Bethesda's E3 2019 conference recap: Elder Scrolls, Doom Eternal, Deathloop and more

An eventful conference for Bethesda, with two new games, plenty of Doom and another game streaming service revealed.

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The conference stage for Bethesda's big 2019 showcase.


We only heard brief whispers about two new games on everyone's radar -- the Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield -- but Bethesda's E3 showcase brought Bethesda's plans for the back half of 2019 to the fore. 

After an hour of trailers, one guy constantly screaming "YEEEEEEEEEAHHHHHH!!" at every announcement and the irreplicable presence of Ikumi Nakamura, we found ourselves with a Doom Eternal release date, a Fallout 76 Battle Royale mode, an entirely new game from Arkane Studios and tons of Elder Scrolls information. 

Bethesda's pre-E3 messaging, reading between the lines, seemed to be all about connectivity. "Be together", sang the slogans, and Bethesda focused on their connections with the players to kick things off, with developers and creatives taking the chance to say thanks. 

"You mean everything to us," said Pete Hines, senior vice president of global marketing and communications -- and the focus definitely remained on the fans throughout the show. The raucous crowd (one guy is going to have no voice tomorrow) lapped up every announcement and Todd Howard even apologized for some of the Fallout 76 issues.

You can read about every announcement and see some of the new trailers below.

For everything else E3, check out the E3 Schedule

Fallout 76

Fallout 76 was first on the agenda for Todd Howard, who didn't shy away from the game's ... uh, problems. "[It] had a lot of difficulties at launch and we got a lot of well-deserved criticism" said Howard, head of Bethesda Game Studios. He went on to praise the players, however. "Something amazing has happened," he said.  "This game has one of the best online communities we have ever seen."

The team announced Year 2 begins with the free DLC "Wastelanders", which drops in Fall 2019. There were large cheers for human NPCs and full dialogue trees, which is classic Fallout that has been missing from the always-online Fallout 76. There is also a free trial for Fallout 76, starting tomorrow.

There's also a new battle royale mode coming to the game called Nuclear Winter. It features a 52-person battle royale mode. Tom Mustaine, a Fallout 76 developer, went with a "F*** yeah" to celebrate another free addition to Fallout 76.

Elder Scrolls: Blades

Probably not the Elder Scrolls you were hoping for, but Elder Scrolls all the same. In between the Fallout 76 extras, we heard a little more about The Elder Scrolls Blades, which was announced and ready to play tonight. A Switch version of the first-person dungeon-crawler is coming in Fall -- and it will still be free to play. The Blades team called it Switch Blades. I laughed.

Ghostwire Tokyo

Shinji Mikami and Ikumi Nakamura from Tango Gameworks got on stage to announce their studios new game: Ghostwire Tokyo. You may know Tango Gameworks name from The Evil Within and The Evil Within 2, but Nakamura mentioned their latest effort was less of a survival horror game and maybe more paranormal... a creepy trailer played with incredibly life-like characters and a dude with a bow. You can see it below:

The Elder Scrolls Online

Mike Firor from ZeniMax Online Studios came out to celebrate some of the achievements of Elder Scrolls Online, noting the company recently added more server capacity to support new players in Online's world of Tamriel. A new trailer was revealed for the latest expansion, Elsweyr, which featured a big ol' dragon (wyvern, my CNET slack buddies tell me) and featuring the Dragon Guard -- but more details will come at QuakeCon this summer. In addition, a new dungeon DLC called "Scalebreaker" is on its way.

Commander Keen

Huge nostalgia play with the Commander being back. The new game will be coming to iOS and Android and is being developed by ZeniMax Online Studios. The new game features Billy and Billie, the children of the original Billy Blaze. 

It's a drag-and-drop game and includes a story mode where you have to build contraptions to get through. There's also a battle mode where you need to control checkpoints and claim a flag. Commander Keen soft launches in summer.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood

"Even more evil Nazis to kill and in Youngblood you can kill those Nazis with a friend"

That's executive producer at MachineGames, Jerk Kustaffsen. After explaining some of the games new co-op features, another Wolfenstein: Youngblood trailer was unveiled. There was a lot of blood and fire. Some stabbing, some very 80s scanlines and a heck of a lot of shooting. The game releases July 26, 2019. We covered it here and you can see the trailer below:

The new Arkane Studios game: Deathloop

Arkane Studios, the development house behind Dishonored , revealed their new game: Deathloop

It takes place in Black Reef during a "time of madness". Colt and Juliana are the game's dual protagonists, reminiscent of Dishonored 2 but it appears they are on opposite teams. The game's stylish trailer showed off gunplay and swordplay reminiscent of Arkane's previous series and seemed to harken back to a lot of the gameplay elements that made Dishonored such a popular series.

