E3 is the gamer version of Super Bowl commercials, except better, because the products are what the audience actually wants to see. It’s a time for reveals and surprises, like a summer Xmas, but developers have recently gotten a little too excited when it comes to revealing games still in the early stages of production. There are two ways Publishers can approach E3: Take Path A and show what they’re planning, or take Path B and show what they’re releasing.
E3 hype comes early and stays long after the event, which is why it has become increasingly frustrating to see games that will not be released for over 2 years after they’re shown off at a press conference. Gamers want to see what they can play soon, not later. For this reason we’ve compiled a list of every game shown off or announced at E3 2017’s conferences, their release dates, and have graded each conference based on the numbers.
Let’s start with Sony, which has been in the hot seat with us recently. Looking only at the games, they had a decent conference. They showed us Uncharted is still in capable hands, an impressive Shadow of the Colossus remake, Days Gone has a lot of potential, owners of PSVR are still being thought about, God of War will feature the massive creature battles we expect from the series, and Spiderman got the web-slinging right. There was also much more.
In terms of release dates, they’re not too bad either:
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy 8/22/17
Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds: 2017
Days Gone: TBD
Monster Hunter World: Early 2018
Shadow of the Colossus: 2018
Marvel vs. Capcom: 9/19/17
COD WWII: 11/3/17
Skyrim VR November 2017
Star Child TBD
The Inpatient TBD
Bravo Team TBD
Moss Holiday 2017
Final Fantasy XV: Monsters of the Deep: September 2017
God of War: Early 2018
Detroit: Become Human: 2017
Destiny 2: 9/6/17
Games Announced: 17
Release in 2017: 9 (53%)
Set Dates: 4 (44% in 2017) (23.5% total)
With a little over half the games shown being released in 2017, Sony gave a pretty good combination of now and later. Sony has a problem with not giving solid dates, so while we can probably expect Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds by the end of the year, Shadow of the Colossus getting a vague “2018” date can throw that up in the air (see: The Last Guardian), and Detroit: Become Human in 2017 is also just as unreliable.
It’s good to see two of their big games, Destiny 2 and COD WWII, having confirmed release dates, but those games are made by other developers and the dates had already been revealed. Days Gone, Spiderman, Detroit:BH, and God of War are games that need to have dates tied to them, because those are the Playstation exclusives. This is especially true for Days Gone, Detroit, and God of War, because we saw both these games last year and still don’t have a set date for either.
Sony’s set date to games announced ratio (23.5%) is of the worst of E3. Telling gamers under a quarter of the games you’re showing off have definite release dates does not get them excited about your system. Their release in 2017 to announced ratio is far better, at 53%, but that is still pretty average for E3.
Final Verdict: C-
Sony did okay. Half their games are releasing in 2017, the other half God knows when. They were hurt by a lack of set dates, too many TBDs near their exclusive titles, and (while this is good for VR fans), they showed off a lot of PSVR titles, none of which have set dates.
Ubisoft did what Ubisoft does: Showed off a bunch of their boring yearly content, sprinkled with a few gems. The new South Park looks really good, but a lot of that rests on the writing and acting of Matt Stone and Trey Parker, and not so much on the developers. Far Cry 5 impressed with a little gameplay, and Beyond Good and Evil 2 probably stole the show. All in all, they had a good E3 (for them).
Here are the games announced/shown and their release dates:
Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle: August 29th, 2017
Assassin’s Creed Origins: October 27th, 2017
The Crew 2: Early 2018
South Park: The Fractured But Whole: October 17th, 2017
Transference: Spring 2018
Skull & Bones: Spring 2018
Just Dance 2018: October 27th, 2017
South Park: Phone Destroyer: 2017
Starlink Battle For Atlas: 2018
Steep: Road to the Olympics: December 2017
Far Cry 5: February 27th, 2018
Beyond Good and Evil 2: Keep Dreaming
Games Announced: 12
Release in 2017: 6 (50%)
Set dates: 5* (83%) (42%)
*Far Cry 5’s date is announced, but in 2018.
The numbers aren’t terrible. What’s important is that Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry both got set dates, even though one is 2018. Mario x Rabbids being shown for the first time and getting a date is a good move, and South Park: The Fractured But Whole is a solid game that has a solid date. The games that don’t have confirmed dates seem to be more of their B-Team games: The Crew 2, Steep DLC, and Skull & Bones. Ubisoft also showed off what they’re working on when it comes to VR, but of course no release date for Transference. Like I said, Beyond Good and Evil 2 stole the show, but it is in the earliest possible stage of development possible. Do not expect this anytime soon.
Final Verdict: B-
Ubisoft did what they needed to do, which was show off Assassin’s Creed Origins and Far Cry 5 and have release dates for them. Everything else was filler. Beyond Good and Evil was definitely a cool play, but they maybe should have held off for another year and shown some gameplay.
