Daily Reaction: E3 2013 Publisher Predictions – EA, Ubisoft, Activision and More
Yesterday we celebrated our 200th Daily Reaction with a bunch of giveaways you can still enter, but today we’re right back at it with yet another edition. With E3 looming, Seb and Dan discuss their E3 multiplatform publisher predictions for 2013, with Sony getting a full run-down tomorrow. Update: For an extensive Sony predictions post, go here.
As only EA and Ubisoft are holding actual press conferences this year, they’ll probably have the biggest presence and the most announcements, but we’ll see other 3rd party reveals at Sony’s and Microsoft’s conferences, as well as reveals online from the publishers we detail below.
Seb: EA’s conference is right after Microsoft’s, and, sadly, I think that’s strategic. There’s a pretty much confirmed rumor that Respawn Entertainment’s EA Partners title is an Xbox/PC exclusive, or at least a timed one. Apparently, it’s called TitanFall, and it’s a futuristic multiplayer-centric online shooter where heavily-armed-soldiers fight heavily-armed-soldiers-in-exoskeletons.
EA were also at the Xbox One’s terrific reveal, showing off some exclusive sports DLC, highlighting a close bond between the two. There are even rumblings that Mirror’s Edge 2 might be shown at the Microsoft conference, although that doesn’t mean it’s exclusive – after all, the series struggled to sell the first time, and halving the market would hardly help.
Dan: Yeah, I think there will be a big push by Microsoft to do their standard fare of announcing titles and saying only on Xbox, when in reality it is ‘only on Xbox, for now’. Respawn Entertainment’s Titan does seem to be going down that road but, given that next-gen will be more of a two horse race, I don’t see any major developer/publisher signing full exclusivity as we have seen in the past. If EA was to show off a new Mass Effect, I also would assume that MS would be the one to unveil it, but probably little more than a logo flash at the end.
As far as EA’s conference goes though, I think we will absolutely get a great deal of Battlefield 4 footage and more details on the multiplayer – as well as some console exclusive add-on, where someone gets a week or two lead time on DLC. Need For Speed Rivals will get some more footage, and Dragon Age 3: Inquisition will be more than likely given a release date. That leaves a bit of time for FIFA 14 to be mentioned in greater detail and Plants Vs. Zombies 2 will probably get some face time as well.
Dan: Over the last few years, Ubisoft has been blowing up, bringing out games that have not only entertained millions, but created characters that optimized our current console generation. This year’s E3 should show just how many of their beloved franchises are continuing to the next-gen, which means we will see more of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Rainbow Six: Patriots.
Sadly, as we have seen Ubisoft over the last few years do, we will see a great deal of focus on their more casual titles, meaning the Rabbids will be back and Just Dance will create a slew of new memes. But, as Ubisoft did just pick up the rights to South Park: The Stick of Truth, we should hopefully see a new release date for that and maybe even some more information on Beyond Good and Evil 2.
Ubisoft should have a great lineup of games at this year’s E3, I just hope they don’t have another terrible presenter that only knows buzzwords…oh wait, it’s going to be Aisha Tyler, damn.
But bad presenters aside, the biggest game will likely be Watch Dogs, although I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved the trailers for that and Assassin’s Creed to the Sony conference. Luckily, there are also going to be a bunch of new game reveals that aren’t just Just Dance. I’ve detailed a few of those games here, including a next-gen RPG from developer Massive, a new IP from Ubisoft Montreal, a possible next gen Ghost Recon and a racing title. That racer is now thought to be going under the name ‘The Crew’, and be similar to Driver: San Fransisco.
Some sites and trademarks point towards another Assassin’s Creed Vita title, and Ubisoft have said that they were pleased with Liberation’s sales, but it is rather soon.
We’re also sure to see a lot of their ‘mania titles for PC, including Shootmania, which I could see working on the PS4 due to its Ustream integration and F2P friendliness.
Seb: Like I said up top, Activision and everyone below don’t have their own conferences, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be showing stuff off. The Microsoft conference will be dominated by Call of Duty: Ghosts gameplay, and then a reiteration of the fact that the DLC is a timed exclusive. The Sony conference will have Destiny gameplay, and then a reiteration of the fact that the DLC is a timed exclusive.
And then Blizzard will probably come out and show their “strategic partnership” with Sony by announcing Diablo 3 for Xbox One, after they already announced it for 360.
Essentially, Activision will have a strong presence at both platform holders’ conferences, pretending to love each one the most, while actually just announcing multiplatform games that should be at an Activision conference instead.
Dan: Normally, it would make sense for Activision to have their own conference, but as they are are already having an All-Access special just for Call of Duty Ghosts, I don’t know what else they could show that anyone would care about – except maybe Destiny. Activision really doesn’t really maintain a vast library of titles, as they seem to focus mainly on cycled development of big titles, which is why we will be seeing more Skylanders as well, with Skylanders: Swapforce.
There is a high probability of them showing off a bit of their licensed titles, as they did last year, so it will be safe to assume TMNT: Out of Shadows and Deadpool will be playable at their booth.
Blizzard Entertainment probably won’t have much else up their sleeve that is ready to show, but they are currently rumored to be working on a new MMO slated for a 2016 release, and Sony has been developing a number of MMOs for the PS4 currently, as well as partnering with many more – meaning that we could see some more “strategic partnerships” in the future.
Dan: The one thing that I think most fans should be looking forward to is just how Square Enix will be using the Luminous Engine they showed off at the PS4 unveil. At the time, they also stated that they are preparing for development on a future Final Fantasy game and told us to be excited for E3, supposedly meaning a next-gen FF announcement for PS4.
