I’m not feeling too good about Bethesda walking into E3 this year. While their entrance into the exhibition has been a surprisingly solid and consistent affair, remnants of their popularity has diminished in the last year. Let’s put it all into perspective. Bethesda published two games in 2018. Wolfenstein 2: The New Collossus for Nintendo Switch and the universally panned game Fallout 76. Since then, Bethesda has released an underwhelming mobile game in the Elder Scrolls universe and a sequel to one of their less popular IPs (Rage 2) that was received with mixed reception. This puts the ‘gamer-friendly’ publisher in a tough position.
Bethesda, right after Fallout 76 launched
The first major obstacle is trying to sell Starfield (a new IP) to an audience after Fallout 76. It almost felt like Fallout 76 was rushed together in an effort to release a new title in 2018, while trying to pamper it up with the Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI teases last year. Given the reception of Fallout 76, I can see one of two things happening – a huge blow-out on Starfield with no release date or Bethesda pulls it from the show due to fear of backlash due to its current state. It’s rumoured that Starfield has been in development for a while now so perhaps it is in a good shape. Don’t expect anything Elder Scrolls VI unless Bethesda wants to cushion the Starfield announcement as well.
You can expect DOOM Eternal will play a big part at the show and will probably be the safest bet going in due to its current standing in the community and the developer’s reinvigorated love for the franchise. I expect we will see a release date set for later this year.
DOOM Eternal may be Bethesda’s saving grace this year
Ever since VR headsets entered into the market, Bethesda has been at the forefront of the medium. They have either ported or made VR games out of Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, DOOM, Prey and soon, Wolfenstein franchises. That leaves Dishonored, The Evil Within and Rage. My bet is you will see at least one of these franchises get a VR treatment (please be Dishonored).
We might get one or two more surprises. It’s been two years since Tango Gameworks released Evil Within 2 so perhaps we may see a new game by them?