People are going to buy Battlefront 2, just on the merit of it being Star Wars, which is a shame. After the first game was a glorified paid beta, EA has a long way to go in our eyes. Battlefront 2 was their big play this year, and I guess it worked, because it’s going to sell. All three of their sports games are coming out this year, but yearly sports games are like the tides, you know they’re coming, and roughly when. Need for Speed: Payback’s release is dated as well, which is a good look. What isn’t a good look is the only two games that show promise of something fresh do not have set dates, so we’re going to be waiting a while. A Way Out is set for Spring 2018 (Holiday 2018) and Anthem for Late 2018 (2019).
Let’s have a look at the games:
Battlefield 1: In the Name of the Tsar: September 2017
Fifa 18: September 29, 2017
Madden 18: August 25, 2017
NBA Live 18: December 2017
Need for Speed: Payback: November 10, 2017
A Way Out: Spring 2018
Anthem: Late 2018
Battlefront 2: November 17, 2017
Games Announced: 8
Release in 2017: 6 (75%)
Set Dates: 5 (83%) (62%)
To give credit where it’s due, 75% of EA’s games are coming out this year. That’s only 6 games, and again 3 are sports titles, but it’s still a good number. Only 1 of those 6 doesn’t have a set date, NBA Live, but we can definitely expect to have that by Christmas.
Final Verdict: B
It pains me to give EA such a decent score, but they’re bringing the games, and that’s what I’m asking them to do. Will they be finished games? Probably not. Will they be good games? Come on. Still, kudos to EA for keeping it close. They were hurt by a lackluster line-up and the only two games with promise not having a date attached to them. We’ll have to see how they shape up next year.
Nintendo had a great E3. Sales are up, gamers are excited about the Nintendo Switch, and we’re getting some incredible games. Thing is, how soon? Nintendo is releasing a lot in 2017, but they’re not being specific about when. Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors (stateside), and Rocket League are slated for 2017, but without firm dates. Pokken Tournament DX, Splatoon 2 are coming in 2017, with dates, and ARMS made it’s debut the day after E3.
Fans should be happy for new Zelda content coming this year, but they are definitely ecstatic about what’s coming eventually: Metroid Prime 4 and a Pokemon console RPG will have people raving and following rumors for months to come. We saw a title image for Metroid and a vocal confirmation for Pokemon, but nothing else. Don’t expect either anytime soon. Super Mario Odyssey, however, looks incredible and you can expect it to be available on October 27 of this year.
Here’s the dates:
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: 2017
Metroid Prime 4: Longer than anyone would like.
Pokken Tournament DX: Sep 22, 2017
ARMS: June 16, 2017
Splatoon 2: July 21, 2017
Fire Emblem Warriors: 2017
Zelda BOTW: The Master Trials: June 30, 2017
Zelda BOTW: The Champions Ballad: Fall 2017
Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle: August 29, 2017
Rocket League: Fall 2017
Super Mario Odyssey: October 27, 2017
Games Announced: 14
Release in 2017: 9 (64%)*
Set Dates: 5 (55%) (36%)*
Nintendo did E3 right. They came in with a power list of games, and showed them just enough to hype people up for them. Not to mention the footage overload and continued announcement from the Treehouse, which have not been counted here. What Nintendo did better than the others was supplementing big games that don’t have release dates, with big games that do. While Metroid Prime 4 and Pokemon are a ways off, Super Mario Odyssey will be here before Halloween. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will be here by the end of the year as well. Splatoon 2, an upgraded Pokken Tournament DX, and the stellar ARMS rounded out a solid line-up of games.
Ubisoft tried to supplement Beyond Good and Evil 2 with Far Cry 5 and Assassin’s Creed Origins, but Assassin’s Creed is currently stale and people have been expecting Far Cry 5. They didn’t have enough outside their usual lineup to justify showing off a game that isn’t going to be finished for years. Nintendo gave us enough solid games coming this year to hold us over until Metroid and Pokemon make their way to the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo’s 64% of games releasing this year is behind only EA and Bethesda. But unlike EA, Nintendo showed off enough to excite people for now and the future. They came to E3 with a solid bunch of games and left as its champion.
[*Editor’s Note: Metroid and Pokemon were only announced so early due to the backlash revolving around both series. Metroid Prime Federation Force was despised, and if they had revealed Metroid Samus Returns for the 3DS without mentioning a game for Nintendo Switch, it would have gone over as well as the disappointing Pokemon Direct that forced Nintendo to confirm a Switch exclusive Pokemon RPG was in development, far earlier than they liked. If we take those two forced announcements out, the numbers come out to 75% and 42% respectively.]
Final Verdict: A-
The only thing that takes away from a perfect score is only 5 of the games shown have set dates. While I believe Rocket League and Zelda’s The Champion’s Ballad DLC will be out this year, it’s annoying not to see confirmed dates for big releases. Either way, we’re getting a lot of Nintendo this year and beyond.
