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The missing games of E3 2019

With E3 2019 winding down it's time to look back across the week and imagine what could have been. Sure, there are loads of really awesome E3 2019 games to look forward to now, but we can't help but think about all of the missing games of E3 2019. There are a handful of notable absences – from Elder Scrolls 6 to The Last of Us: Part 2 – that we thought it would be well worth digging into. To that end, we have rounded up what we believe to be the biggest missing games of E3 2019 and have attempted to explain why each of them skipped out on the party. 

The Elder Scrolls 6 

Platform(s): TBA
Release date: TBA

Elder Scrolls 6 is still a long, long way off by the sound of things, and we already knew it wouldn't be at E3 2019 (though Todd Howard did dare to speak its name during the Bethesda E3 2019 show). Given how little we have to go on at the moment, it's very likely that Elder Scrolls 6 will arrive on the next generation of consoles ushered in by the PS5 and Xbox Project Scarlett, so it's totally understandable that it'd have nothing to show at E3 2019. Still, that doesn't make the waiting any easier, especially considering we won't be getting it until after the launch of the equally mysterious Starfield. 

Gears Tactics

Platform(s): PC
Release date: TBA 

At E3 2018, Microsoft pushed the Gears of War franchise harder than it has ever done in the past. Alongside the reveal of Gears 5 and Gears Pop! it also showed pre-alpha footage of Gears Tactics in action. The game, set to be a real-time strategy game for PC looked pretty awesome but it was sadly absent from Microsoft's E3 2019 briefing. Microsoft has since confirmed that Gears Tactics is still in development in an effort to quell fears that the game had been cancelled – it hasn't been seen for a year after all – but provided no further clarification as to when the upcoming game would come back into the public eye. 

Death Stranding 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: November 8, 2019

Sony E3 2019 was an underwhelming affair because, well, PlayStation wasn't there. Thankfully, Death Stranding went big in the weeks leading up to E3 2019. Hideo Kojima got to throw fans a bone with a huge new Death Stranding trailer two weeks before E3, but its absence was felt at this year's show after it featured so prominently since its big debut at E3 2016. The good news is that the Death Stranding release date is locked in for later this year, so Kojima fans won't have to wait long to see the game in full. The bad news is that we have no idea when we'll get to hear about those other PlayStation exclusives, as Sony continues work on the PS5 lineup behind the scenes. 

Metroid Prime 4 

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: TBA

All it took for Nintendo to make people's heads explode at E3 2017 was a logo reveal for Metroid Prime 4, confirming that a new game in the sci-fi FPS series starring Samus Aran is in development. But this past January, Nintendo delivered the bad news that the game needed to be delayed and rebooted after it was failing to meet internal standards. On the upside, Metroid Prime 4 is now being developed by Retro Studios, which made the original Metroid Prime trilogy, though the team is still looking to fill some key roles. With Retro Studios needing to restart everything from scratch, there was no way Metroid Prime 4 could ever be ready to be shown at E3 2019. 

Starfield

Platform(s): TBA
Release date: TBA

Bethesda had a fairly strong showing at E3 2019, but many of us were left disappointed by the lack of Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 information. Todd Howard gave both titles a passing mention in the Bethesda E3 2019 conference, confirming that development was moving forward, but failed to share any further details. This isn't a huge surprise, the studio told us the pair of games wouldn't be at E3 ahead of the show starting, but that didn't stop any of us from hoping that we were being lied to. Here's hoping that we get more info on Bethesda's ambitious sci-fi game before the year's end. 

Beyond Good and Evil 2 

Jade in Beyond Good and Evil 2

Platform(s): TBA
Release date: TBA

Beyond Good and Evil 2 went from leaked trailer vaporware (remember Jade parkouring around that nondescript city?) to an actual, in-development project in 2017, but it's still tough to get a bead on Ubisoft's plans for the game. Case in point: a Beyond Good & Evil 2 stream that took place the week before E3 2019. Most companies would use that kind of time slot to get out ahead of the publicity blowout and share some big news about their projects. Beyond Good and Evil 2 used that time to show us to concept art of animal-human hybrids dying and some pot-smoking rhinos. Once that stream was over, it was pretty clear that Ubisoft had no big intentions for Beyond Good and Evil 2 at E3 2019. Maybe it will kick back into gear once the new console generation begins? 

