E3 2013 was a grand event that was showcase to the upcoming next generation of console gaming. It was the place where Xbox One’s gamer orientation was unveiled, where the PS4’s hardware design was finally revealed and it was the arena where the spectacular battle of DRM policies was waged.
Each company came to the show guns blazing, with their conferences being home to hotly anticipated announcements, beautiful games and awesome surprises. On the other hand, the show floor was lined with new games for the gamers salivating for their first taste of upcoming titles.
And while this year’s E3 was host to countless expected sequels, returning franchises and new IPs, there were still a number of titles that were conspicuously absent from the event.
Perhaps couple of these publishers and developers dropped the ball, perhaps some companies were saving couple of titles for events like Gamescom or Tokyo Game Show, or perhaps it is simply that we, as gamers, are creatures that are never content and seemingly never satisfied with what is presented in front of us.
So let us celebrate our limitless wants and vast expectations by taking a look at the games missing at this year’s E3.
Let’s start with the most obvious. The company that abandoned the traditional E3 conference format and gave its presentation through a laggy and choppy video stream.
Since Nintendo was in an obvious dog house with Microsoft and Sony parading their next gen consoles in front of its technologically inferior WiiU, most people expected the company to compensate the lack of hype for its year old system with an onslaught of game reveals for its staple gaming franchises.
What the fans actually got was reveal of games that were far too reminiscent of titles available on Nintendo’s portable platform; 3DS.
Super Mario 3D World was the next iteration of 3DS’ Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 8 looked too much like Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS and even the new Super Smash Bros game was announced for WiiU and 3DS.
Nintendo did not seem to offer much for ardent fan of the company wishing to purchase a WiiU.
Instead of a Mario game reminding them of the portable 3D Land, fans of Nintendo were expecting a proper console quality iteration of Mario with something akin to sequel to Mario Galaxy series for the WiiU.
Moreover, though a new Zelda game was announced for the 3DS platform, WiiU was only graced by an HD rerelease of Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. Fans anticipating reveal of a band new console Legend of Zelda game were left disappointed.
There was also much anticipation for the reveal of the development studio; Retro’s new game. Many thought that it might be a new Metroid Prime game or perhaps a brand new take on the franchise from the studio that magnificently brought the series into the 3D realm in the era of GameCube and Wii. However, many were left underwhelmed with the reveal of Donkey Kong Country which seemed too similar to the recent 3DS port of Donkey Kong Country Returns.
The fan favorite space flight franchise Star Fox was also a title that the fans of Nintendo were pining for, however any mention of the franchise and any new iteration to the series was completely missing from the event.
Also conspicuously absent from E3 presentation and show floor was the previously announced Yoshi centric game called Yoshi’s Yarn.
With its E3 announcements, it looked like Nintendo really dropped the ball in trying to promote WiiU console and separate it from Wii and 3DS.
Sony’s E3 press conference will be remembered through the coming years, and while its highlight was not a game announcement, the company was shy in its game announcements.
With a conference touching upon everything from PS3, PSP and PS4, Sony’s E3 press conference was certainly the most balanced in terms of juggling focus between the previous and the next generation consoles.
However, even with that balance, Sony’s offerings for PlayStation Vita were decidedly sparse. Kilzone: Mercenaries does not seem enough to create interest in the fledgling portable platform.
People expecting return of PSP classics like Patapon or announcements of new IPs for the Vita were left disappointed.
While the latter half of the conference featured games like Kingdom Hearts 3, Final Fantasy XV and Destiny as well as exclusives like Killzone: Shadow Fall, infamous: Second Son and Order 1886, the press conference was still devoid of its heavy hitter franchises that Sony fans were quite excited to see.
Chief amongst these was the next iteration in the Uncharted series of games. While Naughty Dog showed off its PS3 masterpiece called The Last of Us, fans of the studio were also holding their breath for a next gen sequel to the already breathtakingly brilliant PS3 franchises. Absence of a PS4 Uncharted game left more than a few gamers let down.
Similarly, Quantic Dream showed off its trailer for the PS4 title; The Dark Sorcerer, however fans of the quirky and creative adventures of Sackboy were left wanting when the Sony’s E3 press conference ended without any news of a Little Big Planet sequel.
In the same vein, Sony Santa Monica graced the Sony conference with its partners Ready at Dawn to unveil Order 1886. While this reveal was surely an exciting prospect for a new AAA exclusive, it was not sufficient to elate the fans expecting announcement of the next gen iteration to the action packed, gore-filled, blockbuster franchise known as God of War.
Gamers expecting the next-gen return of the bald headed Spartan could not believe that Sony would forego mention of its most popular franchise when marketing its next generation console.
Last, but not the least; the running joke of E3’s of the past; The Last Guardian also remained absent from the presentation and the show floor. It seems that fans of Team ICO have to hold their breath for another year at least.
