The Entertainment Software Association has announced the lineup of E3 2020 attendees, confirming the list of publishers coming to the conference and those skipping it. Despite a few big-name absences, there are still many games and trailers expected to be shown at E3 2020, as well as some exciting unknowns.
Since Microsoft is gearing up for the holiday 2020 launch of its Xbox Series X console, E3 2020 will be a major event for Xbox fans. Microsoft will likely show off plenty of games running on the new console, including new reveals and the long-awaited Halo Infinite. But E3 2020 won’t be nearly as content-packed as console launch years of the past, since Sony is skipping E3 this year. The company will instead reveal its PS5 at some other event, leaving a big hole in the E3 2020 schedule.
All but one of the publishers attending have yet to announce their exact press conference times, but the ESA has confirmed which publishers will be exhibiting at E3 2020 in some form. Here are all the companies that will and won’t be at E3 2020, along with the games fans can expect to see from them.
Microsoft’s E3 Xbox showcase will undoubtedly be the show’s biggest press conference. The company will most likely reveal full details about the Xbox Series X’s specs, but the most exciting reveals will be about its other projects. Microsoft has announced its next-gen console is just called “Xbox,” suggesting the Series X is only one of several console permutations on the way. Perhaps Microsoft will reveal these during E3, but it might also wait until later to avoid confusion.
What is more certain is that the company will show off plenty of Series X games, which will be cross-gen with Xbox One for a year. Chief among its upcoming titles is Halo Infinite, which will likely get a full gameplay reveal. Microsoft could also show off new footage from Ninja Theory’s Hellblade 2: Senua’s Saga, Rare’s Everwild, and Obsidian’s Grounded. Additionally, Microsoft now owns several development studios with no exclusives yet announced. This could mean new game teases from Double Fine, inXile Entertaiment, or Compulsion Games. A new Forza game is also likely.
There’s been much talk of Microsoft’s focus on cloud gaming, as well. Its Project xCloud service could play a large role in Xbox’s strategy for the new generation, so expect reveals related to game streaming. The next generation may also involve some kind of evolution of Xbox Game Pass, possibly integrated with xCloud.
In 2020, Sony will skip E3 for the second year in a row. This is likely to have major effects on the E3 conference’s future, as more and more publishers have been pivoting from traditional conferences to direct-to-fan streams. Sony said E3’s “vision” did not align with its focus this year. Instead, it will reveal the PlayStation 5 at some other event, be it another conference like PAX or Gamescom or its own, separate showcase.
Many of Sony’s big upcoming games are planned to launch on PS4: Final Fantasy 7 Remake, The Last of Us Part 2, and Ghost of Tsushima will all release before the PS5. These could see cross-gen ports, but Sony has been quiet so far about PS5-exclusive games. Bluepoint Games, which created the PS4’s Shadow of the Colossus remaster, is said to be working on a next-gen game that will set a new graphical benchmark, but little else has been said about the PS5’s lineup. Perhaps Sony’s PS5 reveal will be accompanied by new game announcements, like a God of War or Horizon Zero Dawn sequel. Regardless, Sony’s historically hard-hitting exclusive announcements won’t take place at E3.
Unlike Sony, Nintendo will return for E3 2020. Nothing has been announced so far about its presence there, but it will likely follow its strategy in recent years, broadcasting a pre-recorded E3 Nintendo Direct presentation with new announcements, followed by an extended Nintendo Treehouse: Live show. Nintendo confirmed it has no plans for a Switch Pro in 2020, so fans shouldn’t expect any new hardware announcements – especially in a year crowded with Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles.
New games, on the other hand, are a sure bet. Rumors of new Metroid and Paper Mario games in 2020 suggest those announcements could come at E3, and Nintendo could also reveal more details about Breath of the Wild 2, Bayonetta 3, or Metroid Prime 4. Other unannounced games could also make an appearance, like the theorized Super Mario Sunshine or Odyssey sequel.
Publisher Ubisoft has traditionally held one of E3’s biggest conferences alongside the console manufacturers, and it will probably do so again as part of its confirmed attendance. The company recently announced it’s planning to release five triple-A games in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Three of these – Rainbow Six Quarantine, Watch Dogs: Legion, and Gods & Monsters – were delayed from release windows earlier in 2020, and the last two are rumored to be an Assassin’s Creed game and Far Cry 6. It’s also confirmed that the Division 2 team is working on an Avatar game based on James Cameron’s movie universe, and the team that made Rainbow Six Siege is working on a new project.
EA was not included in the ESA’s list of conference exhibitors. While this means it won’t be presenting anything itself, it’s unclear if it will be absent entirely. It’s possible an EA game could be revealed during Microsoft or Nintendo’s press events, and EA could once again host its pre-E3 EA Play event, held nearby the actual E3 convention’s location. If this is the case, fans should expect games in the company’s flagship sports series and updates related to Apex Legends. It’s also possible the company could reveal a new Star Wars game, especially after Jedi: Fallen Order’s high sales.
Bethesda held press events for the past few E3 conferences, and that’s not likely to change this year. After the Fallout 76 fiasco, Bethesda has a chance to earn back some goodwill with more details on its single-player sci-fi RPG Starfield, which seems to be the publisher’s closest and most significant upcoming project. Otherwise, the company could reveal more about The Elder Scrolls 6, Fallout 76′s Wastelanders DLC, and the Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo games it announced at E3 2019.
Like EA, Activision is not included in the list of attendees, but its games may still show up in other company’s press conferences. This would likely include more content for existing games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but fans could also see a surprise Activision-published, third-party title, like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Additionally, more Activision remasters and reboots could be on the way.
The latest two Square Enix E3 shows have been a mix of exciting and underwhelming reveals, with highs like Final Fantasy 7 Remake and lows like The Quiet Man. If Square Enix hosts an E3 2020 conference, fans will probably see more from Marvel’s Avengers and Final Fantasy 14. A Final Fantasy 7 Remake “episode two” tease is also a possibility, along with new, strange game announcements and hopefully some news from the Tomb Raider franchise.
While not quite the major blow as Sony’s, The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley’s E3 2020 absence is yet another sign of the industry’s shift away from E3. Keighley said on Twitter he didn’t “feel comfortable participating” based on what he knew of the show so far. The ESA recently confirmed previously leaked plans pointing to E3 2020 as a “fan, media, and influencer festival,” focused on creating an experience for fan attendees instead of a collection of media-focused press conferences. For some time now, many have said E3 needs to go in this direction, but Keighley said E3 “shouldn’t just be a show floor.”
In addition to the bigger publishers, a number of smaller companies are confirmed to be attending. Sega, Capcom, WB Games, and Bandai Namco Entertainment America will all be at the show in some form, which means viewers could see announcements of games in the Sonic, Monster Hunter, Resident Evil, Batman, and Dark Souls series, among others. Limited Run Games has already confirmed its E3 press conference time for June 8, making it the first publisher to do so. Devolver Digital is not among the publishers listed by the ESA, but it will most likely stream its usual gore- and game-filled conference at some point during the show.
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E3 2020 will occur during the week of June 8, 2020.