Bayonetta 3 

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: TBA 

It's a miracle Bayonetta 3 is in development at all given the rocky road Bayonetta 2 faced, but Platinum Games says the sequel is coming along well despite skipping E3 2019. In an interview with NintendoLife, studio head Atsushi Inaba said: "Things are going well and I know a lot of people are asking for it. Giving updates for everything at E3 isn’t the smartest PR strategy to begin with. So just because we’re not showing it here, doesn’t mean it’s not going well." He also assured concerned players that "it's going to be a high-quality title and we're putting our all into it," which is precisely why the studio's staying silent for now. Bayonetta was great and Bayonetta 2 was phenomenal, so there's little doubt Bayonetta 3 will be worth the wait. In the meantime, Switch owners have Platinum's Astral Chain coming this August.  

The Last of Us: Part 2

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBA 

We are desperate for more information on The Last of Us: Part 2. Naughty Dog has been hard at work on the highly anticipated sequel for years now and many had hoped that Sony would give The Last of Us: Part 2 the State of Play treatment during the week of E3 in an effort to pull some attention away from Microsoft and its slew of announcements. Sadly, that didn't come to be. The time will soon be upon us, however, for more details to be revealed; questions regarding its supposed 2019 release date are starting to be asked, as too are questions over whether it will be a PS4 game or positioned as a PS5 launch title. 

Session 

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Release date: Late 2019

In our timeline where EA vehemently refuses to confirm Skate 4, Microsoft used that absence to its advantage by channeling all that skateboarding game hype into Session with an impressive trailer the Xbox E3 2018 press conference. This 3D skating game has a similar emphasis on lifelike tricks, and looks great despite being made on a Kickstarter budget rather than EA's deep pockets. But as developer Vincent Da Silva posted in a Kickstarter update near the end of May, the team decided to skip E3 to keep plugging away on the game. "With early access getting closer every day, we knew it would have an impact on the development," said Silva, "so we decided to stay focused on developing Session instead."  

Skull and Bones 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: TBA

Here's another no-show we knew about ahead of time, but anyone who didn't hear the news about the latest Skull and Bones delay might've been thrown when it didn't show up in the Ubisoft E3 2019 show. The multiplayer ship-vs-ship battles between pirates and naval officers in Skull and Bones need more time in the dock, with producer Karl Luhe saying "We will be back as soon as we can with exciting new updates." Until then, the earliest you can expect to play Skull and Bones is April 2020, as the recent Ubisoft earnings call placed its release date sometime in the 2020/2021 fiscal year.

Need For Speed

Platform(s): TBA
Release date: TBA 

EA had a pretty light showing at E3 2019. While we knew we were never going to get the Skate 4 we've all been dreaming of for a decade, we were hoping to get a sneak peak at the new Need for Speed game that's in development. Criterion has since confirmed that the new entry to the long-running series is happening and, amazingly, will be launching later this year. Details are thin on the ground, but it sounds as if Criterion opted to skip E3 2019 to continue working on the game. Stay tuned, basically! Need for Speed is coming back and we truly do hope that the studio is able to get it back into the right lane after a divisive few entries. 

Nioh 2

Platform(s): TBA
Release date: TBA 

Here's the thing, Nioh 2 is technically – technically – a PS4 console-exclusive, which meant developer Team Ninja opted to follow suit with Sony and skip out on showing its latest samurai action game off at E3 2019. Revealed at last year's Sony E3 conference, the game seems to be moving through development nicely. In fact, word out of the recent Nioh 2 closed alpha were positive enough and a good sign that the game is still on the right path. Nothing to worry about here, it's business as usual over at Team Ninja even if we were a little disappointed we didn't get to see a new Nioh 2 trailer. 

