In the past week, there have been some major developments regarding a few of the biggest titles expected at E3 2021. Unfortunately, not all of them have been ideal for Xbox fans. Let's discuss the current state of Hellblade 2, Elden Ring, and Starfield. Sorry in advance.
Starfield gameplay and release date?
First up, we'll be diving into the latest regarding Bethesda's highly anticipated new space IP Starfield. Last Friday, VentureBeat's GamesBeat editor, Jeff Grubb dropped a tweet that completely rocked gaming space. In response to an inquiry, Grubb stated that "Starfield is exclusive to Xbox and PC. Period. This is me confirming that." He even went so far as to add an additional tweet that read "like, go write the story already."
Starfield is exclusive to Xbox and PC. Period. This is me confirming that. https://t.co/j78Msk8nyGStarfield is exclusive to Xbox and PC. Period. This is me confirming that. https://t.co/j78Msk8nyG— Jeff Grubb (@JeffGrubb) May 15, 2021May 15, 2021
This had been widely speculated and assumed by many key members of the Xbox community, but this definitive statement from Grubb indicates he has legitimate information to back those claims. Discussions surrounding Starfield exclusivity have overshadowed almost every other element of the game since the reveal, so hopefully, we get official confirmation from Microsoft soon.
In some other potentially big Starfield news, we might have a better idea of Starfield's release date and it isn't in 2021. In an exchange between Jeff Grubb and Blessing Adeoye Jr. of the Kinda Funny Games Cast, Grubb confirmed speculation regarding a Q1 2022 release for Starfield, stating, "You are right about Starfield release date."
Many fans and industry commentators were hoping for and even expecting a 2021 release date for this sci-fi RPG, so for some, this was a big hit to Xbox's fall lineup. It sounds like initial plans were targeting 2021, but it's likely these conversations have shifted in recent months. While the first quarter of next year could be possible for Starfield's release, I wouldn't be surprised if we see this title pushed even further out. In fact, I could easily see Starfield serving as one of the marque releases for Xbox in the fall of 2022.
So what does all this mean for Starfield at E3 2021? While it seems almost certain that the release date has been pushed beyond this year, I'm still expecting Starfield on the Xbox stage at E3. As it stands, we've only seen a small teaser trailer which didn't really give fans any information on what the game will be. If we don't end up getting a gameplay deep-dive, there's still a chance we'll see an updated trailer giving players a better idea of what to expect from Bethesda's ambitious new IP. I don't know that we'll necessarily see a release date at E3, but this might be a great opportunity for the team to clear the air regarding exclusivity for Starfield by confirming that this title will be available only on Xbox, PC, and Xbox Game Pass.
First Elden Ring gameplay trailer?
I've been fairly vocal in my belief that Elden Ring's big gameplay reveal would be on Xbox's stage at E3 this year. The game was originally announced alongside Xbox, coupled with other FromSoftware titles like Dark Souls 3 and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It's also been long-rumored that Xbox has the official marketing partnership with Bandai Namco for Elden Ring, so it seems like the perfect fit. Unfortunately, some recent developments point to a world where we don't see Elden Ring in any capacity at E3 2021.
On a recent episode of GamesBeat Decides with Jeff "Destroyer of Dreams" Grubb and Mike "Mangler of Hope" Minotti, the duo shared an update on whether or not they believed Elden Ring would be appearing at E3 this year. Sadly, according to Grubb, it sounds like Elden Ring won't be on the Xbox stage for E3 2021, which means it's unlikely that FromSoftware's latest RPG will make an appearance. The team is heads-down on the project, potentially for a Q1 2022 release, and speculation from Grubb seems to suggest FromSoftware might be unwilling or unable to provide the necessary manpower to produce a trailer in time for E3.
We've also received some information that corroborates a scenario where Elden Ring does not appear at E3. There's still a possibility that the game will be shown, and it sounds like both Xbox and Bandai Namco are really pushing to make it happen, but if it does it's something that's coming down to the wire. Regardless of whether or not the game makes it to E3, the information we've received suggests Bandai Namco is gearing up to show off Elden Ring sometime in the near future, but as of now, it's very unclear what that time frame looks like. For now, I'm holding out hope while also preparing to have my heart completely shattered.
The latest on Senua's Saga: Hellblade II
The last game we'll be touching is easily one of my most anticipated releases, Hellblade 2. I've watched that reveal trailer an unhealthy number of times and can't wait to get more information on this promising project from Ninja Theory. After a small developer update at the Xbox Games Showcase last year, many fans were hoping for a gameplay reveal at E3 2021. Unfortunately, in even more disappointing Xbox news, it's sounding like Hellblade 2 might be another big omission from E3 this year.
Hellblade 2 set the tone of next-gen and the future of Xbox Game Studios with its announcement at the Game Awards in 2019. Fans like myself were captivated by the visuals and compelling world introduced in this brief teaser. Since then, many have speculated on possible release windows for this highly anticipated sequel. In case anyone had hopes for a 2021 release date for Hellblade 2, I'll just go ahead and crush those now. Senua's Saga is not launching this year. As Xbox is moving away from showing off gameplay too far out, there are talks of Hellblade 2 not being shown at E3 this year, and it's safe to say that a release date for this title isn't around the corner.
There's still a possibility we get a developer update into the progress for Hellblade 2, or maybe even some kind of new trailer, but the chances of seeing in-engine gameplay running on the Xbox Series X are less likely for this year. And hey, if we don't see anything for Hellblade 2 at E3, we can always rewatch the reveal trailer for the 500th time.
Share your thoughts!
What games are you hoping to see from Xbox this year? What are your expectations from this E3 showcase? Let us know in the comment section below! And if you're looking for something to play in the meantime, feel free to check out our list of the best Xbox games.
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Miles Dompier is a Freelance Video Producer for Windows Central, focusing on video content for Windows Central Gaming. In addition to writing or producing news, reviews, and gaming guides, Miles delivers fun, community-focused videos for the Windows Central Gaming YouTube channel. Miles also hosts Xbox Chaturdays every Saturday, which serves as the Windows Central Gaming weekly podcast.