Last year’s Bethesda conference was fast paced and full of interesting releases. Bethesda has placed themselves as one of the most exciting conferences every year.
This year Bethesda will have slight challenges as some of their biggest announcements either leaked or were teased prior to the show. That being the case the two games, Fallout 76 and Rage 2, that leaked have generated a large amount of excitement. If Bethesda has any other surprises it will make for one exciting show.
With less than two weeks to go, buzz is already building in the lead up to the Electronic Entertainment Expo. With high profile leaks from Walmart Canada, and countdowns counting down to more countdowns, the hype machine is hard at work competing for attention.
But where is the fun in what is already known? The real fun is in setting wildly high expectations and trying to figure out what sorts of strategies and announcements that will be seen in each show.
Imminent Release Dates
Bethesda has become a company that does not like long hype cycles. Fallout 4, being announced and released within 6 months has shown that Bethesda wants to show off a game and give it to players.
This is important because the expectation is, anything shown on stage should get a quick release. Knowing that, Fallout 76 and Rage 2 being on stage are good indicators that dates will also be given.
Normal logic would be to not release too many games in too short a timespan. Bethesda has shown that they are not afraid to let their studios release when they are ready. Last year The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus released only two weeks apart.
Rage 2 seems like a shoe in for a September date when things are quieter. That’s not to say it won’t have competition but not competing with Call of Duty or Battlefield V will give it room to shine.
Fallout 76 is positioned to have a chance to compete in the crowded November date range with Call of Duty’s move to October. With name power like Fallout behind it, that would be the ideal time to capture that pre-Black Friday shopping crowd.
New IP From a New Addition to Bethesda
In recent years Bethesda has done a fantastic job of adding new developers to their family. Machine Games has reinvigorated the Wolfenstein franchise, Arkane Studios brought Dishonored and The Evil Within from Tango Gameworks.
There hasn’t been a new IP released by Bethesda since 2014’s The Evil Within. Finding new talent to expand their portfolio would be a good move for Bethesda. They seem to have a particular eye for up and coming developers.
Bethesda has also had an eye on the VR market for some time now, this new IP being created with VR in mind makes sense. In the last year we’ve gotten The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, Fallout 4 VR and Doom VFR.
That sort of commitment to VR shows that Bethesda would want an internal studio that can continue to push what it’s done with the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
The Elder Scrolls VI
This one might be the hardest one to swallow. Todd Howard in 2016 has come out and said that the next Elder Scrolls game is “a very long way off” (via IGN). With so little industry noise it would be shocking for this E3 to be the time to announce Elder Scrolls VI.
What is known about The Elder Scrolls VI is that it is absolutely being worked on. Bethesda and Todd Howard have not made it a secret that they are working on the project and they will release it. The question is when.
This is one spot that it would be beneficial for Bethesda to ignore it’s six month window. The announcement of Elder Scrolls VI would be an absolute bombshell announcement. WIth proper messaging they could keep the conversation alive until it’s ready to release in another year.
So while there may not be a full on trailer or gameplay demo, this would be the optimal time to release just a short teaser to give fans something to chew on. Small hints about where in the Elder Scrolls universe the game will be set would be enough.