Age of Empires 4 

Platform(s): PC
Release date: TBA

RTS fans have been dying for news on Age of Empires 4, a new entry in the legendary strategy series featuring a wide range of civilizations and time periods of war. It's being developed by Relic Entertainment, the same studio behind beloved RTS series like Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. In an interview with PC Gamer, Xbox boss Phil Spencer explained why we didn't get to see Age of Empires 4 during the Xbox E3 2019 show. "We'll talk about it more this year," he said, adding "Relic's great as a studio, [and] we're making good progress with it." To tide Age of Empires fans over, Microsoft is launching Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition later this year, which remasters the 1999 original with 4K-ready visuals and a new campaign called The Last Khans. 

In The Valley of Gods 

Platform(s): PC
Release date: TBA

Firewatch was a humdinger of a debut game for Campo Santo: it was evocative, funny, and expertly subverted expectations. In The Valley of Gods looked like a fantastic follow-up when it was announced in 2017. Then Valve bought Campo Santo and all expectations of a normal development schedule dissolved into the quantic phenomenon known as Valve time. The developers formerly known as Campo Santo announced the acquisition with assurances that In The Valley of Gods was still their top priority, and I don't doubt that's still the case. But with how long it's been since we've heard anything new about the game, it's hard not to imagine them all just wheeling their desks over to this project for a few weeks, then that project for a few weeks… until it's E3 2019 and we still barely know anything about it. 

Dragon Age 4

Platform(s): TBA
Release date: TBA 

Back in December 2018, BioWare revealed that Dragon Age 4 – as we've taken to calling it, in lieu of an official name – was a real game that was definitely in development. Then Anthem happened and, well, you know the rest. While it was reported that the Anthem creative leads had moved to working on Dragon Age 4 full time, and that BioWare was pushing for Dragon Age 4 live-service elements internally, it also sounds like development has been tricky. BioWare is still very early in production, which made its absense from E3 2019 expected but no less disappointing. 

Fable 4

Platform(s): TBA
Release date: TBA 

What happened Microsoft? The fact that Playground Games is working on Fable 4 is practically an open secret in the wider games industry now, thanks in no small part to numerous Fable 4 leaks and clear signs that the studio is working on a third-person open-world adventure game. Playground was purchased by Microsoft last year and so it looked as if the stars were aligning to give us the reveal we've spent so many years waiting for. Sadly, the Xbox E3 2019 conference came and went without ever a mention of the legendary Xbox franchise. It is yet to be confirmed that this game exists, but we are now holding out hope for the Xbox fan event this November, XO19, which is being held in London, could be where Fable 4 is finally shown to the world. 

Rocksteady's new game

Platform(s): TBA
Release date: TBA 

Rocksteady, what are you doing to us? The studio behind the critically acclaimed Batman Arkham series of games has been suspiciously quiet since it release Batman Arkham VR back in 2016, sadly it skipped E3 for the second year in a row. Aware that fans would be disappointed, Rocksteady's co-founder Sefton Hill clarified that the upcoming mystery game wouldn't be at E3 2019 to continue work on its next big project. It means we are still no closer to knowing what Rocksteady is working on, outside of the knowledge that it will 100% not be a Superman game. Here's hoping we aren't made to wait for a year to see what the team is working on. 

Ghost of Tsushima

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBA 

It's been a long time since we last received an update on Ghost of Tsushima. The upcoming open-world samurai game from developer Sucker Punch, set to let you explore 13th century Japan as you battle back against Mongol invaders, has long been one of our most anticipated PS4 games. Sadly, the game was forced to bow out of E3 2019 when Sony made the decision to skip the annual event entirely. That means we'll be waiting a little longer to find out whether rumours of Ghost of Tsushima slipping to 2020 are true, and to see whether it's still set to launch on PS4 or whether it'll end up as a PS5 launch title.

For a look at a long-awaited game that was at the show, check out our E3 2019 preview of Marvel's Avengers: