Ubisoft has already had a year worth celebrating. Yes, the launch of Far Cry 5 was a success, but more importantly to the company itself, it managed to successfully fend off a hostile takeover from the French conglomerate Vivendi. However, while slipping out of the grasps of Vivendi is good news for any fan of the publisher, E3 is all about showing off games. Last year we got new announcements like The Crew 2, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, and perhaps the biggest mic-drop moment of last year's E3: The reveal of Beyond Good and Evil II. While we already know a few of the games we'll see at their press conference, I'd count on Ubisoft to attempt another big reveal this year too, but we'll get to what I think that will be later.
The Obvious: It would be more surprising if these didn’t show up
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
Without fail, every year there are dozens of rumors circling Ubisoft's next Assassin's Creed game, and this year was no exception. So, to set the record straight before E3, Ubisoft confirmed that the next game in the franchise will be Assassin's Creed: Odysseyin a tweet that came with the caption "See you at E3!" As for what the game will actually be like, we still have to rely on rumors. Current speculation and reporting suggests the game will include two different protagonists, a large focus on naval combat, a Roman/Greek setting, and dialogue options, which would be a first for the series. For more on the rumors surrounding Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, see here.
The Division 2
The Division 2 is also scheduled to be at E3 2018, although it is another sequel we know very little about. Besides the fact that it exists, Ubisoft hasn't shared much about the game. Thanks to an Ubisoft earnings report, we know the publisher plans to ship the game by the end of the 2019 fiscal year, which ends in April 2019. Ubisoft's reluctance to give us any information about the game thus far makes me even more convinced that we will be getting a massive reveal for The Division 2. I fully expect both an official reveal trailer, gameplay demo, and fall 2018 release date. If the game really is going to come out within the next year, Ubisoft is going to have to start showing it off sooner rather than later.
A New IP and Skull & Bones
Every E3 Ubisoft reveals at least one shiny, new IP. In the previously mentioned earnings report, Ubisoft said that another new IP is in the pipeline, so it's a safe bet that the publisher will reveal it during their press conference. I also expect them to revisit the new IP they showed off last year: Skull & Bones. In case you don't remember, that's the naval combat game that looks like Assassin's Creed: Black Flag without the assassinating. Last year we got a pretty extensive look at the game, but we haven't seen anything since then, so I expect another trailer or demo during the conference.
The Crew 2
The Crew 2is coming out just a few weeks after E3, June 29th to be exact. So, it would make sense for Ubisoft to use the E3 hype-machine to get people to notice the game and start pre-ordering. Are we going to see a lot of it? I doubt it. The more time Ubisoft gives The Crew 2 during its press conference is time taken away from things like new IPs and previously unseen games like Assassin's Creed: Odyssey and The Division 2.
Oldies but goodies - For Honor and Rainbow Six Siege
Thanks to an E3 lineup teaser from Ubisoft, we know to expect a few older games making a comeback at E3 this year. Rainbow Six Siege, now in its third year of support, will be making a return to the stage. It's hard to imagine what new things they can bring to the table this late, but Ubisoft continues to surprise the gaming world with its continued support of the game, so I wouldn't count out a substantial announcement this E3. For Honoris another game that Ubisoft hasn't let die, and since it's only been out for a year, there's still a lot more room for improvement and plenty of time to bring in new players with a high-profile content drop.
The Maybes – High risk, potentially high reward
The return of the Splinter Cellfranchise has long been talked about, but we still haven't had official confirmation of a sequel from Ubisoft. Over the past year, the mumblings of a return have only grown louder and louder. There was a supposed leak just last month that showed a Walmart pre-order listing for a new Splinter Cell game. While there are reasons not to trust that leak, the recent inclusion of voice actor Sam Fisher in Ghost Recon: Wildlands is just another reason to suspect a new entry in the franchise. I'd even go as far as to say that if a new Spinter Cell is revealed, Ubisoft will include a 2019 release window, too. I suspect Ubisoft will make a pretty big deal about a new Splinter Cell this E3, much like they did with Beyond Good and Evil II last year.
