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The Biggest Absences Of E3 2018

Every E3, there are surprises. Great games get announced, awesome new experiences are debuted, and plenty of people walk away with a smile on their face. However, for every smiling person who leaves an E3 conference, there's another one frowning, disgruntled by the fact that their personal favorite series was nowhere to be found. This list is for those folks.


With this piece, we're going to examine all the heavy-hitters that were nowhere to be found at E3 2018. Be they games that were announced years ago or highly anticipated projects from lauded developers, every title and franchise on this list failed to make an appearance at E3, much to the chagrin of entitled and expectant fans everywhere. We thought the games on this list would be no-brainers, and we sat through each conference smugly awaiting their announcement. Yet, just like the girl in The Notebook, they never showed up. And we were left waiting; we were left wanting. Prepare to read, and weep, about the biggest no-shows of E3 2018.

These aren't the Star Wars games you're looking for

This one is an outright tragedy: Electronic Arts didn't show off a single frame of footage from any new Star Wars game. All we got was a title: Jedi: Fallen Order. That name, by itself, sounds awfully cheesy. Maybe an epic CGI teaser trailer could've assuaged the wet thud the lonely name announcement made — not that we'll get a chance to test that theory, given that EA already let the cat out of the bag.


That's about all they let out, though. We got news of DLC for Star Wars: Battlefront II, slated to feature fan-favorites General Grievous and Obi-Wan Kenobi, in addition to Count Dooku, Anakin Skywalker, and a brand new map, Geonosis. However, we didn't get to see a glimpse of any of this content, besides a single piece of General Grievous promo art.

The only footage we got at all was a previously-released trailer for BF2's Kessel DLC. Beyond that, Star Wars might as well have not been brought up at E3. Considering EA holds exclusive rights over the Star Wars video game license, courtesy of Disney, this is yet another year of failure that should encourage the House of the Mouse to alter their deal. Pray, for the good of the franchise, that they alter it further.


Where's the Man of Steel?

"Rocksteady's going to make a Superman game!" Rumors and hopes such as this have been chugging along for years. Yet we haven't seen a single iota of proof that the much-speculated game is in development ... or even exists. The absence of Rocksteady at E3 2018 means this pained speculation will continue.


Though we don't have definitive proof that Rocksteady's developing a Superman game, we do have evidence to suggest that they're definitely up to something of that nature. Think about it: Rocksteady hasn't had a major AAA release since 2015, with Batman: Arkham Knight. And remember, Arkham Knight was the end of the line for Rocksteady's take on Batman. This means Rocksteady's been quietly working on another project for Warner Bros. over the past three years. What kind of license or property would necessitate that kind of immense dedication, funding, time, and secrecy?

We can't be certain, but, given that Batman's run his course, only the Man of Steel himself seems like a likely contender for such parameters. Plus, given Rocksteady's open-world resume, it makes sense that they'd be tasked with developing that same variety of game for a character who's known to fly freely over skyscrapers. What we're saying is: the rumors make sense. We want them to make sense. Yet, given Rocksteady's lack of an appearance during this year's E3 proceedings, it seems we'll be left to cope for another year with nothing but our theories and dreams. Alas.


Avengers: some assembly still required

This one's equal parts heartbreaker and head-scratcher. It makes all the sense in the world to think Square Enix would showcase their progress on their upcoming Avengers game, especially given how E3 happens to be scrunched directly between the release of Avengers: Infinity War and the start of the hype train for Avengers 4. It was as perfect a marketing opportunity as one could possibly imagine! Yet here we are, still with no clue as to what Square Enix and Marvel are cooking up.


The fact that Square can't even give us a logo, or a genre, or any sort of descriptor besides "a video game" is the most unbearable part of this whole affair. With half the universe dead and the Avengers in complete disarray onscreen, all we want is to know that they're alive and well in a different medium (and given how much of a mess the comics are right now, that medium needs to be video games). Alas, that's too much to ask of Square Enix, apparently.

And now that Square's lost their window to make a marketing splash at E3 ... well, we don't feel so good, Mr. Stark.

The curious case of the Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy is a series with some of the most dedicated fans in the whole medium of video gaming. They put up with indignation after indignation, waiting entire decades for games like Final Fantasy XV to come out. They chomp at the bit for anything Final Fantasy, and are even eager for remakes. That's right, Square: you've got fans who will re-buy old games from you, as long as you polish them up and add some current-year flair to the package!


We say this to alert Square, as they don't seem aware that they've got fans eagerly awaiting news regarding Final Fantasy VII's much-hyped remake. What else could explain the flabbergasting fact that the company didn't release any footage, a trailer, or even a tiny morsel of info regarding the game at E3 2018? It was announced way back in 2015, for crying out loud, and here we are in 2018 with nothing but years-old previews to live off of. Where's the Final Fantasy VII Remake, Square Enix? Answer us!

Dragon Age 4 soars over E3

Between the tired sports games and embarrassingly small amount of Star Wars content, a new Dragon Age announcement could've gone a long way in the company's attempt to save face. And it's not like we don't know a fourth entry exists: BioWare's very own Casey Hudson already admitted that it's being worked on, albeit by a small portion of BioWare's staff (who are currently focused on making sure Anthem turns out okay).


Given that info, the game is clearly in its infancy, but still, is it really too much to ask for a title or a logo? It's been four years since Dragon Age: Inquisition, after all, and people are hungry for another entry in the franchise. E3 2018 would've been a great opportunity to assure the series' fans that wheels were turning on Dragon Age 4 — a great opportunity that EA completely passed on.

