailer is likely a safer bet than extended gameplay.
Speaking of Elder Scrolls, fans will likely get a better look at Avowed, the Elder Scrolls style game before Microsoft went out and purchased the Elder Scrolls developer. My guess is that this one will finally give fans more than a simple teaser trailer. It’ll be interesting how this game and the eventual Elder Scrolls 6 will coexist, though Avowed will likely launch years before ES6 anyway.
After the shocking reveal last year at The Game Awards, the rebooted version of Perfect Dark should get some run at this year’s E3. With another six months of development time under the studio’s belt, fans should get a better look at Joanna’s next adventure with some actual gameplay. Here’s hoping anyway.
Somehow Game Pass Continues to Get More Appealing
I fully believe Microsoft will have another announcement regarding new content coming to Game Pass. The service is already a crazy deal for players, and while new games will likely be added, I’m guessing Microsoft will be adding another service into it. They already have EA Play, and I can’t see Nintendo or Sony letting Microsoft invade their ecosystems, so my guess is that Ubisoft+ will be integrated instead.
They’ll also likely give an update on Project xCloud on PC as well. Perhaps shadow dropping it during the show.
Third Party Power
Microsoft is no stranger to showcasing third party games during its presentation and I fully expect this trend to continue at E3 2021. They seem to be on pretty good standing with EA, so a Battlefield 6 reveal could be just what the doctor ordered. Sure, it will be at the annual EA Play event, but don’t be surprised if Microsoft gets to show off that heavily leaked trailer that has been floating around the internet lately.
Capcom has also had a pretty good working relationship with Microsoft, even announcing Devil May Cry 5 at the E3 2019 show. Since Capcom is confirmed to be at E3 2021, perhaps another team up could take place. Ubisoft has also been known to showcase games with Microsoft (Splinter Cell: Blacklist anyone?) so it wouldn’t surprise me to see their logo show up as well.
Phew, okay, that was a lot of stuff. Those are my best guestimates, but I want to know what you think Microsoft is planning this year. Let me know in the comments.