A New Rainbow Six Game
My big prediction for Ubisoft's E3 press conference this year is a new Rainbow Sixgame reveal. No, there hasn't been many rumors flying around about the game, but I think I'm allowed one bold prediction. Now in its third year, Rainbow Six Siege is still going strong. However, Ubisoft won't be able to milk this one game forever. While I don't think a new Rainbow Six will come out anytime soon, I can see Ubisoft showing a brief teaser during its conference this year, just to begin drumming up some chatter and excitement for next year's E3. No matter how they do it, a Rainbow Six reveal would be huge E3 news.
VR has had a relatively strong presence during Ubisoft's press conferences over the past few years. Last year they revealed Elijah Wood's game Transference, which will likely be showed off more this year since the game has yet to come out. They have also given stage time to VR games Eagle Flight and Star Trek: Bridge Crew in the past. I expect this trend to continue with Ubisoft revealing one or two new virtual reality games, although I wouldn't expect full gameplay demos, as it's hard to show off the full range of a VR game in a short amount of time.
Beyond Good and Evil II
Perhaps the most surprising moment in all of E3 last year was the reveal of Beyond Good and Evil II. However, what I found even more surprising was the fact that the game is quite far along. A few days after the conference, the developers were already showing off gameplay and the open world. Developer video blogs are still showing off new things like combat and traversal. However, no gameplay was shown during the actual press conference last year, so this year might be a good chance to reveal it to the world more prominently. Ubisoft already teased that Beyond Good and Evil II will be at E3 this year, but that could mean anything from a brief mention to a full gameplay demo. We don't know how far off Beyond Good and Evil II is, so Ubisoft may want to be careful not to show off too much too soon. They wouldn't want to fall down the same hole they did with The Division and Watch Dogs.
It's often said that there are only three things that are certain in life: Death, taxes, and the yearly release of a new Just Dancegame. Since 2008, Ubisoft has released one game in the franchise every fall, and I don't expect this year to be any different. This will be the tenth Just Dance and I expect Ubisoft to make a big deal about this. I hope you like musical performances, because I suspect there will be one of those, too, although I have to admit they've slowly become more and more digestible over the past two years.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas
Remember Starlink: Battle for Atlas? It was the toys-to-life spaceship game that would have you building toy spaceships and attaching them to your controller. Ubisoft revealed the new IP at E3 last year and since then has gone radio silent on it. While that's not inherently a bad sign, toys-to-life games have hit a rough patch over the past few years, most notably with the death of Disney Infinity and Avalanche Software. While Ubisoft may have initially though they could overcome public indifference toward toys-to-life games, the apathetic response to Starlink's reveal could mean that the Starlink game we see at E3 this year will look very different from the version we saw in 2017.
Don't hold your breath:
Watch Dogs 3
I wouldn't count on us seeing Watch Dogs 3at E3 this year, simply because it's still too soon. Watch Dogs 2 came out November 2016, meaning it hasn't even been two years since launch. That's not enough time for a sequel to be far enough into development for them to do a proper reveal. There's a strong possibility of a reveal next year, but not now.
Prince of Persia and Rayman
Could a new Prince of Persiagame be just around the corner? I suppose, but like the title of this section says, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it. While 3D platformers are making a bit of a comeback this console generation, they haven't quite hit the level of popularity that would convince Ubisoft to jump back into the market. A new Rayman game would be in the same boat. While a new game in the series is likely, I don't think it's a big enough name to warrant an E3 press conference reveal. Ubisoft is much more likely to simply drop a trailer for the game closer to its release.
Ubisoft’s E3 press conference will take place on Monday, June 11th at 3:30 p.m. EST. TechRaptor will be covering all the conferences as they happen, so you can come back here for all your Ubisoft news during E3.