Even Microsoft, who was decidedly quite comprehensive in its game offerings, with the announcement of games like Ryse: Son of Rome, Sunset Overdrive, Quantum Break, Project Spark and Killer Instinct, seemed to miss out on couple of game franchises that the fans of the system come to expect in their Xbox library.
The most glaring omission from the slew of Xbox One games announced at the E3 press conference was the next iteration of Gears of War. Many people expected the gory third person shooter to make an appearance in the Microsoft press conference and its absence left many wondering when they get to see chainsaw killing in glorious next gen graphics of Xbox One.
Another game series that is synonymous with the Xbox console system is the Fable franchise.
Whether it was due to the absence of Peter Molynuex or reluctance at the part of Lionhead studios, many people were deprived of the famous RPG series that never failed to over promise yet maintained its moral choice based gameplay to provide hours of fun to the adoring public.
And while Microsoft revealed an onslaught of games for the Xbox One, the company seemed to have abandoned their current gen Xbox 360 platform.
What is interesting about this situation is that Microsoft actually revealed a new design for the Xbox 360 in its E3 conference but forgot to announce any games for their current system.
Third Party Developers
On the third party developer and publisher front, E3 was home to a plethora of titles both old and new. Some were announced, some were shown and some were there to play on the show floor.
However, there were a couple of titles that were left off the presentations and show floor and subsequently their absence was dearly felt and they were sorely missed by several gaming enthusiasts.
Whereas people expecting Half Life 3 announcement or seeing the upcoming GTA 5 on the show floor might have left disappointed, but Valve and Rockstar Studios have never historically been part of E3 events.
However, it was surprising that there were several cases were the whole development studio and publishers were absent from the event. Particularly a no show by Gearbox and absence of WWE 2K14 and NBA2K14 due to lack of appearance by 2KGames was dismaying for the fans of the companies.
Then there were certain companies that undoubtedly had a huge presence in E3 but lacked showing of their flagship titles that many fans were expecting to see or get announced.
Though Elder Scrolls Online was indeed a big game at E3, however many fans of Bethesda were expecting them to announce Fallout 4 for the next generation.
CD Project Red
Similarly fans of CD Project Red were ecstatic at the awe inspiring showing of Witcher 3, however many hoped to catch a glimpse of Cyberpunk 2077, the new IP under development at the CD Project Red studios.
Likewise, though several fans were delighted at the new trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain, many expected Kojima Productions and Konami to unveil the much awaited Zone of Enders 3. The mech action game has been demanded by fans of the series and has been teased by Kojima Productions in past years.
Same was the case with Square Enix, as much as E3 was rocked by the bombshell announcement of Kingdom Hearts 3 as well as the surprising reveal of Final Fantasy Verses XIII turning into Final Fantasy XV, several gamers were hoping that the company could bring Dragon Quest X to this year’s E3.
Sega fans were also a little disappointed at the omission of Yakuza 5 from the E3 event, though the company brought couple of A-list games with Total War: Rome 2, Company of Heroes 2 and Sonic: Lost Worlds.
Another company that gamers had high hopes for was Atlus. Fans of the company expected Atlus to showcase Shin Megami X Fire Emblem at the show floor and announce the much anticipated Persona 5 at this year’s E3. However the fans of JRPG series might have to wait till TGS 2013 to get a taste of these titles.
While Capcom wowed fans with the reveal of Dead Rising 3 for the Xbox One, the longtime fans were left disappointed as many had expected the company to showcase Monster Hunter 4 at E3 or speculated about reveal of sequels to their long time dormant franchises like DarkStalkers and Onimusha series for the next-gen consoles.
Despite a whole press conference dedicated to them, demonstration of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and Watch Dogs as well as reveal of The Division, fans of the company were still left wanting.
Several gamers expected to see another glimpse of Rainbow 6: Patriots, a game that was last shown at November 2011 with a surprising and provocative trailer.
Though Ubisoft announced that the game had turned into a title for the next generation consoles, the lack of any trailers or development for the game left several fans disappointed.
Though certainly not as disappointed as the fans of the Beyond Good & Evil game.
Anticipated for years and teased quite recently by Ubisoft, many gamers expected the company to finally reveal Beyond Good & Evil 2 at this year’s E3. However the fans of the franchise were left disappointed again as the game was absent from Ubisoft’s main presentation as well as their booth at the E3 show floor.
While these were the games most gamers speculated, anticipated and wanted to get hold of at this E3, there might be several other games that went under the radar of E3 presenters and attendees alike.
Were there any other games that you were looking forward to that were absent from 2013’s E3? Sound off below.
Omar has been a hardcore gamer since the 80s, so you know he's going to act all superior and snobbish when you meet him. He's a fan of Stealth, Action and Fighting games, which hints at his innate bipolarity.