No matter how it changes over the years, E3 is still the biggest event in gaming. Whether it’s held at a hotel, a convention center or somewhere out in Hollywood, it is the definitive industry event of the year, where gamers from around the world get together to see what comes next for consoles, handhelds, PCs, mobile phones and everything in between.
That said, while E3 2019 has the heritage of the world’s most illustrious gaming convention, this year’s show will be a bit different: EA announced recently that it wouldn’t hold a traditional press conference and would opt instead to host several smaller live stream events, while Sony says it won’t be attending the conference at all.
- Update: Nintendo has announced a time for its E3 Nintendo Direct event that will go up on YouTube at 12pm ET/9am PT on Tuesday, June 11. EA has also just opened up fan registration for its annual EA Play event in Los Angeles. The event will be held on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, and it will give fans an inside look at Respawn’s new game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, plus hands on time with Battlefield V, Anthem and a suite of new EA Sports titles. Snag your tickets for the event here!
If E3 is your go-to source for gaming news, that may raise a few questions: Will E3 still be the same? Is it dying? Does that mean we’ll all get a discount on a conference pass? The answers to all of the above, for now, are no.
While we won’t be sure exactly what’s going to be different about this year’s event until we get there, we can hopefully provide some insight – and some predictions – as to the games we’ll get to see at this year’s show.
When is E3 2019?
Officially, the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 2019) will begin on Tuesday, June 11 and end on Thursday, June 13. Those dates, however, are just for the portion of the show held inside the Los Angeles Convention Center.
In reality, the first big event of E3 2019 is the EA Play kick-off event that’s slated for Friday, June 7 at the Hollywood Palladium. While EA has told us not to expect a keynote speech, that Friday afternoon is the first time we’ll be able to play the publisher’s upcoming titles, as well as get some info about games coming out in the next year or two.
Between EA Play on Friday and the opening of the show floor on Tuesday morning you can also expect a press event for Microsoft sometime on Sunday afternoon with a chance of Bethesda, Square Enix, Ubisoft and Nintendo announcing a keynote later.
We expect to be in Los Angeles from Friday until Thursday, and gamers with an entry pass should try to do the same.
EA at E3 2019
Keynote time: EA Play won’t have a keynote this year, but ticketed fans are welcome to join EA Play at the Hollywood Palladium on Saturday, June 8.
EA has an early lead going into 2019 with its plans already detailed on the publisher’s website. To that end, EA says it will be hosting its annual EA Play event on June 8 with free tickets to be distributed shortly.
According to a press release from EA on which games it’s bringing to E3 2019, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from Respawn Entertainment will definitely be there. It’s more than likely we’ll hear about some addition to the Titanfall universe – either a second spin-off title or Titanfall 3 – as well as its plans to expand its successful battle royale shooter, Apex Legends.
Elsewhere inside EA’s event we’ll see announcements for the next version of the Madden, FIFA, NHL and NBA Live franchises and, very likely, another expansion for The Sims 4 that might continue StrangeVille’s story-first approach.
Less likely but still possible are new games from EA’s DICE studio, the developers behind the Battlefield and Star Wars Battlefront games who have yet to announce a project for 2019, as well as projects from PopCap (famous for Plants vs Zombies) and Ghost Games, the new stakeholders of the Need for Speed franchise.
Last but not least, BioWare debuted a teaser trailer for Dragon Age 4 at last year’s The Game Awards, and we expect to hear something – anything – about its development at EA’s event.
Square Enix at E3 2019
Keynote time: Monday, June 10, at 6 PM PT / 9 PM ET
After the long-awaited release of Kingdom Hearts 3 in early January, Square Enix has been fairly quiet. What we know for sure is that Square Enix is currently working on Dragon Quest Builders 2 on Nintendo Switch, as it was announced during a Nintendo Direct earlier this year, as well as Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition.
Outside of those two games, it’s likely we’ll hear more about the next episode in Life is Strange 2, as well as DLC for Kingdom Hearts III.
Less likely but still possible is the chance that we’ll hear about The Avengers Project that’s being developed by Crystal Dyamics and Eidos Montreal and Final Fantasy VII Remake which, back in 2017, switched developers from CyberConnect2 to Square’s in-house team.
‘But is it too early to hear something about Final Fantasy 16?’ Yes. Yes, it is.
Microsoft at E3 2019
Keynote time: Sunday, June 9 at 1 pm PST, 4 pm EST and 9 pm BST
As of right now, Microsoft is the only one of the big three console makers that’s definitely going to E3 2019. That gives Microsoft a bit of an advantage if it decides to debut its next-gen Xbox codenamed Project Scarlett, and it might be the reason why Sony is avoiding the show altogether.
While we’re still not sure exactly what Microsoft is going to show us in terms of hardware, we’re likely to hear more about XCloud, Microsoft’s new game streaming service and new updates to its Xbox Game Pass subscription service which has grown immensely in the last 12 months.
