E3 2021: the big absentees

E3 2021: the big absentees

E3 2021

E3 2021 gave from the beginning the idea of ​​being an edition in a somewhat modest format, but given the situation it is already a half miracle that it has been organized and has nevertheless brought with it several innovations. We are obviously very far from the heyday of this fair, now downsized due to the choices made by various publishers and producers who are looking for a more fragmented and independent communication system, as well as obviously affected by Covid-19, which has changed all programs for the current year.

Some absences were well known for some time: Sony first of all, now distant from the Entertainment Software Association and willing to continue with its own independent initiatives, also considering the excellent results achieved so far in terms of audience, then Electronic Arts, which has long been committed to its EA Play, although partially present with Battlefield 2042. The lack of these was foreseen, so it cannot be said that it made a lot of noise.

E3 2021 is over, let's continue the balance with a summary of the major absences The great absences of E3 2021 are therefore other , between those communicated a few days after the start of the fair and those that emerged only at the end of the various presentations. It's something we've been accustomed to for some time now: by working with hype, you create huge expectations on events of this type, all the more so coming from a year in which, for the first time in a long time, the fair didn't have even took place, canceled due to the chaos caused by the pandemic.

We were therefore thinking of the year of redemption but in the end the contents, although present, were not up to the wildest dreams. The only conference that was also superior to expectations was the Xbox and Bethesda, partially the Nintendo one, but otherwise the holes were several, so much so that we had to make a rather clear selection on which may have been the greatest absences given the many candidates, as we are going to see.

Microsoft and Nintendo

The great protagonists of E3 2021 were undoubtedly Microsoft and Nintendo, but this does not mean that there were no obvious gaps too in their conferences, where indeed illustrious absences stand out. The Xbox and Bethesda E3 2021 showcase was probably the most interesting moment of the entire summer fair, yet in some respects it upset several expectations matured in the months preceding the event: for example, the lack of Hellblade 2 made a certain noise. , game with which Xbox Series X was practically announced but never showed up afterwards. E3 seemed the perfect opportunity to show off the latest Ninja Theory effort, but it is clear that the British team still has a lot of work to do, probably also due to the relatively recent switch to Unreal Engine 5. Less likely but still highly anticipated were also Fable and Avowed, however even in this case Microsoft wanted to follow a less predictable strategy, without following last year's teasers more extensive presentations here, waiting for more complete builds to show. More worrying is the absence of Everwild, which seems to depend on a total restart of development, or almost.

Bayonetta 3, we continue to have only one logo On the Nintendo front, things are always very difficult to predict but rumors corridor ran wild before E3, starting with the famous Nintendo Switch Pro given almost for sure more or less by everyone and which has not yet materialized. On the other hand, the company had been clear on this from before the fair, immediately denying the presence of news from the hardware point of view. More noisy are the absences of some games expected for years, for which evidently the moment of the presentation has not yet come: Bayonetta 3 was plausible, for example, but we would have gladly given a look at Metroid Prime 4 too, given that by now more than two years have passed since the restart of the work with Retro Studios. There would then be several others, such as the alleged Donkey Kong 2D from Nintendo EAD and the remasters of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, but all of them were still based on somewhat faint rumors.

Considering also the concentration on the next months, it is logical the absence of Splatoon 3, which however was not lacking among the expectations of the fans, while more difficult to understand is the total lack of references on Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which it is true that it is expected in 2022, but he could use the opportunity to be seen in more detail.

Ubisoft and Warner Bros.

Even Ubisoft, on balance, has set up a substantial conference at E3 2021, at least compared to what the competitors did. However, a series of defections announced at the last minute were combined with unjustifiable absences, which substantially reduced the power of the presentation by the French house: the most disappointing absence, even if easily predictable, was Beyond Good & Evil 2, with Michel Ancel's game that recently lost the director due to the retirement of the famous creator of Rayman and whose development could be more complicated than expected. The lack of Tom Clancy's The Division: Heartland was also quite bizarre, although it had already been announced in the days immediately preceding it.

