The 2016 E3 Expo will be held from June 14 through June 16, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where the event has been held since 2009. Officially limited to only those in the game industry, recent attendance numbers have topped 50,000.  While there are plenty of gaming conventions all over the world, E3 is the gaming equivalent of the annual San Diego Comic Con, and even though the convention officially only runs two and a half days, with all of the auxiliary events, it’s an all-week affair.

Typically, there are keynote presentations by the three big console makers. These are usually done before the convention center even opens its doors. The big publishers also have their own offsite presentations at various venues around L.A., while smaller players typically team up for presentations at smaller, more affordable locations adjacent to the Staples Center. Of course, there are also a good number of industry sponsored “after parties.” For those of us that love video games, it’s a pilgrimage worth pursuing.

Of course it’s not all about parties, goodie bags, and general gaming “swag.” It’s the best opportunity for gaming companies to get guaranteed coverage of their announcements, and like Pavlov’s dog, we’ve been trained to expect big news out of the event. So what is it, that we’d really like to see at this year’s E3 Expo?

E3, Expo, 2016, video gamesWhile this list surely isn’t exhaustive, this is what I’d like to see at the E3 Expo.

From Take Two/2K, I’d really love to see a new NFL 2K. Just kidding. EA is unlikely to ever let that licensing deal expire. Actually, since Battleborn has finally been released, I hope that Gearbox is ready to release some details about Borderlands 3, since we already know it’s in the pipeline. We also know that the developer has at least begun working on a new Brothers in Arms, but I doubt they’re far enough along with it to reveal any details. It would also be nice to see the newly announced Civilization VI in action. Of course, what everyone really wants from the company is word on Red Dead Redemption 2, along with a firm date for Bioshock: The Collection. While we’re at it, backwards compatibility for 2k’s extensive Xbox 360 catalog would be nice too.

Capcom will likely have a great deal of Resident Evil related news to announce. The company has indicated that it plans a “full-scale offensive” this year, the iconic series’ 20th anniversary. I’d be pretty surprised to see much else from them.

So, moving on, we already know that Bethesda will talk about Dishonored 2, but will there be any mention of their Elder Scrolls series? Skyrim remains one of the most requested games in Microsoft’s Backwards Compatibility forum, along with the Obsidian-developed Fallout: New Vegas.

Speaking of Microsoft, we should also learn whether or not there really will be an Xbox 1.5. I think a slim version is pretty much a given.

Ubisoft should have something to say about Watch Dogs 2 and the new Ghost Recon, and, hopefully, the planned single-player campaign for For Honor hasn’t gone the way of Rainbow Six: Siege’s. From what I’ve seen, the gameplay doesn’t organically lend itself to a compelling single-player experience, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed. The company owns a lot of properties, so there’s not really much that Ubisoft could announce or show that would be surprising. An announcement for an Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry, to be released in 2017, probably wouldn’t raise many eyebrows. Despite their recent stumbles, they are still cornerstones for the developer.

As for the console makers, unless Microsoft has something huge up its sleeve, this is likely Sony’s event to lose. We’re all expecting confirmation of the PlayStation Neo, along with some hyping of the upcoming PlayStation VR, but it would be nice to see something really big announced for the launch window of their new virtual reality system. Details on the God of War reboot/detour, and a date for The Last Guardian would be awesome too. Of course, what I’d really love to see something about is The Last of Us 2, which was pretty much confirmed at PAX East.

Even though Square Enix isn’t a Sony subsidiary, they will probably piggyback on Sony’s press conference to show some gameplay from the Final Fantasy VII remake and Kingdom Hearts 3.

E3, Expo, 2016, Mass Effect: Andromeda

Speaking of hints, Aaryn Flynn, General Manager of BioWare, has gone on the record confirming that Mass Effect: Andromeda will be featured at EA’s E3 press conference. Even though it was recently pushed back until 2017, that’s the game that I’m looking forward to seeing the most at this year’s Expo. EA has also just landed a number of new Star Wars licensing deals, including a single-player game assigned to Titan Fall developer, Respawn, and then another title to Dead Space’s Visceral. Though considering the timing of these announcements, there’s likely nothing to show, at this point.

Sadly, despite being the largest platform available to game makers, a number of big names are skipping the event this year. Seemingly putting all of their eggs into the basket of the upcoming NX and the new Legend of Zelda, Nintendo, won’t be there. Forcing their representatives to defend another Twilight Princess maneuver isn’t really fair anyway. Disney is now out of the video game business and is going back to licensing exclusively. Most surprisingly, Activision will also be absent, though the new Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will surely be part of Sony’s keynote. Considering each of those companies’ recent difficulties, their tactical retreats aren’t entirely unexpected.

There is actually plenty more I’d like to see, but I’ve tempered those expectations with what I think is realistic. What about you? What would you like to see, and do you really expect to see it? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure to follow us on Twitter (@Official_OnlySP) and Facebook where you can also sound off your opinions.

The opinions in this editorial are the author’s and do not represent OnlySP as an organization.

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Lance Roth
Writer, musician, and indie game developer in the Land of Enchantment.

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