Xbox’s mindset this year was “let’s show literally every game they’ll be able to play. That’s what they want, right?” Eh. I like the sentiment of Microsoft. They’ve been on the bad side of gamers for a while, and are doing all they can to get back to the glory days of the 360. This was a good step, but let’s see when we’ll be able to play all of these games:
Anthem: Late 2018
Assassin’s Creed: Origins: October 27th, 2017
Code Vein: 2018
Crackdown 3: 2017
Dragonball Fighter Z: 2018
Forza Motorsport 7: October 3, 2017
Life is Strange Before the Storm (First 3 episodes): August 31, 2017
Metro Exodus: 2018
Middle Earth: Shadow of War October 27, 2017
Ori and the Will of the Wisps: TBD
Sea of Thieves: 2018
State of Decay 2: 2018
Lucky’s Tale 2: November 2017
ARK: Survival Evolved: August 8, 2017
The Artful Escape: When it’s damn ready
Astroneer: TBD (enhanced for Xbos One X)
Black Desert Online: 2018
Conan: Exiles: TBD
Cuphead: September 29, 2017
Dark and Light: 2017
The Darwin Project: TBD
Deep Rock Galactic: 2017
Dunk Lords: TBD
Fable Fortune: July 11, 2017
Fortnite: July 25, 2017
Hello Neighbor: August 29, 2017
The Last Night: TBD
Minion Masters: TBD
Osiris: New Dawn: 2017
Path of Exile: TBD
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds: 2017
Paladins: Champions of the Realm: TBD
Raiders of the Broken Planet: 2017
Robocraft: Infinity: TBD
Strange Brigade: TBD
Surviving Mars: 2018
Unruly Heroes: TBD
We Happy Few: TBD
Games Announced: 46
Release in 2017: 18 (39%)
Set Dates: 9 (50%) (19.5%)
Phew. Okay, a lot of games, but not a lot this year (percentage wise anyway). What was really cool about Microsoft’s conference is they showed their commitment to indie developers, as shown by the dozens of indie games listed that will be upgraded for the Xbox One X. The problem is none of them have set release dates. These are games that are already out, but there’s no word on when many of the Xbox remaster versions will be playable. It’s good that big games like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, Cuphead, and Tacoma are definitely coming this year, but look at all those TBDs and 2018s. That’s a little discouraging.
Anthem, again, isn’t coming for a bit, but Forza and Middle Earth: Shadow of War both looked impressive. They showed off a lot of good games, but its almost hard to find them in the sea of unknown release dates.
Final Verdict: B+
So, we have to acknowledge the fact that while percentage-wise their numbers are bad, Microsoft announced 18 games for 2017, uncontestedly the largest of any conference. Those 18 games were weighed down by 28 other games that won’t be released until next year at the earliest. It was an interesting strategy, and in a way it worked. There will be a lot of games coming out for the Xbox One X, some of them soon, a lot of them later. If Microsoft had ironed out some of these release dates they would have stunned at the conference. Instead, they impressed. Good enough. What hurt Microsoft more than their bad percentages was that only half of the 14 games they showed (before that huge montage of what’s to come) are coming in 2017. Games like Anthem, Code Vein, and Dragon Ball Z Fighter look great, but we don’t know when we’re getting them.
Bethesda took path B. Every game shown is coming out in 2017. Their list is a little underwhelming, aside from Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, but they’re games you can play soon.
Here they are:
Doom VFR: 2017
Fallout 4 VR: 2017
Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind: Already out
Elder Scrolls: Legends (Heroes of Skyrim expansion): June 29, 2017
Skyrim for Switch: Holiday 2017
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider: September 15, 2017
Quake: Champions: 2017
The Evil Within 2: October 13, 2017
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus: October 27, 2017
Games Announced: 9
Release in 2017: 9 (100%)
Set dates: 4 (44%)
The problem with Bethesda this year is they still think people are hyped on Skyrim, which isn’t really the case. It’s good that they’re expanding the Elder Scrolls Universe, but I don’t think a whole lot of people care about anything Elder Scrolls unless it has a VI next to it. Still, the Dishonored DLC looked as good as it needed to, The Evil Within 2 was a good surprise, and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus looks like it’s taking the game in a great direction.
Final Verdict: A-
100% is 100%. Bethesda doesn’t get an A because the games didn’t impress as much as Nintendo. It’s good to see a few solid games coming out of the studio this year. The best part about this year’s conference is knowing next year’s is going to have some huge games. I hope.
So, how do you do E3? Just ask Nintendo. They showed off what we’re going to get this year, and gave us a taste for the future, which is exactly what an E3 press conference should do. Ubisoft and Sony tried to do this, but they simply don’t have the library to back it up.
Xbox went in their own direction, which was a safe move, but pretty much guaranteed they wouldn’t win E3. They did better than Sony, though. At least in this respect.
Bethesda gets an A (minus) for effort. You can’t really be mad with 100% of games shown getting 2017 release dates, especially when grading primarily on release dates.
While this grading system doesn’t completely represent how each developer did, it helps to see which are dedicated to showing you games they’re going to get to you soon, or which are trying to cultivate as much hype as possible over a few years. What’s important to note is conferences that show a lot of the future give off the sense that there isn’t much going on in the present.