E3 2018's Biggest Surprises
E3 is the one time of year all eyes are on the games industry, from media and investors to fans. That makes it the perfect place for publishers to drop their biggest bombshells. This year was no exception, thanks to some curveballs from the likes of Microsoft, Nintendo, Bethesda, and more--from revivals of long-dormant franchises to new games we never saw coming.
EA kicked off the week's festivities with its EA Play event, which delivered both a game release and the promise of more Star Wars to come. Microsoft followed with first-mover advantage, offering several big announcements of its own along with big debuts from third-parties. Bethesda dropped one of the biggest names in its stable of franchises, and Nintendo wowed with the sheer level of content included in this year's tent-pole title.
Some of the surprises this year came from unexpected places. Microsoft announced a series of unexpected acquisitions, and Cyberpunk 2077 offered a twist ending to one of the major press conferences. EA and Bethesda both proved that just dropping a title can be enough to excite eager fans.
Check out the gallery for all of the biggest surprises from E3 2018, and catch up with which games are coming this year.
Smash Bros. Ultimate Has EVERYONE
We knew Super Smash Bros. for Switch would be the showpiece for Nintendo. But the roster was an open question, which meant that when Nintendo announced the newly-dubbed Smash Bros. Ultimate would feature every character to ever appear in the series came as a shock.
Resident Evil 2 Remake Coming
After the success of the Resident Evil remake, another one based on the fan-favorite Resident Evil 2 seemed inevitable. But like the zombie lumbering right behind you, it's closer than you think. Resident Evil 2 will release for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on January 25, 2019.
Cyberpunk Hacks the Planet
Cyberpunk 2077 has been in development for a long time, and many were hoping this would be the year we finally heard more about it. It was, but CD Projekt Red chose a notably unique way to show it off. When Xbox head Phil Spencer appeared to be wrapping up the Microsoft conference, Cyberpunk broke in by "hacking" into the conference to show off its trailer--with a few Easter eggs to boot.
Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield Are On the Way
Sometimes it's enough just to know a game is on the way. After years of speculating and hoping for Elder Scrolls 6, Bethesda confirmed it's in development (or at least pre-production) with a brief teaser-trailer. Not only that, it confirmed long-standing rumors of another RPG, Starfield.
Respawn Will Make You a Jedi
In one of the more casual moments of any press conference, Respawn dropped some details about its upcoming Star Wars game via a brief sit-down with studio head Vince Zampella. At the EA Play conference, Zampella revealed that his studio's game is called Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, and will feature a story set in the dark times when Jedi were being hunted.
Halo Infinite Gets a Mysterious Teaser
For one of its marquee franchises, Microsoft spent precious little time announcing Halo Infinite. The short teaser trailer showed lots of beautiful flora and fauna, and one glimpse of Master Chief, before pulling back and announcing the title. It left us with all sorts of questions, some of which have been answered, but it was an undoubtedly dramatic way to drop the title.
Devil May Cry 5 is a Wild Ride
Reviving a dormant franchise is one surefire way to make an impact at E3. To that end, Capcom debuted Devil May Cry 5, the first numbered sequel in 10 years. It was notable not just for the announcement, but for outright ignoring the existence of DmC: Devil May Cry, the 2013 reboot.
A Trio of Gears of War Games
Microsoft's other big shooter franchise, Gears of War, got not just one but three announcements this year. It began with a fake-out teasing Gears Pop, a mobile game featuring the Funko figurines of the same name. The announcements then moved onto Gears Tactics, a turn-based PC strategy game. Finally, The Coalition acknowledged the real meat (so to speak) of the presentation: Gears 5, a proper sequel starring Kait in the lead role.
Elder Scrolls Blades Brings Tamriel to Mobile
A vague tease for Elder Scrolls 6 wasn't the only card Bethesda had up its sleeve. The studio also announced Elder Scrolls Blades, an entirely mobile game coming later this year.
Do You Have Battletoads?
Microsoft has been teasing its acquisition of Battletoads for years, even putting the amphibians their own strange spot in Killer Instinct. This year the company finally acknowledged a proper Battletoads is on the way, with all the 1990s 'tude you've come to expect.
Unravel 2 Announced, And Released
Unravel was a charming little platformer that we didn't expect would necessarily ever get a sequel. EA pulled a one-two punch of surprises by not only announced Unravel 2 at its showcase, but pairing it with the announcement that it was already available.
Microsoft Quintuples Down on Acquisitions
Microsoft has been criticized recently for a lack of first-party games. This year Microsoft addressed that in bold fashion, using time at its press conference to announce five new studio acquisitions: The Initiative, Undead Labs, Playground Games, Compulsion Games, and Ninja Theory.