Image Source: PlayStation
At E3 2020, Warner Bros Games was set to host its first-ever conference at the expo. Unfortunately, but with a rational explanation, the event due to take place from 9 June has now been cancelled.
Since its cancellation, however, it has been revealed that WB Gamers wanted the stage to announce some huge new games including one within the Batman gaming franchise, and another set in the Harry Potter universe.
E3 does, however, look to be formulating a new platform for this year’s event, so we may still get to see the new Harry Potter and new Batman game showcased this summer as a part of the stand-in E3 experience.
WB Games has at least three big titles on the way
As reported by Kotaku, WB Games wanted to showcase at least three potentially massive new games at E3, one of which is a new Batman game.
Alongside this new Batman game, there will be another new game from the developers of the Arkham series, Rocksteady Studios.
Then, of course, WB Games was going to officially unveil a new Harry Potter game, some of which was reportedly leaked in 2018. Given that the title has been in the works for at least a couple of years, the WB Games E3 stage may have unveiled some nearby release windows.
The creators of Mortal Kombat 11, the Lego games, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Batman: Arkham City, and Middle-earth: Shadow of War are no strangers to colossal IP games. These upcoming titles look to add to their impressive library of games.
E3 struggling before official cancellation
As has been the case for so many major upcoming events, E3 has been cancelled, with the reason being Covid-19. The event set for early June had already seen some of its key partners jump ship, with many of them citing a clash in vision for the show.
As they did in 2019, Sony decided to pull out of E3 2020 and will undoubtedly be showcasing its upcoming games and the PlayStation 5 via one of its State of Play videos. As relayed by Engadget, the PlayStation team stated: “We do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.”
One of the biggest names tied to the annual expo – some might call him the face of E3 – is Geoff Keighley, but even he pulled out of the upcoming event months in advance. Speaking in February, Keighley told the Washington Post: “Based on what’s been communicated to me about the show, I just don’t feel comfortable participating.”
What may have ended up being the telling blow in a world without SARS-CoV-2 running amok, though, was Iam8bit pulling out of E3 2020 as the creative design team at the beginning of March. The company was to run the E3 floor experience, setting up art installations for games and co-ordinating interaction experiences. However, Venture Beat reports that they backed away from E3 a mere three months before it commenced “with mixed emotions.”
So many major names tied to the event pulled out over the plans for E3. All explanations were hidden behind murky PR speak, as you would expect, but all of them hint to the show’s organisers taking the 2020 Electronic Entertainment Expo in a direction which they felt uncomfortable being a part of.
Those who run E3, the ESA, have come under fire in recent months for their response to the increasing prevalence of gambling mechanics in video gaming, with their general stance on the matter being along the lines of nah, it’ll be fine.
How are game companies making announcements without E3?
Since the announcement, Microsoft has stated that it will be staging an Xbox digital event to keep the community up to date with all of their news. Nintendo will almost certainly put on another Nintendo Direct, as they always do, so now what’s left to be seen is how WB Games will react to the cancellation.
The team has some huge announcements to make, which is why they sought to use E3 as their stage. So, will they stick with E3 or go out on their own?
The ESA is exploring a possible online alternative, per Game Spot, but with Microsoft and, presumably, Nintendo going it alone, other game companies may follow suit to create their own success.
Given the gargantuan nature of the IPs at play, Batman and Harry Potter, an online showcase from Warner Bros Games should suffice if they get the word out about the impending announcements.