Splinter Cell sneaks past E3

We haven't had a Splinter Cell game since 2013's Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Michael Ironside just reprised his role as Splinter Cell's protagonist, Sam Fisher, for a cameo in Ghost Recon: Wildlands. These were signs as clear as day, for most fans: a new Splinter Cell game was on the way, and we'd catch a glimpse of it at E3.


And then we didn't. What the heck? Ubisoft did not get Michael Ironside back on the Splinter Cell train just to do a voice cameo in a different franchise. That doesn't add up. If anything, the cameo made the most sense as an advertisement for an upcoming, soon-to-be-announced Splinter Cell game. At least, that's what's we all thought. It seemed too obvious: Ubisoft simply wanted to get Sam Fisher's image (and voice) back in the public consciousness ahead of a new Splinter Cell reveal.

'Twas not the case, unfortunately. Now E3 2018 has passed, and Ubisoft has neglected to feed us any Splinter Cell news. Next year, perhaps? We can hope. As Assassin's Creed continues to drift further and further away from being about sneaking, we really do need a proper single-player stealth game from Ubisoft.


Sony's dormant franchise volcano

Sony really skimped at this year's E3. With their own President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, Shawn Layden, taking shots at consumers with quotes like "don't come here expecting to have some big flashy new idea come out," and their entire show consisting of only four major AAA games, it's pretty clear the company had no desire to bring their best.


Their best, in this instance, was any of the many PlayStation-exclusive franchises that failed to even garner a mention at Sony's conference. In no particular order, here are the franchises that were completely ignored: Uncharted, Killzone, inFamous, Little Big Planet, and Horizon. Basically, almost all of Sony's in-house franchises were ignored by the company, in favor of showcasing Hideo Kojima's strange "game" (we're convinced it's just a digital social experiment) Death Stranding, Spider-Man's PS4 outing, Ghost of Tsushima, and The Last of Us Part II (that's one Sony franchise total, for those of you keeping count).

What's the next Uncharted adventure? When's Sackboy coming back? What's up with the Helghast, these days? Where's the inFamous series headed next? These are all questions we'll have to wait until next E3 to answer, evidently.


Nintendo's Prime problem

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption came out way back in 2007. That means it's been over a decade since we've received an entry in the Prime series, a fact Metroid fans have lamented for the entirety of those years. However, Nintendo seemed ready to ease fans' pain via the announcement of Metroid Prime 4 at E3 2017. That year, all we got was a logo. This year, everyone expected some more Metroid goodies. Would we get concept art? A CGI trailer? Actual gameplay? It was anyone's guess, and we were all excited to find out what Nintendo had in store for us.


As it turns out, they had nothing in store for us, and Metroid Prime 4 became the show's defining no-show. The only love Samus Aran, Ridley, and the Metroid franchise got was in the form of their epic takeover of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and even then, those are just appearances in a crossover game. When it came to Metroid Prime itself, there was no new content to be found. Nintendo didn't even see fit to mention the game's existence. For that reason, we're christening MP4 with our own subtitle: Metroid Prime 4: Pretty Please?

At Witch Time does Bayonetta 3 appear?

Just like with Metroid Prime 4, Nintendo pulled a cute little "number only" teaser for Bayonetta 3 not too long ago, showcasing the name of the popular property before neglecting to mention it in any shape or form at E3 2018. Nintendo has seemingly forgotten about its existence and refused to try and keep its development in the public consciousness. Why, Nintendo? Why do that? No one benefits when a game is announced super early then roundly ignored by its own creators.


It's not like anyone's buying a Switch based off a logo announcement for a game that's more than two years out. And, furthermore, it's not like diehard fans of Bayonetta like being teased in cruel and unusual ways ... well, scratch that, but you get what we're trying to say. The point is, we should've seen Bayonetta crop up somewhere besides Super Smash Bros. Ultimate during Nintendo's E3 2018 presentation — like, say, her own freakin' game.

Where were the stompy robots?

Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment and part-time rogue game developer, tweeted something pretty cryptic ahead of E3 2018: "... we figured out a juicy little tidbit to mention about 1 of the 3 projects tomorrow at #EAPlay2018." Well, we're all fans of juicy little tidbits. And we're also fans of Respawn's (previously) one and only series, the critically acclaimed Titanfall games. Both Titanfall 1 and 2 feature some of the most finely-tuned, exhilarating gameplay in the FPS genre, so a third game's announcement would've made a great addition to EA's slate of upcoming titles.


However, we were naive to stand by for Titanfall 3 at E3. After all, Respawn has just done two games in the series back-to-back; it makes sense that they'd want a break (or simply want to diversify their portfolio). Plus, we've known for a while now that they were tasked with making a Star Wars game, given that they announced it way back in 2016. Actually, if that game's been in development for two years, why are we only getting a title? Respawn's got some serious explaining to do regarding the status of all their projects, at next year's E3.

Skating past E3

Speaking of games EA chose not to announce at E3, let's address the halfpipe-sized elephant in the room: Skate 4. It was nowhere to be found at the conference, but it made a heck of an appearance amongst all the eager fans populating EA's conference's livestream. Was fan hope misplaced? For sure. Was it unjustified? Well, not so much. Skate 3's servers randomly came back online just ahead of E3, which is pretty strange for a game that had its online functionality shuttered in 2016. And given that EA didn't speak a word about this, it seemed like the perfect stealth-teaser to precede the formal announcement of a sequel. Fan chatter was abuzz with the hope that Skate 4 would make its grand debut at EA Play, and then, just like with any new Star Wars footage, and just like with Titanfall 3, it didn't.


Skate fans then got smacked in the face a second time when it looked like the game would actually be cropping up at Microsoft's E3 conference. But as the title of this list indicates, Skate 4 didn't show up there either.