The presence of Bethesda, and all the studies connected to it, at E3 2021 deserves a separate study, for its now central role in the Xbox communication strategy and for its rich history. But let’s start right from the software house of Todd Howard and associates and try to be crystal clear: it is not a studio like many others, but an established reality for years, moreover with a scary pedigree.
Now that the company has been bought into billions by Microsoft, it will be interesting to find out how its publishing policy and communication strategies will change. This is why it is interesting to go and retrace the rumors and prospects of Bethesda at E3 2021.
Grown enormously since its remote beginnings, Bethesda has made some of the most loved and played Western RPGs ever on PC and consoles, which have produced multi-million dollar sales. The five main The Elder Scrolls and Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 alone make it a bowing resume, despite the natural ups and downs. Having a Bethesda game on their E3 stage was coveted by all hardware manufacturers even before Microsoft’s takeover of the group, because it was clear to anyone that a new Elder Scrolls, or a new Fallout, was joined by their own. consul would have contributed to its spread.
That Microsoft points a lot on Bethesda is shown by the artwork itself with which it announced its event, which sees on the one hand the inevitable Halo Infinite and on the other the confirmation of the presence of Starfield, not explicit but heavily suggested. A few magical words will be enough to conquer the spectators: Xbox / PC exclusive Starfield (which if followed by the words The Elder Scrolls VI exclusive Xbox / PC would create an effect that not even Armageddon).
Little or nothing is known about Bethesda’s new intellectual property in terms of content, apart from some unconfirmed leaks, but it is assumed that we will be faced with a sumptuous triple A, probably very vast, given the space setting, and with enormous play potential. Attention: ours is not intended to be a prejudice, but only a prediction linked to the knowledge of the traditions of the company, which has always invested heavily in its flagship games. Microsoft knows it has something big on its hands, with a huge appeal, especially for the Western public, and will exploit it with every means at its disposal (as indeed it should be, given how much Bethesda has paid).
He also knows that it is not a game desired only by Xbox owners, but by all gamers, also because until a few months ago it was a luxury multi-platform. It is what we could define a “system seller”, an outdated expression to be updated in “brand seller” or “ecosystem seller”, more suitable for an era of cloud gaming and various services. It should be emphasized that Starfield is so far one of the few certainties of the conference, in particular on the Bethesda side.
And an apparition of The Elder Scrolls VI? Probably the works on the game are still on the high seas, but it is not excluded that Microsoft will not play this card, perhaps giving only some news related to the development, accompanied by a new teaser. The full title of the game, the platforms on which it will be released (Xbox exclusive?) And the setting would be enough to galvanize the fans. Unlikely, but not to be underestimated.
Arkane and Tango Gameworks, how to tear them from PlayStation?
The acquisition of Bethesda by Microsoft has not only brought benefits, but also a few things to fry, at least in the short term. For example, the time-exclusive contracts for PS5 of Deathloop by Arkane Studios and Ghostwire: Tokyo of Tango Gameworks are not problematic so much from the economic point of view (in the end Microsoft earns it anyway), as from that of communication. Incidentally: Bethesda cannot fail to bring two of its flagship games of the current year to the stage, from what is known its only two major launches, because it would be counterproductive (it will have invested millions of dollars in both), but how to do it in a joint conference with Microsoft, given that these are two exclusives for the rival Xbox platform? In fact, two Xbox Game Studios are currently connected to the PlayStation world, like it or not.
Different strategies could be adopted to buffer the situation. One would be to try to prove themselves superior and still talk about the two games, presenting them as an effort by two Xbox Game Studios. This would do some publicity for the competition, but would not harm the developers’ work.
Another solution could be to leave both titles to other events. Let’s say that it is less practicable and that it would put them a little in the background (unless they were taken by Sony itself), perhaps creating some internal disagreement, but it would avoid potential embarrassments.
A third solution could be to present them together with other projects of the two studios. For example, Arkane is known to have at least a second game in the works, which if presented as an Xbox exclusive could join Deathloop and weaken the link between the studio and PS5. Unfortunately it is not clear if Tango Gameworks has anything else in development besides Ghostwire: Tokyo, so it could be an impractical solution, or at least very limited and partial.
Many think that MachineGames could present a new one Wolfenstein during the E3 2021 conference of Microsoft and Bethesda. Of course these are just unconfirmed rumors, but we think there are good hopes that something will actually appear on that stage, not least because Machine Games hasn’t been launching something for a while. His latest major title, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, dates back to 2017, followed by 2019’s Wolfenstein: Youngblood, however a minor title. The developers have therefore had plenty of time to prepare their new projects and advance them in development, whatever they may be. It must be said that the title of at least one game in the works at MachineGames is already known: the new Indiana Jones, of which we saw a teaser at the beginning of the year and nothing more.
Could Indy pay a visit to E3 2021? Another small clue about the activity of this talented software house can be found on the official website, where there are sixteen open job positions. From none of them we get any information on the games in gestation, but it is certainly a good number of people, such as to suggest a strong investment in the team by Microsoft. Many people will have to work on something …
Id Software e Zenimax Online
Many underestimate the possibility that id Software present a game at E3 2021, given the recent launch of Doom Eternal, with related DLCs. The truth is that we are talking about a development studio that has already shown in the past that it can manage multiple projects at the same time, launching Quake Champions the year after the Doom reboot. So it wouldn’t be so strange or incredible if it happened again and maybe a new Quake or the remake of the never released Dangerous Dave in Copyright Infringement came out of the hat (joking). We wouldn’t put our hand on fire, but we see it as a good possibility, so not as pleasant as it might seem.
Zenimax Online is instead very busy developing the expansions of The Elder Scrolls Online, but at the same time in recent years it has expanded its staff to devote itself to other projects, which have been rumored for some time. Which we are not given to know, but precisely for this reason we believe that it is not unlikely to see one at E3 2021. Given the know-how of the studio, we imagine that it would be another online title, perhaps a new MMO, but you can never say .
If you have followed us up to here and have done the math, you will have already deduced that at least two or three new games could come out of the Bethesda studios during the conference, an amount more in line with that of the old conferences of the company, where the surprises they have never been lacking. It would be a coup for Microsoft, which could immediately boast a line-up enriched by exclusive top-level names for the Xbox ecosystem, especially if released at the end of 2021 or 2022. However, for now the only certainty is that something will be shown. It is not known what, but Bethesda and her studies will be there.