When it comes to E3, Microsoft has always been scrutinized and criticized more than other conferences. A lot of this is due to the Xbox One’s alarming lack of exclusives and questionable business choices. However, Microsoft has certainly improved their showing at E3, with last year’s delivering a ton of new games and announcements for viewers. Going into E3 2018, it’s imperative that they continue delivering quality titles if they want to keep the spotlight on them this year.
Looking at Microsoft’s current line up there is certainly a unique mix of indie and major titles set for this year. When breaking down what we expect from Microsoft this year we are basing our choices on the company’s history and line-up.
Keep in mind, we are simply speculating about what will appear and there’s always a chance that Microsoft has some unannounced surprises ready for us. Especially since they have claimed that this will be the “biggest E3 showing ever.”
Here is what you should expect from the Microsoft E3 2018 conference:
Sea of Thieves DLC
Sea of Thieves was speculated to be one of the biggest and best console exclusives for the Xbox One. However, after lukewarm reviews and a lack of actual content, this jolly pirate simulator has lost the wind in its sails. Thankfully, developer Rare is clearly trying to keep their game afloat with some sizable content drops planned for the future. While one of these content updates is scheduled to release in May, the others are planned for later in the year. Because of this, we highly expect the next DLC installment – Cursed Sails – to debut at E3.
Normally, we would expect a DLC announcement to simply come in the form of a trailer, but Microsoft may spend a little more time on Sea of Thieves. Since we know a new ship and region is getting introduced, being able to show this content off may invigorate the playerbase. At the very minimum, we suspect a new DLC trailer will release.
Crackdown 3 is a game that was announced too early and has been delayed too many times. The hype surrounding this game has certainly faded, so it’s imperative that Microsoft gives Crackdown 3 a big showing. At this point, it’s critical that this action game receives a solid release date.
There’s a chance that this game is dead on arrival, so Microsoft needs to spend time showing off their new game. Given that this is one of the few major releases that we know about for the Xbox One, we expect Microsoft to present some gameplay and possibly a story trailer. We also believe that Crackdown 3 will receive a release date for sometime in the fall. However, there are some rumors that Crackdown 3 might release during E3 itself, which would be a major surprise.
While we still expect Crackdown 3 to make an appearance at E3, the game is reportedly delayed until 2019. Kotaku’s Jason Schreier claimed that two sources spoke to him and have confirmed the delay. If this is true it will be a huge blow to Microsoft, especially given the lack of first party titles.
The Last Night
Setting aside the controversy surrounding this game when it was first announced, The Last Night was one of the coolest looking indie games shown off last year. Developed by Odd Tales, this 2.5D platform game is set in a cyberpunk world where machines haven’t taken over a lot of the work.
There’s very little known about this game, but we expect a new trailer showing off either the gameplay or diving deep into the story. The Last Night is scheduled for a 2018 release and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a release date.
We Happy Few
Moving from one indie game to another, We Happy Few is a survival game set to release in July. Announced three years ago, We Happy Few has had a rocky development journey thanks to an underwhelming beta. Since then, developer Compulsion Games has improved virtually every aspect of this game.
Now published by Gearbox and set to release on the Xbox One, PS4, and PC we expect We Happy Few to just debut a trailer. If there is a new trailer we expect it to inform views of the summer release date and the major changes that occurred.
State of Decay 2 DLC
State of Decay 2 is the second major title set to release for the Xbox One later this May. For the unfamiliar, this title revolves around players building a community, hunting for supplies, and slaying hordes of zombies. While the game is set to release before E3, we still expect to see a trailer for future DLC.
Despite being $30, State of Decay 2 boast no microtransactions which means all of its expansion content requires payment. We suspect that the content in question will either be new gear or an entirely new map to explore. Viewers shouldn’t expect any more than a trailer for the game or any future content.
There isn’t a more recognizable game franchise for the Xbox One than Halo. The last time we heard from the Halo series was back in 2015 when the fifth installment released. While we did receive a new Halo Wars last year, there hasn’t been any announcement regarding the next entry in the core series. With a lack of major Triple-A titles going into E3, we expect Halo 6 to make an appearance.
However, we do not expect any major gameplay or big story moments displayed for viewers. Microsoft rarely goes in-depth with any of their games during press conferences, so don’t expect a ton from any Halo 6 announcement. We foresee Halo 6 showing up at the very beginning or very end with a simple teaser trailer. You can read more about the various Halo 6 rumors and predictions here.
If any announcement has a high chance of not happening it’s anything related to Cuphead. The smash hit indie game from last year has made a name for itself thanks to the challenging gameplay and gorgeous art direction. Since its release, Cuphead has earned multiple awards and become one of the newest mascots for Microsoft’s console. Going into E3, we don’t expect much from Studio MDHR outside of a possible trailer for DLC content.
This is largely because Cuphead is completely hand drawn, which makes estimating a time frame tricky because there’s so much extra work. We would be genuinely surprised if a sequel was announced or any major gameplay was shown. Instead, if Cuphead does make an appearance, it will most likely be a very brief trailer teasing future content.
Revealed during last year’s press conference and shown in-depth on Microsoft’s stage, Anthem is the Xbox One’s big third party game. Developed by BioWare, Anthem is an online multiplayer game where users control fully customizable exosuits called Javelins. Playable either by yourself or with friends, Anthem could very well be the major third-party game that Microsoft has desperately needed. Despite also releasing on the PS4 and PC, being able to offer any exclusives would be a boon for Microsoft.
At E3, we expect Anthem to appear during both EA and Microsoft’s press conferences. While EA will certainly get the majority of the big announcements, one shouldn’t count out Microsoft showing something new. Remember, Anthem isn’t scheduled to release until 2019, so we don’t expect an exact date to be revealed. Instead, we suspect that more gameplay will be shown and perhaps a better look at the game’s story.
It has been a long time since we got to explore the world of Pandora and blow up some psychos with ridiculous weapons. Presently, the only rumor regarding Borderlands 3’s release date came in late March. A post on Reddit – which has since been removed – showed off a screenshot that reportedly showed Borderlands 3’s reveal date. Set for June 10, this would be one of the biggest announcements of the year.
Assuming the rumor is true, we wouldn’t be surprised if this title made its E3 debut at Microsoft’s conference. However, if this game is revealed then viewers shouldn’t expect more than a teaser trailer and maybe a release year.
One of the biggest multiplayer games to release this generation, PUBG has helped define the modern battle royale game. Currently available only for the PC and Xbox One, we expect this game to show off the Miramar desert map that has yet to arrive on the console version. It’s imperative that this map makes its way to Xbox One soon, as PUBG players have only been able to experience the original map. Given PC players are already testing the new Savage map, developer Bluehole Studios needs to show that Xbox One players aren’t far behind.
- Bethesda E3 2018: What to Expect and Why
- Ubisoft E3 2018: What to Expect and Why
- Nintendo E3 2018: What to Expect and Why