Much less likely, but still highly anticipated, were the mentions of the new and mysterious Star Wars in the works at Ubisoft Massive and above all a possible return of Splinter Cell, which instead continues to hiding.

Suicide Squad has completely skipped E3 2021, like most of the Warner lineup The great expectations for Warner Bros. Have dropped abruptly already in the days preceding the presentation, when the publisher reported that it would only show Back 4 Blood: the question seemed so disappointing as to suggest a sort of pretactic to take us all by surprise, and instead it turned out to be the truth. With two presentations dedicated exclusively to the cooperative shooter of Turtle Rock, we have seen the possibility of seeing highly anticipated titles such as Hogwarts Legacy, or the new Harry Potter game, in addition to Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Gotham Knights fade out. It is clear that the reorganization due to Covid-19 must have hit hard even a giant of the genre, but we certainly expected more from a publisher of this size and with such games in the works.

Take Two , Activision and Square Enix

Final Fantasy 16 was one of the great absentees at E3 2021 It is difficult to find a more fitting example on the absences of the Take Two conference at E3 2021, considering that this was exclusively a sort of videocall on Zoom (or something like that) where various team members talked about inclusiveness and fairness at work. Very important topics, fundamental for building a fair future for everyone and an industry attentive to workers' rights, but perhaps not really suitable for basing on the entire presence of a huge publisher like Take Two at an event like E3.

We were practically certain not to see Grand Theft Auto 6, mind you, but perhaps having some slightest hint of the actual videogame production, like the new BioShock, would not have been a completely out of place desire. However, the various NBA, WWE and PGA are in the works, i could think of their reveal. In any case, maximum respect for the initiative of the publisher who has in any case highlighted extremely important topics of discussion.

The other giant with an extremely lacking presence was Activision: it is clear that Blizzard's productions have already their dedicated convention with BlizzCon, but we thought we could have some information on the other major production on which practically all the internal teams outside of Blizzard (and maybe even someone inside this one) are now betting, or Call of Duty . Instead, giving reason to the rumors, there was no trace of the new Call of Duty: Vanguard, which will probably be presented during an event entirely dedicated or attached to a PlayStation event, while space has been given to Season 4 of Call of Duty: Warzone and Black Ops Cold War.

Square Enix, at the end of the day, was another of the most active publishers during E3 2021, even if the important absences are counted also on this front . Above all Final Fantasy 16, which did not show up at all during the summer fair, perhaps intended for a presentation event by Sony PlayStation, given the very close link between the Japanese publisher and the PS5 manufacturer.

The others absent

Hollow Knight: Silksong did not show himself even at this E3 There were not many hopes of seeing great news also from Capcom, but having its own dedicated space you could think about the announcement of some important news, beyond the desire to release DLCs in an unspecified future. The rumors have long been talking about a possible Dragon's Dogma 2 and many pointed to the presence of the new action RPG with a fantasy setting at the event, but in the end there was practically nothing new in terms of surprises.

We must also mention a real troll by those madmen at Devolver Digital: in the announcement image of their crazy conference, which took place on June 12, we saw a rather direct reference to Hotline Miami 3 , which obviously included the title among the safest news, but then absolutely not to be seen during the presentation, with a move in perfect Devolver style.

Finally, even if frankly we all believed little, we also want to talk about Steam, since the presence of Gabe Newell at the PC Gaming Show seemed to herald great news coming, given his reluctance to appear on occasions of this guy. The rumors were unleashed on the possible existence of a sort of portable console in the style of Nintendo Switch called SteamPal, obviously linked to the digital delivery of Valve and some were pointing to its presentation at E3, given some cryptic words of Newell also emerged of recent: instead none of this, with the head of Steam who limited himself to presenting the Next Fest of Steam, with hundreds of demos available from 16 to 22 June.

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