As SE seems to love announcing games way too far ahead of release, it could mean that we might just now be seeing a bit more of their fabled Final Fantasy Versus XIII – likely to have been moved on to next-gen or have been cut altogether.
Hopefully, to tide over fans of their RPGs, Kingdom Hearts HD ReMIX 1.5 will more than likely be shown on the floor, potentially leading to the inevitable 2.5 announcement.
Seb: I really wouldn’t hold my breath for FF Versus XIII, it’s gone the way of The Last Guardian and Agent. I could see Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn coming to PS4 though… or at least being announced for PS4.
Their western studios are generally better at keeping to a schedule, so any announcements we see from them will actually release. There’s Murdered: Soul Suspect which, considering its 2014 release date, really needs a next-gen announcement, there’s Thief, which should be awesome and then there’s the new stuff. Crystal Dynamics, best known for Tomb Raider, actually have several games in development, including a new IP from GOW II’s Cory Barlog and a rumored new IP downloadable game. It’s probably too early, but the next Hitman, thought to be called Hitman Profession, could be announced.
The one to watch is probably Avalanche Studios, who have been teasing their upcoming games a lot in the recent months. With Just Cause 2 having released way back in 2010, perhaps we’ll see a third entry, or possibly “Project Mamba“, the ‘groundbreaking’ open world game they’re co-developing with Square Enix. Considering several very pro-Xbox comments made by Avalanche recently, it may end up being announced at the MS presentation.
Seb: Warner Bros. has been slowly ramping up their presence in the games industry, but their core series is certainly the Batman franchise Rocksteady kicked off. We’ll get a good long look at WB Games Montréal’s Batman: Arkham Origins and the Vita/3DS spin-off Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, but the more exciting announcements will obviously come from the game reveals. On the Twitch list, two game from Warner Bros. are shown as ‘TBA’, on top of Batman, Scribblenauts and Lego presentations. Those are the ones that will be far more interesting to watch.
Dan: As Rocksteady hasn’t released a title since 2011, many people have been wondering what they have been up to over the last few years and many had suspected it would be yet another entry into their Batman franchise. But, as WB Montreal is making one of their own, it would seem more likely that the studio would take on a new brand. Perhaps the studio will stick to creating superhero games and announce a Superman one – which would be particularly effective, considering the new movie is releasing the same week as E3.
With most of their known projects in the works, and only the Rocksteady game possibly filling up one of the ‘TBA’ slots, WB could could have something up their sleeve, as long as it isn’t just more Injustice character DLC from NetherRealms or Dying Light.
As there are tons of other publishers that will be at the E3 2013 convention, but with fewer games or reveals, so we are just going to wrap it up with a briefer overview of them.
Starting off with Sega, who have been rumored to release 5 Vita games this year, meaning that we could see a great deal of announcements from them at the Sony conference. As Yakuza was spotted in a demo reel at the PS Meeting, it could mean that we will see an eventual PS4 title or even a Vita title, which will be a welcome addition either way for fans.
As Sega has yet to launch a US version of Valkyria Chronicles 3, it would be interesting to hear that they held off from doing a translated version on PSP, only to move it to the Vita. But, as they already have launched a few Vita titles with Super Monkey Ball and Virtua Tennis 4, it’s likely that we will see sequels to those. Also, expect to see more of Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, which is releasing this Summer on PSN.
Seb: The Elder Scrolls Online for PC is probably their most expensive game at the show, so that’ll likely be the main title (and, who knows, it could always come to PS4). Tango Gameworks’ upcoming horror game with an awesomely named detective, The Evil Within, is sure to freak out a bunch of people when it is shown on Thursday, while Wolfenstein: The New Order will try to convince people that Nazis are still relevant. Doom 4 may also make an appearance, but it’s unlikely. Unfortunately, we probably won’t get any new game announcements from Bethesda at E3, but they have shown an interest in reveals at the VGAs, so keep an eye on that.
Dan: The biggest news coming out from Capcom this E3 is that they have a “big surprise” set up for the show, but no other information has been leaked or announced. My guess would have to be Monster Hunter on some level – I just hope that, with the mild response of the Wii U, Capcom has decided to bring it back a console that matters (or to the Vita). Also, with the announcement of Deep Down at the PS Meeting, it could pop-up again at Sony’s press event.
Past that, Lost Planet 3, Ducktales: Remastered, Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Dual Destinies will probably make an appearance in one form or another.
Seb: Deep Silver were previously only really known for Dead Island, but they gained everyone’s attention when they bought some of THQ’s IPs. The big one of course is Saints Row, so there’ll be a whole bunch of trailers and announcements about the new game, which is out this August. I don’t really expect much else from them.
Dan: With the recent press release from Namco Bandai that stated that they are showing off a bunch of new games at E3 this year, it seems that they are more than prepared for the show. One of the announcements was for an unannounced racing game, meaning that we just might get another Riiiiiiiiddddgggee Raaaaacccer from Kaz, as well as a new fighting game, possibly being the rumored Tekken Revolution game spotted online. PAC-MAN also seems to be getting a lot of love, with two new games in the works, but that comes as little surprise with the critical success of PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX.
This is also not to mention Dark Souls 2, whose release date was recently plastered near the Convention Center in LA in preparation for E3 and Armored Core: Verdict Day, which wasn’t.
What third party games are you most excited for at E3? Let us know in the comments below, email us predictions to DailyReaction@PlayStationLifeStyle.net, and watch us publish things online at Seb and Dan. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for our Sony predictions, but first – enter our DR competition!