Could A Non-Sequential Elder Scrolls Be Announced At E3?
UPDATE: This was written before the news that Bethesda would be working on three new projects. You can read about that over on Gamespot here.
If you're a returning reader to Gamotere, you'll probably be aware of my love for all-things-Elder Scrolls. I've citied the series before as the thing that showed me that gaming was more than just a cute-plumber jumping up and down, and that games could have incredible worlds and stories - but that isn't what this is about.
A few weeks ago, Bethesda announced that they'd be coming to E3 2016 - something I don't think anyone in the industry thought would happen: I certainly didn't. This sparked a huge amount of speculation, and general questioning: what could it mean? What will they announce and show off?
I imagine there are myriad of things that Bethesda have planned - otherwise I assume they wouldn't be doing a conference again, but I also think there must be something big to warrant another big event like this. What made the conference last year so special, was - obviously - the fact that Fallout was announced and shown off to the world for the first time, with it being released later that same year. While the game may not have blown everybody away, there's no denying how cool it was to watch that event unfold, and just be a part of that excitement.
Fast forward, and here we are. Fallout 4 was released, as was the Definitive Edition for Dishonored (which I wasn't crazy about either). From looking at the release schedule for Bethesda, I can see that the only two announced games that are yet to come out are DOOM (which is coming out on May 13th, so before E3) and Dishonored 2, which will come out after the fact.
Even factoring in the fact that we'll be shown some Fallout DLC and the mysterious Elder Scrolls Legends card-game, frankly, there isn't much that has been announced already for Bethesda to show us. Which is very exciting. That means we'll probably be seeing something brand new.
Bethesda's parent company - ZeniMax Media - currently owns the following studios according to Wikipedia;
ZeniMax Online Studios
Here's what we know:
Bethesda Game Studios have been working on Fallout 4, and is currently working on its expansions, probably with a small team hard at work on the next numbered Elder Scrolls.
ZeniMax Online is working on supporting Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.
id Software is working on DOOM.
Arkane is working on Dishonored 2.
Battlecry Studios is - surprise, surprise - working on Battlecry: that could be a contender for E3, but quite frankly I don't think it's big enough to get people really excited, or to warrant another Press Conference - especially with the concerns Bethesda reportedly have over it.
That leaves Tango Gameworks and MachineGames. Tango were founded in 2012 and have only worked on The Evil Within so far, which came out in 2014. It seems very likely that this year could see a return to that style of game, especially considering how well it did.
MachineGames have been working on Wolfenstein, most recently releasing its DLC: The Old Blood. One would assume that they've been working on the next instalment in that franchise, but probably aren't quite ready to reveal it yet.
That leads me to my main point: could Bethesda have licensed the "Elder Scrolls" franchise to a company like Obsidian (who did Fallout: New Vegas in 2010?) Not only would this provide a nice stop-gap between Skyrim and Elder Scrolls VI for fans of the series, but I think it's also an excellent reason for Bethesda to hold a conference - especially considering how slim the other offerings could be, assuming MachineGames don't have another game to show off yet.
Also, consider this - when Bethesda announced Fallout 4, they also announced - and released - Fallout Shelter, to millions of downloads on mobile. What was announced at their E3 last year, that we've heard nothing about? The Elder Scrolls Legends: a mobile card game. Could it be a tie-in to the next Elder Scrolls game, whether it be a numbered one or not? Only time will tell. I for one sure hope it is.