E3 2019, much like any other E3, brought a few neat reveals and surprises, giving gamers their annual treats. But E3 also came with some nasty tricks that left certain gamers out in the cold. Chiefly, a few companies saw fit to omit their most anticipated titles, characters and franchises from presentations. Heck, Sony omitted itself altogether.
If you thought that a particular series should've been present at E3 2019, know that you're not alone.
Here are the franchises and games we're surprised, and disappointed, didn't make an appearance this year.
In a year absolutely loaded with Tom Clancy announcements, Ubisoft made no mention of a new Splinter Cell game. All we got was a dinky mobile-game reveal that happened to feature Sam Fisher. Between Fisher's cameo in Ghost Recon Wildlands and his appearance in this new mobile game, it's clear Ubisoft knows people are chomping at the bit for Splinter Cell to return. So why must the company tease us so cruelly? Perhaps it's saving Fisher's next adventure for the launch of the next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft.
Skull & Bones
Another surprising omission from Ubisoft's E3 2019 lineup was Skull & Bones, otherwise known as the unofficial Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag expansion that dropped the assassins and somehow became its own IP. Originally revealed in 2017, Skull & Bones sailed outside of gamers' radar this year, likely because it's been delayed to mid- to late 2020 and Ubisoft doesn't want to hype up something that's a ways off when it has the more iminent Watch Dogs: Legion to push. Again, this smells like a tactical delay so Ubi can have a strong lineup for next-gen launch titles. But then again, it's Ubisoft. Who knows why our pirate fun is being withheld?
It's been five years since 2014's Bayonetta 2. And since then, Steam's ban lift on Adult Only titles and the rise of well-funded indie projects like Subverse have started to gobble up Bayonetta's target demographic. As such, with the clock ticking and fans growing impatient, it's perfectly valid to ask where the heck Bayonetta 3 was during Nintendo's E3 Direct video and why that title no longer has a tentative release year. Because what do we, the gamers, want? Fetish catsuits that turn into giant hair whips and high heels! And when do we want 'em? Now! Chop chop, Nintendo.
Metroid Prime 4
Speaking of games that should've gotten at least a little love from Nintendo's E3 Direct, where was Metroid Prime 4? We're all aware Nintendo hit the reset button on the project and started it from scratch not too long ago, but even so, is just a single piece of key art too much to ask for? Just an illustration of an alien or some environmental concept art? We just want proof the game is real. Metroid Prime 4 was announced in 2017, and to this day, all Nintendo has to show for it is a place-holder logo.
This series' fabled return is long overdue! And it's going to stay that way if Microsoft has anything to say about it. Apparently, Microsoft isn't done having its jollies at the expense of Fable fans, not even after the company unceremoniously murdered a game studio and the last Fable project, Fable Legends, in 2016. Since then, Microsoft hasn't given fans of the series a single sugar cube to suck on, hanging them out to dry for three straight years. Microsoft's very own Matt Booty has teased that Fable might appear in 2020, but don't hold your breath.
The Gears of War franchise is in a tough spot. Between Gears of War 5 offering more of the same gameplay and relying on bizarre "art-house" story promos, that release looks troublingly unengaging. And then there's a mobile Funko Pop! Gears game called Gears Pop!. Oof. Which leaves us with Gears Tactics, the X-Com-like Gears spinoff that sounds like a genuinely interesting step for the franchise. Sadly, it's the only Gears game Microsoft refused to talk about at E3 2019. Is MS just trying to avoid Gears over-saturation? Probably. Still, it would've been nice to hear a status update on Tactics.
Rocksteady's secret project
Rocksteady hasn't released a game since Batman: Arkham VR in 2016. And the company hasn't released a mainstream game since 2015's Batman: Arkham Knight. If you look at it from the latter perspective, that means it's been four years since Rocksteady's released anything with major market power. That's a long time to maintain complete and utter silence, especially since we all know the game maker is working on something. But did we hear about it at E3? No. Come on, Rocksteady. Just say it. Tell us a new Superman game is on the way. Confirm our hopes and dreams.
Beyond Good and Evil 2
The first Beyond Good and Evil came out in 2003. The second Beyond Good and Evil was formally announced in 2017. Then, in 2018, we received another trailer for the sequel. But here, in 2019, we get nothing. That's two years of nothing but cinematic trailers, 14 cumulative years of nothing but waiting and zero years of gameplay reveals for this highly anticipated sequel. Why no gameplay this year, Ubisoft? With no Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Splinter Cell, or Skull & Bones at the Ubi conference, one would think the company would be eager to excite the public and show something, anything, related to Beyond Good and Evil 2. Alas.