Less likely, Microsoft could have demos of the HoloLens 2 in a similar setup to a few years ago when it paired the hardware with a demo of Halo 5: Guardians, but that’s on the far fringes of what’s likely to happen.
Last year Microsoft announced the acquisition of several new studios including The Initiative, Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory and Compulsion Games, so hopefully we’ll start to see some of the projects these companies have been working on.
Bethesda at E3 2019
Keynote time: Sunday, June 9, 2019 at 5:30pm PT
Regardless of Sony’s plans, we now know that Bethesda will be holding a showcase event at E3 2019, close in time to last year’s event. To that end, you can expect to hear more about the developer/publisher’s titles starting on Sunday, June 9, 2019 at 5:30pm PT.
So what can we expect to see? It’s almost a given that we’ll hear updates for legacy titles like The Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76, two of the developer’s largest MMOs to date, as well as the previously Doom Eternal from partner iD Software.
In between bombshell announcements, we’re also likely to hear more about Bethesda’s free-to-play and mobile offerings like Elder Scrolls Blades, which is due out later this year, and The Elder Scrolls: Legends, a free-to-play card game that’s in the same vein as Hearthstone.
Unfortunately, those of us expecting to see new trailers for the next hotly anticipated entry in the Elder Scrolls franchise, Elder Scrolls VI, and Bethesda’s ambitious sci-fi project, Starfield, are going to be disappointed. Bethesda Game Studios executive producer Todd Howard told a roomful of attendees at PAX East that it’s still too early to talk about the games and asked everyone to “please be patient”.
Interested in attending in-person? Bethesda is giving out tickets via an online contest that will give out two tickets to you and a friend!
Sony at E3 2019
Keynote time: N/A
Sorry guys, unfortunately Sony is skipping the E3 festivities this year and has said that it will instead find another venue to showcase the games and hardware coming down the pipeline. That said, we won’t rule out another State of Play event, like the one Sony held back in March.
Ubisoft at E3 2019
Keynote time: Monday, June 10, 2019 at 1pm PT (4pm ET, 9pm UK)
Ubisoft will definitely be back at this year’s E3. The developer-slash-publishing house has a lot on its plate for early 2019 including Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 as well as Trials Rising, both of which came out in the February-March window, but hasn’t said what’s coming later this year.
The game we know the most about from Ubisoft that would likely be at this year’s show is Skull and Bones, the ship-focused combat game that looks to carry the torch from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Ubisoft has yet to give us a solid release date for the game, but it’s likely that’s the sort of thing it’s saving for an E3 2019 keynote.
It’s also likely we’ll hear more about Beyond Good and Evil 2 and potentially get our first look at the gameplay at Ubisoft’s keynote… but that could just be wishful thinking on our part.
Beyond those two games, we’ve heard rumors that Ubisoft will announce three to four new AAA titles in between March 2019 and March 2020, but we can only speculate what’s to come. The only franchise that’s definitely not going to be there is a mainline Assassin’s Creed game as Ubisoft has said that it will be skipping a release in 2019.
PC Gaming Show at E3 2019
Keynote time: Monday, June 10, 2019 at 10am PT (1pm ET, 5pm UK)
If you’re a PC gamer, you won’t want to miss the PC Gaming Show, which will make its fifth consecutive return to the convention.
We’re not sure what to expect from the two-hour event, but if it’s anything like previous years it will feature a number of indie games that wouldn’t usually get time up on the big stage alongside hardware announcements.
At last year’s event we got the chance to see a number of new indie games like Neo Cab and Maneater, as well as some heavy-hitting titles like Stormlands from Insomniac and Warframe: The Sacrifice from Digital Extremes. We’re expecting some similar big announcements from this year’s show.
Nintendo at E3 2019
Keynote time: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 9am PT (12pm ET)
While Sony won’t be at this year’s event, Nintendo most certainly will – first digitally in a Nintendo Direct that usually airs Tuesday morning and then physically when its massive booth takes over West Hall.
In terms of what games Nintendo is going to bring with it this year, the company says we’ll hear more about Pokemon Sword and Shield, as that’s due out by the end of 2019, plus the Link’s Awakening Remake and Mario Maker 2.
We’re hoping we’ll also hear more about Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch, which was announced in 2018 and given a 2019 launch window, but there’s no guarantee from Nintendo that we’ll catch Tom Nook at this year’s show.
Beyond those core games, we know Nintendo is developing Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Fire Emblem Three Houses, the latter of which should be available in August unless it’s delayed. Nintendo could also use the time to show off its next Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC character pack.
Either way, we’ll find out more on June 11 at 9am PT.
Devolver Digital at E3 2019
Keynote time: Confirmed, but TBD
Last but certainly not least, we couldn’t leave out Devolver Digital, who has confirmed via Twitter that it would be posting another off-the-wall pre-recorded keynote which may or may not involve fictional CEO Nina Struthers.
Expect it to be just as weird as year’s.