E3 2021: 5 Things That Won’t Be At The Show

E3 2021: 5 Things That Won’t Be At The Show

The Switch Pro! Halo Infinite! Some unwieldy Bethesda RPG about space or magic or maybe both! An entire oil drum’s worth of ink has been spilled on what to reasonably expect from this year’s all-digital E3. Less discussed: what not to expect.

Some educated guesses can help fill in the gaps. For instance, a Square Enix press release about the lineup for its Sunday press conference didn’t include any mention of Project Athia. Ubisoft’s pre-stream details don’t say a single word about Beyond Good and Evil 2 or Skull & Bones (recently delayed to 2022). But any one of those games — or more — could still show up, whether as a surprise or as an item in Geoff Keighley’s mouthful-of-a-name Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live! event later today. Unlikely, maybe, but technically within the borders of possibility.

Some notable absences are safer bets — specifically because the publisher or developer has gone out of their way to say that so-and-so games won’t be making an appearance. And then, of course, there are the heavy hitters that have bowed out of this year’s show entirely. If the following appear on your E3 bingo card, I’ve got some bad news for you.


horizon forbidden west
Just before E3, Sony staged a major reveal of Horizon Forbidden West. (Screenshot: Sony)

Let’s just rip off the Band-Aid: PlayStation will not be at E3. Sony skipped the 2019 show entirely, and bowed out of 2020’s well before it was eventually cancelled. That January, a Sony spokesperson said, “we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.” This year, Sony isn’t part of the official E3 exhibitor list, but hasn’t commented publicly as to why. Sony did not respond to Kotaku’s request for comment. (Of note: Sony is a participant in Keighley’s month-long Summer Game Fest.)

EA (Mostly)

Dragon Age concept art. (Image: EA)
Dragon Age concept art. (Image: EA)

Mega-publisher EA is eschewing a traditional E3 conference this year, but will host its EA Play Live event on July 22. That said, this week EA formally unveiled Battlefield 2042, the next entry in DICE’s long-running war glorification sim, via a “countdown to a countdown” and a three-minute cinematic trailer. The full gameplay reveal is planned for Sunday’s Xbox event. That could be a harbinger for other EA games showing up in Microsoft’s showcase, but it’s largely a safe bet that EA will save the juiciest stuff for its July event.

Timesplitters And Other Deep Silver Games

Saints Row IV. (Screenshot: Deep Silver)
Saints Row IV. (Screenshot: Deep Silver)

Last month, Deep Silver announced the formation of a new studio, explicitly tasked with reviving the long-dormant Timesplitters series. The new game will absolutely not show up at E3 — nor will anything else from Deep Silver, for that matter. Last week, Deep Silver announced that nothing from the Dead Island, Metro, Saints Row, or Timesplitters series would show up at “any” E3 event. Pour one out for Koch Media’s (Deep Silver’s parent company) press conference, scheduled for 5:00 a.m. on Saturday.

The Division

The Division 2 is getting more content, but you'll have to wait to see what it is. (Screenshot: Ubisoft)
The Division 2 is getting more content, but you’ll have to wait to see what it is. (Screenshot: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft announced that no games from The Division Extended Rendered-In-Engine Universe — be it The Division 2 or the recently announced Division Heartland — will appear at E3. The company noted that “additional tests” for Heartland will open to those who sign up, and that extra content for Division 2 is still “on track for the end of the year.” It’s anyone’s guess as to what that content will look like, whether it’s an expansion on the scale of 2020’s Warlords of New York or a drip-feed of smaller fare.

The Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Remake

E3 2021: 5 Things That Won’t Be At The Show

First announced last fall, the remake of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time won’t show at this year’s E3. Some fans criticised the remake’s trailer for not significantly improving on the visuals of the original game, now nearly two decades old. Ubisoft initially planned for a January 2021 release but pushed the timeline back a bit to March 18. In February, Ubisoft delayed the game indefinitely.

“We are making great progress for our game to release next year, but we are not ready to share any additional information just yet,” the devs wrote in a tweet this week, explaining that the Sands of Time remake won’t show up during Saturday’s Ubisoft Forward presser.

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