E3’s boulevard of broken dreams (and promises)

Each year the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is a bombastic array of flashing lights and loud noises, of big games and bigger promises. It’s the promises that’ll get you.

Each year game developers and hardware manufacturers take to expensive stages with announcements about new projects, games and hardware — and sometimes those announcements could be politely called “speculative in nature”.

And like all speculation, some of it misses the mark, and there’s been some high-profiles ones in the past: surely we’re all still desperately waiting for our Wii Vitality Sensors or our copies of Bioshock Vita? Here’s some of the more high-profile broken (or at least bent) promises from last year.

Fable Legends: One of the big high-profile titles shown off by Xbox last year, Fable Legends was on the way from Lionhead Studios and the (in)famous mind of Peter Molyneaux. Fast forward a year and not only is Fable Legends not on the way, Lionhead is a studio no longer.

The Last Guardian: First announced back at E3 2009 (yes, 2009) there were audible gasps from the audience at Sony’s press event when the trailer ran for The Last Guardian. While the launch date was given just as sometime in 2016, there’s been a suspicious lack of any greater detail. Let’s call this one bent at the very least.

ReCore: Also from Microsoft, this brand-new series had a slightly post-apocalyptic look with adorable (and not so adorable) robots. New IP is always exciting and this Xbox exclusive was dated 2016. We’re still waiting and, more importantly, it’s not an exclusive anymore as its also slated for a PC version.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Speaking of exclusives and new IP featuring robots in the post-apocalypse, Sony had one of its own for the PS4 with the confusing name of Horizon Zero Dawn. (Or Turok Robot Hunter as it was puckishly named by some.) Promised for 2016, gamers will now have to wait until the end of February 2017 to get their chance to shoot arrows at dinosaur robots.

No Man’s Sky: This incredibly expansive space exploration game sparked our imaginations, but we’ll have to wait a couple months longer than planned. Originally slated for June 2016, it’s now due in August.

Sea of Thieves:Another purported Xbox Exclusive, this one a pirate-themed online multiplayer game from Rare Studios makers of some much loved games. Like more than a few other games, that exclusivity proved ephemeral, with Sea of Thieves now coming out for PC as well when it launches at an as-yet-unamed date.

Final Fantasy VII: A mere 18 years after the original Final Fantasy VII made the original PlayStation the console of choice for fans of sprawling Japanese role-playing games, Sony showed off a remake that sent the gaming world into a tailspin. A crazy, complete reimaging of the original as a high-def masterpiece that was hitting your PlayStation in… well, that was a little vague. Then it emerged that the game will be episodic, with each episode being almost a fully contained game. And still no release date. We’ll be waiting to see if this bold idea finds itself in development hell.

Nintendo NX: Nintendo’s brand-new hardware platform — one that will hopefully generate more excitement than the Wii U did — is codenamed NX and at E3 2015 we were promised we’d hear more about it in 2016. More than a few people assumed that meant E3 2016, but Nintendo has confirmed that we shouldn’t be holding our breath for any NX news during the show.

So will we see more crazy promises when the E3 2016 press day kicks off on Monday? You bet we will and you can bet the farm that a few of those will be discussed in 2017 when we stop and think “hey, whatever happened to that game…”