E3 2020 is Here and it Looks like it’s Going to be Epic!
For gamers, E3 is maybe the biggest event of the year. Like Christmas in June, it’s the biggest week of the year for game announcements. Reveals of brand new games, glimpses at long gestating projects, and hands on demos litter E3 every year, and 2020 should be no different. You can expect to see some exciting new projects announced along some expected favorites and enough trailers to keep you hyped through the summer.
This year is especially exciting because it signifies a generational shift. Sony has already given teasers of their Playstation 5, Google announced the compelling streaming framework Stadia earlier this year, and Microsoft is known to be working on their mysterious XBox Scarlett, but with the former two companies sitting this E3 out, chances are that we won’t see much in the way of new hardware. But some of the biggest names in the business are bringing their A game. Here’s what you can expect. (All times listed are EST)
Updated: Below we’ve summarized each of the days at E3 2020, check them out for all the latest E3 News & Announcements.
What to Expect Over the Next Few Days
June 8, 12:15 PM – EA Play Live Stream
Updated: See the full review of Day One at E3 2020.
As always, EA is sitting out E3 lie in favor of hosting their own virtual event called EA Play, and they’ve already announced the six titles they’ll be focusing on this year. FIFA 2020 and Madden NFL 2020 will showcase the newest changes to two of the biggest sports franchises in the world. The Sims 4, now 5 years old, continues to have legs and will probably feature information on new expansions.
On the shooter front, free-to-play battle royale Apex Legends is dominating the scene, but fans are curious about the long term plans for this live service shooter, and EA’s focus on Battlefield V would indicate they have plans to continue supporting it for the foreseeable future. But the highlight this year is Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. EA has held the Star Wars license for years now with little results, so you can bet that they’ll seat their upcoming game in a galaxy far far away front and center.
June 9, 4:00 PM – Microsoft
Updated: See the full review of Day Two at E3 2020.
Microsoft stumbled out of the gates clumsily with their XBox One announcement, and they’ve continued to trail behind the Playstation this entire generation. And with Sony sitting out this E3, that gives Microsoft the chance to control the narrative for this year or botch it completely. The real question is whether they’ll give us a taste of the Microsoft Scarlett. Rumors are that Microsoft’s new hardware is going to focus on cloud computing. But their push towards a more innovative console spelled bad PR for them years ago, so they may be exercising caution on the hardware front.
Besides, there will likely be little room for more than just a next gen tease. Microsoft is spotlighting an absurd 14 games this E3, and they should be pretty diverse in quality. In addition to first party anchors like Halo and Gears of War (including the already announced strategy spin-off), Microsoft’s furious acquisition of new developers in the past year should signal that Microsoft is ready to step up to bat and start competing with Sony on the exclusives front.
June 9, 8:30 PM – Bethesda
A few years back, Bethesda stealthily announced Fallout 4 a mere five months before release. Could they have an equally as bold surprise this year? Probably not. Elder Scrolls and the mysterious Starfield have both been announced to not be showcased this year. And with Fallout 76 being a disaster, Bethesda is going to have to pivot to their back foot to placate their base.
What we can expect to see is a closer look at Doom Eternal, news on upcoming expansions for The Elder Scrolls Online, and potentially a tease of what Arkhane, the developer behind the Dishonored series, has been up to. If Bethesda has shocking surprises in store, they’re playing their cards very close to their chest.
June 9, 10:00 PM – Devolver Media
Devolver consistently produces the most interesting shows at E3. While their eclectic selection of indie games are always a delight (and too often overlooked), the Devolver show’s real importance is how it toes the line between bizarre performance art and a biting satire of the industry.
With the past year bringing so much attention to the ethics of crunch, the toxic gender dynamics at companies like Riot, and the push towards unionization in the industry, you can count on Devolver’s show to be as timely and cutting as ever. The stacked spotlight of eclectic indie darlings is just icing on the cake.
June 10, 1:00 PM – PC Gaming Show
Console gaming has a tendency to dominate the crowds at E3, so it’s great that PCs have their own event every year. The broad umbrella of the PC Gaming Show means that the games on display here are sure to be diverse. 30 games are scheduled to be spotlighted here, far too many to cover in any depth, but nostalgia weighs heavily on this year’s event.
Borderlands has finally returned to the fold with the franchise’s third entry, and cult favorite Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is also getting a sequel. There’s even a spiritual sequel to the Dungeon Keeper series on the horizon in the form of Evil Genius 2.
June 10, 4:00 PM – Ubisoft
Leaks at Ubisoft have become a running gag for E3, but Ubisoft still has two mystery games that they plan on showcasing. The big AAA darling here is Watchdogs Legion: a sequel taking place in London that offers the bold promise of letting you play any NPC in the game.
The next Assassin’s Creed (rumored to move the stage to Viking era Scandinavia) will likely be sitting this year out, as will Beyond Good and Evil 2. That leaves plenty of fans anxious for the return of the long dormant Splinter Cell franchise. In less mysterious news, Ubisoft will be revealing more about the upcoming Ghost Recon Breakpoint and arcade sports game Roller Champions.
June 10, 9:00 PM – Square Enix
Last year was Square Enix’s first conference at E3, and it was widely regarded as the most disappointing conference of the year. But every sign points to Square Enix having a stellar turnout this year. After years of silence, it’s looking like the Final Fantasy VII remake is ready to show off. And if that weren’t enough, SE has already announced that they’ll be peeling back the curtain on their upcoming Avengers game. Leaked documents indicate an ambitious live service game with both multiplayer and single player components.
The Japanese company has additionally been teasing a mysterious project known only as Outriders. With so many JRPG legacy games to their name and a decent number of Western developers under their belt, it’s likely that Square Enix will have a decent amount of smaller and mid-sized announcements to make this year, but you can bet Marvel and Cloud Squall will dominate the conversation.
June 11, 12:00 PM – Nintendo
Nintendo always marches to the beat of their own drummer. This year, as with every year, they’ll be foregoing the traditional conference in favor of a live stream on Tuesday. With a treasure trove of new information just released on Pokemon Sword and Shield, you can bet that pocket monsters will be the centerpiece of the conversation, but that doesn’t mean Nintendo won’t be shining light elsewhere as well.
Boutique Zelda games are on the horizon in the form of a Crypt of the Necrodancer collaboration and a remake of Link’s Awakening, and Nintendo has another quirky game to spotlight in the form of the next Luigi’s Mansion game. And then there’s the third party exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. Nintendo is known to surprise their fans, and there’s a chance they’ll drag out something big and unexpected this year. But regardless, they have a lot of interesting titles to put on display.
Just Scratching the Surface
The conferences may be where the spectacle of E3 is most readily concentrated, but it’s just scratching the surface of what E3 has to offer. There’s a good chance that out on the show floor we’ll see tantalizing glimpses of upcoming blockbusters like Ghosts of Tsushima, Cyberpunk 2077, and Death Stranding. And who knows what new games will be announced off stage? Check in throughout the coming week to stay up to date on what’s happening.