The Xbox rumor mill just keeps on turning and you know what that means? Another edition of the Xbox Rumor Report. Today, we'll be talking the latest on Elden Ring at E3, Forza Horizon 5 in Mexico, Starfield's release date and exclusivity, and a collaboration between IO Interactive and Xbox called "Project Dragon." Get those bags of salt ready, folks!
What is the Xbox Rumor Report?
With E3 inching closer and closer every day, the number of gaming rumors circulating on social media steadily multiplies. It can honestly be pretty tough keeping up with all the latest stories and speculation, but thankfully when it comes to Xbox rumblings, we've got you covered. We'll be breaking down some of the biggest potential leaks currently making the rounds and sharing my thoughts on how likely or unlikely they are. I'll also be sharing some additional details on the rumored collaboration between IO Interactive and Xbox. Now take my hand as we dive down the rabbit hole. You can check out our previous Xbox Rumor Report while you're at it.
Elden Ring at E3 2021
The first rumor we'll be discussing today comes by way of an Elden Ring image "leak" from 4chan. Now before you say it, I know what you're thinking — eww, no. Why? And I'm right there with you, but despite the fact that I don't believe this particular image is legitimate, there are some interesting details included that have a legit possibility of being accurate.
A few nights ago an image with the Elden Ring logo and text that simply read "Worldwide Reveal – 6.14.21" exploded on Twitter, Reddit, and 4chan. Many speculated that this would be the date for the big Elden Ring gameplay reveal at E3. As a huge From Software fan, this would be some incredibly exciting news, but, coincidentally, this image just so happened to pop up the same day that Bandai Namco confirmed it would be attending E3 2021.
With image leaks being so easy to fake and E3 dates being easy to predict, it's quite likely this graphic wasn't generated by any official channels. That being said, I'm still personally expecting the first Elden Ring gameplay reveal on an Xbox stage, so this date might not be too far off given Microsoft's usual E3 conference schedule.
It's also been brought to my attention that some Gamestop locations have recently received new Elden Ring promotional materials eerily similar to those shipped when the game was first revealed. While this isn't necessarily confirmation of anything, this could possibly mean it's gearing up for preorders following an upcoming gameplay reveal. Regardless of whether or not this particular rumor ends up being true, one thing's for sure: Elden Ring is real and we will be seeing it sometime very soon.
Forza Horizon 5 in Mexico
Our next Xbox rumor involves the potential location of Forza Horizon 5. Last week, my cheeky teammate Jez Corden sent out a fairly inconspicuous tweet that read "I really want to visit Mexico some day." with a Mexican flag emoji and Car emoji. While many folks on Twitter just seemed generally confused by Jez's travel interests, others like Jeff Grubb immediately jumped on the tease and added more fuel to the speculation fire.
While I won't necessarily be confirming that Forza Horizon 5 is set in Mexico, it's certainly sounding like there's a strong possibility that Mexico and not Japan will be the next location for the franchise. There's also a chance that fans will be able to get their hands on Forza Horizon 5 much sooner than they expected, with a potential reveal at E3 2021 and a potential launch in Fall 2021.
I think Mexico would be a fantastic setting for a Forza Horizon game. With a diverse collection of landscapes ranging from gorgeous beaches to ancient Mayan ruins, there's so much to explore here. I can already picture myself bombing down the shores of Cancun in my Warthog and getting some major air off the Pyramid of the Sun with my Baja Beetle. The more I think about it, the more I'm ready to take that virtual trip to Mexico.
Starfield release date and Xbox exclusivity
Since its reveal at E3 2018, fans have been hungry for more details on Bethesda's highly-anticipated new IP Starfield. This excitement has led to a ravenous host of conversations surrounding its release date and exclusivity. The biggest questions among fans right now are if Starfield be dropping in 2021 and will this be Bethesda's first big Xbox exclusive. Some trusted members of the Xbox community seem to think so.
Let's start with what we know. Toward the end of January 2021, ZeniMax Media updated its trademark for Starfield, which was first filed back in December of 2017 ahead of the E3 reveal. This trademark has consistently been updated over the course of the last several years, so while these changes theoretically don't mean much at all, many speculate that this implies a 2021 release date for Starfield is imminent.
In a rather compelling comparison, Mr. Matty Plays pointed out that Fallout 4, DOOM Eternal, and Dishonored 2 all had their proper release years listed in the same section as the one recently updated for Starfield. Additionally, we've heard from several other sources that discussions early on this year were targeting a Fall 2021 release window. Obviously, COVID-19 keeps throwing a bit of a wrench into video game release date plans, but there's a legit possibility that this is the current schedule for Starfield.
But what about Xbox exclusivity? There are definitely some vocal members of the community confident that Starfield will only release on Xbox platforms. In a recent episode of Xbox Two, Rand al Thor 19 re-emphasized his belief in Starfield's Xbox exclusivity. Rand certainly isn't the only trusted member of the community adamant in this idea, but unfortunately, I don't have the information to confirm or deny this. However, with Xbox's focus on using Bethesda's catalog to leverage Xbox Game Pass growth, I think this is an incredibly likely scenario.
IO Interactive, Xbox, and "Project Dragon"
In our last episode of the Xbox Rumor Report, we discussed that Xbox was potentially partnering with four AAA third-party studios to develop and prototype Xbox exclusives under the Xbox Game Studios Publishing banner. Outside of the cyclone tease though, we didn't really drop much in the way of specifics. However, some newly uncovered information points to a possible collaboration between IO Interactive, Xbox, and Dragons?
In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, IO Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak shared some exciting details about the future plans for this developer and confirmed that outside of the 007 Project, a separate team is busy working on a new "love child" IP with veteran staff.
When I was on Game On Daily Live a few weeks ago, I mentioned that one these potential AAA third-party Xbox partnerships was something that many wouldn't expect from this particular developer. Before this, the master of teases Jez Corden began talking quite a bit about dragons on Twitter and when asked about these partnerships on last week's episode of Xbox Two he told folks to "keep an eye on IO Interactive."
So what exactly does all this mean for IO Interactive's unannounced new IP? Well, from the information we've received about this title, it sounds like the team will be ditching Agent 47 and his modern gadgets for a more fantastical setting. It's worth reiterating that "Project Dragon" is rumored to be in the very early stages of protoyping and is likely several years away. As we mentioned in our last Xbox Rumor Report, it's not uncommon for games in this phase to be completely retooled or even scrapped as development progresses. So, while we have good information on what this title could potentially be and that Microsoft could be the ones to publish it, it's still very important to keep expectations in check.
Share your thoughts!
What are your thoughts on the latest Xbox rumors? Do you think we'll see Elden Ring on the Xbox stage at E3? Or do you think Starfield will be dropping as an Xbox exclusive this year? Let us know in the comment section below!
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