Bethesda E3 rumors: From Rage 2, to (dare we dream?) Elder Scrolls 6

A woman from the Rage 2 trailer makes an obscene gesture with shotgun shells.

E3. E3 2018 is coming and you cannot escape. It’s going to shove games into your eyes with wild abandon for an entire week, and you might as well embrace it. There are going to be E3 2018 games all over the damn place. The best you can do is try to focus in past the barrage. That’s why we’re breaking down our E3 2018 previews show by show. Today, it’s time for the Bethesda E3 rumour breakdown. We also have a preview of all the Xbox E3 rumours, if that’s your bag. And more will be coming.

So, what’s likely from the house of Dovahkin? As one of the most ludicrously eclectic and creatively surprising third-parties around, Bethesda is always capable of delivering pretty much anything. And with so many big game series in its stable, the potential is very wide-ranging indeed. This year though, we reckon these are the biggest contenders.

When is the Bethesda E3 conference? 

The Bethesda 2018 E3 conference takes place on June 10, 2018 at 6:30pm PT, with the BST time being 02:30 on June 11.

Where can I watch the Bethesda E3 conference? 

Bethesda’s official Twitch channel would be your best bet. Though the publisher and studio has also put out a rather delightful little papercraft announcement video for its E3 conference on YouTube, to clarify that the show will also broadcast on its YouTube channel, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and official website. Keep all those options tabbed, in case any of them fall over on the night.

Bethesda E3 confirmed games 

Rage 2

Rage 2 is the only (mostly) confirmed Bethesda game for E3 2018, but boy, is it a biggie, in that way that only an entirely unexpected sequel to a once high-falutin’ but now largely forgotten game can be. The really exciting part? It seems that Bethesda has used the intervening time and subsequent hype cooldown to retool Rage into a better, entirely more fitting form.

For starters, there’s the developer change. Rather than simply being developed in-house at Id Software this time, Rage 2 is being co-developed by Avalanche Studios, the Swedish team responsible for the glorious, open-world chaos of Just Cause and Mad Max. Id-quality shooting in an Avalanche-quality world? We’ll take ten slices of that, and then go back for seconds. That gloriously kinetic, creatively chaotic, Doom-inspired combat, coupled with the decidedly more colourful, anarchic, hot pink neon goofiness drenching Rage 2 - as opposed to the first game’s slightly desaturated, sandy dourness - that could make this sequel a classic case of ‘Got it right the second time around’.

Bethesda E3 likely games 

Standalone Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus expansion

Wolfenstein 2 has already had its announced trilogy of DLC chapters, but MachineGames has precedent for doing things differently with the rebooted series. Wolfenstein: The Old Blood was a cracking, standalone prequel expansion to Wolfenstein: The New Order, earning just as much love as the original game for its more focused, occult-tinged, World War 2 Nazi-slaying, so it’s entirely likely that Wolfenstein 2 is getting the same treatment. 

Machine is almost certainly working on something right now, and we now know that it isn’t Rage 2, so unless the studio is already full-tilt on Wolfenstein 3, this is a very possible option. The Old Blood came out near enough a year after The New Order, so with Wolfenstein 2 having released in October, the timing would be right for an E3 announcement if something similar was happening again. Hell, Bethesda gave Dishonored 2 the standalone expansion treatment last year with Death of the Outsider, so it obviously still sees the format as worthwhile.

Quake Champions

Id and Saber Interactive’s furious resurrection of the arena shooter king has been ticking along rather nicely in early access since August 2017, after a decidedly lengthy closed beta. All of this slow and steady business has been sensible and correct, mind you. A game like Quake has to be balanced like a samurai sword, and Id has been thoroughly open about its intent to take its time over getting that right. But surely we must be getting close now, over a year after the game was first put in players’ hands? Don’t be at all surprised to see a final Quake Champions release date at the Bethesda 2018 E3 conference, if not, indeed, a showboating ‘Out now’ announcement. No console version though. That just isn’t happening.

Bethesda E3 wildcard games 

Doom 2

Okay, this one might be slightly (very) fuelled by wishful thinking, and it’s unlikely that if it does appear, any new Doom game will get a large showing – Bethesda won’t want to overshadow the showcase reveal of Rage 2 – but everything feels right for at least a tease. It’s been almost exactly two years since Doom revitalised the series – and FPS as a whole genre – so we’re certainly due a few whispers of the surely inevitable follow-up. If Bethesda is leading with Rage 2, don’t be surprised to get a logo, a shotgun cock, and a chug of that riff to close the show big.

Elder Scrolls 6

Having taken up Beyond Good & Evil 2’s mantle as ‘The E3 game everyone just has to keep predicting until it’s finally announced, at which point we can pretend to have been right all along’, obviously Elder Scrolls 6 has to be on this list. It almost definitely won’t be at the Bethesda E3 2018 conference, as it’s probably years off (although surely in some stage of development). There are dubious rumours - of course - that the game is going to appear at E3 2018, whether at Bethesda’s show or someone else’s, but official word is that Elder Scrolls and Fallout dev Bethesda Game Studios has two whole games to release before Elder Scrolls 6. So don’t hold your breath. Not even a Potion of Water Breathing will help you with this one.

Starfield

Ironically, the non-likelihood of Elder Scrolls 6 makes this one both less and more possible. The former, because if a series as well-known and beloved as The Elder Scrolls isn’t getting a sequel any time soon, then what are the hopes for a long-rumoured but still officially not real sci-fi variant of Bethesda’s open-world RPG model? The latter, because if Bethesda Game Studios has two more games to release before The Elder Scrolls 6, then what are those games? And hey, Bethesda is nothing if not brave with IP. It turned Prey 2 into a whole new game at an entirely different studio, and is actually making Rage 2, FFS. Dropping Starfield before Elder Scrolls 6 would be a hell of a ballsy and deliriously unexpected mic-drop, but that kind of behaviour is entirely par for the course with Bethesda.