Of all the staged events leading up to E3, the PC Gaming Show has traditionally felt like the longest. The inaugural show in 2015 went nearly two-and-a-half hours and, despite promises to the contrary, the 2016 show came in around the same length. This year’s event, organized by our friends at PC Gamer and sponsored by Intel, kicks off Monday, June 12 at 1 pm ET and, while we have no assurances as to its duration, we do know that they’ve invited host Sean “Day9” Plott back to do the honors.
Here’s what we expect to learn about along the way.
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds: Online survival shooters were a pretty big deal in the PC space before Bluehole partnered up with modder Brendan Greene, but now they’ve got a tiger by the tail. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is the hottest title on Steam and Twitch right now. It’s the game that everyone is playing, and representatives will be on stage to tell us ... something.
It could just be a victory lap. If there is news — and this is purely speculative on my part — it might include the launch of an actual currency store so you can pay for crates and vanity items, info on for-fee private servers or a the tease of a second world map.
Total War: Creative Assembly will be on hand with lots to talk about. Just a few weeks ago we had hands-on time with Total War: Warhammer 2 and, if we’re lucky, they’ll use their time on stage to unveil the mysterious fourth faction. If we’re very, very lucky it’ll be Skaven.
The studio could also announce a firm release date which has been nebulously pegged at 2017 for a while now.
BattleTech: Big, stompy robots are back in style now that both Harebrained Schemes and others are making new titles in the BattleTech universe. The turn-based game, called simply BattleTech, is looking good after a $2.79 million Kickstarter a few years back. In fact, I’ve been playing the backer beta’s skirmish mode and can happily say that it’s rock-solid. It’s a fantastic tribute to the game’s tabletop roots, with modern graphics and absolutely stunning terrain.
Someone from developer Harebrained will be on stage for sure, but also look for a cameo from the team’s new publishing partner, Paradox Interactive, who swooped in to ink a deal just last month.
Just don’t expect a release date to get announced. As stable as it is, the beta was two months late.
Nexon: LawBreakers is rounding the corner and expected to release this year. Cliff Bleszinski and company released a spirited trailer a few weeks ago that took many by surprise. Not only did it include an excellent remix of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky,” it also gave the multiplayer shooter game something it’s been sorely lacking — personality. Hopefully that’s something they’ll lean into harder.
Bohemia Interactive: Last year BI’s portion of the PC Gaming Show was all about Tanoa, the lush jungle terrain that was released last year. This time around, expect them to provide more clarity on Argo, the free-to-play competitive shooter launching on June 22.
Argo has three modes, each featuring five-versus-five tactical gameplay. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a live demonstration with some kind of shoutcasting over the top of it. Based on the Arma 3 engine, the potential to perform the game live with a dynamic spectator camera is there. It’s up to BI to do the work.
Tripwire Interactive: Last year, when Tripwire showed footage of Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, I wasn’t terribly impressed. After a long weekend with the final product, however, I’m singing a different tune. It’s a great game that absolutely demands good teamwork, a rarity these days.
I have no idea what they’re going to talk about during the PC Gaming Show. Hopefully it’s more than just a bit of product placement. Maybe they’ve got DLC or some other kind of new content to show off.
Raw Fury Games: We expect to hear from the tiny studio Odd Tales, which is partnering with Raw Fury Games on The Last Night. It’s an exquisitely detailed side scrolling action adventure game that’s been heavily inspired by Blade Runner. A product of the inaugural #cyberpunkjam a few years back, it’s been out of the spotlight for a while now. The teaser above was revealed in February. Expect to see some actual gameplay and maybe even a release date.
Microsoft: Also on stage for the PC Gaming Show will be representatives from Microsoft. A press release says that the focus of their fireside chat will be “how Xbox plays into PC.” We read that as being a pitch on the Xbox Play Anywhere program.
But could it also be the announcement of new games for the PC? What about the Master Chief Collection? Perhaps some Halo 5? Those are just a few of the titles that are conspicuously absent from the program and it would be nice to see them get some love. For a list of all the Play Anywhere games currently available check here.
Update (June 8): 2K Games and Firaxis have been added to the slate. They’re teasing something new for XCOM 2.