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Bethesda E3 2017: What to expect

Welcome to the wild card

Fallout 4 Bethesda

Bethesda showed us the first trailer for Prey at E3 last year, and Dishonored 2 was first revealed at E3 2015. Fallout 4 was revealed on June 3 in 2015, more details were given at Bethesda’s E3 press conference on June 14, and the game was released on Nov. 10.

Bethesda is comfortable with short hype cycles, something that’s rare in a business that seems to mostly run on promises and non-gameplay teaser trailers. That’s an exciting thing to think about, as games that are announced next week may be in our hands by the end of the year. So what do we expect from the company’s press conference? Well, the following tweet below gives some clues, and our thoughts follow after it.

Starfield (maybe)

The big rumor is that Bethesda will announce an open-world science fiction game called Starfield alongside a mobile app, with a story that links some of Bethesda’s existing worlds. A sort of Bethesda Cinematic Universe, if you’d like. This rumor is based on some pretty thin sourcing, so we’re skeptical, but the idea sounds pretty cool. It also wouldn’t be shocking if the game exists but is being held until E3 of next year to avoid the aforementioned multiyear cycle of hype.

Bethesda’s VR games

It would be great to see Doom VR and Fallout VR in action and maybe given a release window, but expectation management is going to be a tricky thing on those games. Both titles, as they exist on a standard screen, would be unplayable in VR. Expect a lot of adjustment for a comfortable experience in virtual reality, which means the games may not be exactly what fans of the series are craving.

The Elder Scrolls Online

Bethesda will also be sure to remind the world that The Elder Scrolls Online is a thing that exists, and we will all nod dutifully. Our responsibility to the title will thus be fulfilled for yet another year.


The question is whether Bethesda will show the Nintendo Switch version of Skyrim, and whether that port of the game will live up to what players expect. The Switch isn’t exactly a powerhouse of a system graphically, and Skyrim in its modern form isn’t what Skyrim used to be. Still, the graphical compromises aren’t enough to scare us off the idea of portable Skyrim. Skyrim.

More Wolfenstein!

It’s also possible we’ll get to see the new Wolfenstein title that was teased at last year’s E3, and Bethesda’s Pete Hines has stated that Wolfenstein developer MachineGames’ next game is “fucking bananas.” So we know something is coming, but we don’t know whether we’ll see it this year or next.


So many E3 press conferences consist of trailers that don’t actually show the game but promise a release before the heat death of the universe — and fair enough — but Bethesda doesn’t have to play by anyone else’s rules. If something is shown or announced, it’s very possible we’ll be playing it by the end of the year. And that’s a very exciting idea indeed.