What do I hope to see during “E3” 2022 week (/season?)…
The Summer of 2022 is upon us and while the Electronic Entertainment Expo, otherwise commonly known as “E3” is not happening this year (and honestly there’s a good chance it’s never happening again. Multiple shows are happening in its place and going on for at least the next week. Is it now just the Summer of Keighley?
Summer Games Fest certainly seems to be the new big showcase happening, but we just had a pretty decent State of Play from Sony, IGN has their own thing happening, the Xbox Bethesda showcase is this coming weekend, and Nintendo will probably have something not long after and there are other smaller shows peppered throughout. By killing E3 we just made it into a bunch of smaller E3s that now last basically at least half the Summer (and as someone who covered E3 for several years I do not envy journalists trying to keep up with it all).
What might we see in terms of games based on Disney properties during this expo season? I’ve tried to keep my expectations realistic. Sony just had a “State of Play” and while they might have a bigger showcase later certainly nothing has been announced and we are still a ways off from both Spider-Man 2 and especially Wolverine I don’t really expect to see anything from those this week and possibly not anytime this Summer (maybe for the Game Awards later this year or even some Fall/Winter Sony showcase/State of Play). We also just had the first reveal of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor at Star Wars Celebration so not thinking we’ll see anything along those lines either. Kingdom Hearts IV is also probably not going to make a showing as I’m sure we won’t see it before late 2024 at the earliest.
However, there are several projects we know are in the works that hopefully we’ll see more of during this week if not soon after and it might be fun to speculate on one or two more things that aren’t announced but would be cool to see:
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
This is one of a handful of AAA games that hasn’t been booted to 2022 just yet. If it’s still coming out this year, we should be seeing a full reveal pretty soon. If it does make a showing I’d expect it to be either during the Xbox Showcase or some as of yet unannounced Ubisoft presentation that would happen either this week or very soon after.
Obviously, Ubisoft and Disney want this game to come out in time to capitalize on the theatrical release of Avatar: The Way of Water, so I’d expect them to move heaven and earth to try and make it out this year, especially in what is quickly becoming a pretty sparse field. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora certainly could be a great game but we don’t even truly know what kind of game it is (although being a AAA Ubisoft game we might be able to take a couple of good guesses). Hopefully, even if it’s delayed we’ll get a better idea with a bigger reveal sometime this week or not long after.
Untitled Ubisoft Star Wars game
The time of Star Wars games exclusively being made by Electronic Arts has come to an end, and now multiple games are in the works at multiple studios. One of the earliest announced was a game by Ubisoft being developed by Massive Entertainment, known for The Division franchise. But aside from that announcement, we haven’t heard or seen anything about this game. If Ubisoft indeed has its own showcase coming this week or next, it would be a perfect opportunity to unveil it. I’m not really expecting it before late 2023 at the earliest but it would be a good idea for Ubisoft to show something just to prove it’s not in development hell like several of their games seem to be at the moment…
Bethesda Indiana Jones game
This is another game that aside from its first announcement very early last year we’ve seen and heard virtually nothing about. Given the developer is Machine games, notably known for the Wolfenstein franchise, we can take a pretty educated guess, but again we still have seen nothing. However, this is most likely an Xbox exclusive unless there was a deal in place for it to be multi-platform before Microsoft acquired Bethesda so if it’s making an appearance it has to be at the Microsoft Bethesda showcase Sunday and that does seem like a good time to officially show the first footage of a big AAA licensed game from such a beloved IP.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns
If it had kept to the original timeline, we would have already played Marvel’s Midnight Suns and maybe awaiting an expansion in the near future. Instead, aside from a vague 2022 date, we don’t really know when the game is coming out now. Rumors abound that the card mechanics got pretty negative feedback (though people seem to think the game is completely card-based, from what I’ve seen those are aspects of the battle, but not the entire basis of it) and that may have gotten a reworking.
Recent leaks also point to a possible October release, in which case, Marvel’s Midnight Suns pretty much has to show up this week if for no other reason than to confirm that yes it’s actually coming out this year and if there are any significant changes to the gameplay. I for one am pretty excited for an X-Com style Marvel game either way so let’s hope it comes out this year.
Some kind of Disney Classics collection
Retro compilations have always been a thing, but they seem super hot the last few years and there’s a ton Disney could easily capitalize on, but we’ve only gotten a couple. There are many shows and movies or even ones based on specific characters (especially Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck) that it would be a no-brainer to put together a great collection of games from Disney’s rich gaming history.
Even if the collection included a couple of mediocre games or straight-up stinkers, the nostalgia would win out. I’m more excited about the Cowabunga Collection than most games coming out this year and let’s be honest, at best half of those games are really good, the rest will be fun for a nostalgia hit one time and never played again. We need some more of these types of releases from Disney, so hopefully, something will get announced this week or in the very near future.
Something besides Marvel or Star Wars
Granted, there are a couple of games present on this list that explicitly are not Marvel or Star Wars. But that’s obviously what Disney is pushing hard on in terms of licensing games. There are a ton of Marvel or Star Wars games coming out soon or in development. But even before they bought those IPs, Disney has a massive amount of franchises that if you’re lucky either might make an appearance in some mobile game or be buried in some half-assed browser-based game on Disney Now. Who wouldn’t want a great game (maybe even made by an accomplished indie developer) based on a classic IP or even something newer like the new Ducktales or Big City Greens, Owl House, or Amphibia? I own a lot of movie and TV show tie-ins, I don’t miss the days when some rushed piece of garbage was shoved out the door by overworked and underpaid game developers just to capitalize on the release of a show or movie.
But there’s no reason someone couldn’t make a game based on a popular property people enjoy that’s not directly tied to a said movie or TV show and more of a loose adaptation. I can’t believe I have to ask Disney of all companies to exploit their IP more, but c’mon Disney, let someone play with some of the other toys in your massive toybox, it’s long overdue.
So that’s things as a Disney game fan I’m hoping to see during this massive week of showcases and in the very near future if any others get announced. Hopefully, there will be plenty of other surprises as well. I will probably do some sort of wrap-up assuming one is warranted after everything has died down so probably expect that later next week. See ya real soon!