"I think it's really f***ing cool," announced Sébastien Mitton, one of the creatives at Arkane. I'm inclined to agree after seeing the uber-impressive trailer. You can watch it below:

Orion streaming tech

Robert Duffy and James Altman from id Software were on hand to discuss a new innovation for the team: Orion, another cloud-based service to rival Google Stadia and Microsoft's project xCloud

"Orion will optimize game engines for performance in a cloud environment," said James Altman, director of publishing operations at id Software. 

Orion will apparently allow games to stream content up to 20% faster per frame, which will enable a dramatic reduction in latency. Moreover, the service can stream up with up to 40% lower bandwidth. 

"It means that streaming games will be faster and better with Orion and Orion substantially reduces the cost of streaming for players and for publishers," Altman explained.

The streaming capabilities were then shown off by playing Doom 2016 on a mobile phone with a controller attached. It was a mighty brief demo and it's hard to tell exactly how dramatically Doom was affected with the vision we had, but at the very least, it's another promising entrant in the video game streaming planet we seem set on creating.

Doom Eternal



Bethesda Softworks

An extended gameplay demo of the Doom sequel showed off the fast-paced gameplay that the original championed. Doomguy took out a big ol' demon, sliced a few baddies in the guts and de-skinned a few heads. Those in the room tonight will get to play Doom: Eternal immediately after the show. I was not in the room, so I won't get to play it.

Doom Eternal also got a release date: November 22, 2019. The Collector's Edition comes with a Slayer helmet! Check out all the Doom Eternal news in our full recap.

An additional multiplayer mode was announced: "Battlemode". It's a "first-person fighter" that pits one Slayer against 2 player-controlled demons in a fight to the death. None of this Mortal Kombat type stuff here, it's all guns and blood and glory. The full showcase can be viewed below:

Everything else

  • Todd Howard mentioned Bethesda Game Studios are hard at work on Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield
  • The Elder Scrolls Legends gets an update: moons of Elsweyr
  • Rage 2 has new features rolling out this week including cheat codes, vehicles and game modes and  modifiers.
  • It will also get an expansion: "Rise of the Ghosts"
  • Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, the VR companion game to Youngblood, was shown off very briefly.
  • QuakeCon will feature more information on many titles including Doom Eternal. 

Upcoming E3 press conferences

Saturday, June 8

Sunday, June 9

Monday, June 10

  • PC Gaming Show -- This annual PC Gaming Show is held at a theater a short walk from the Los Angeles Convention Center, but still draws a large crowd, filling the 1,700-person capacity Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Inside, the usual suspects, from Halo to Doom, were nowhere to be found. Instead, the crowd cheered for PC-centric games including Zombie Army 4Baldur's Gate 3 and Terraria: Journey's End. (No, the game sequel problem isn't any better on PCs.) The highlight was a brief on-stage appearance by legendary game designer Yu Suzuki, responsible for classic such as Hang-On and Virtua Fighter. His long-awaited Shenmue 3 is expected in November, 18 years after Shenmue 2. 
  • Ubisoft -- The French gaming giant announced its next big dystopian hacking adventure game, Watch Dogs: Legion, launching March 2020. The new game is set in near-future post-Brexit London, where the economy is failing and government is breaking down. The company also announced a new television show, called Mythic Quest, that will launch on Apple TV Plus. And it celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Just Dance party games. 
  • Square Enix -- This was a huge franchise fair. The press conference started out with juicy details on Final Fantasy VII Remake, namely that it'll be a two-part game. The first part, an entire Blu-Ray disc, will be devoted to exploring Midgar. After a flurry of trailers and an in-depth look at Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, we then got the main event unveil: Marvel's Avengers.

Tuesday, June 11

  • Nintendo (livestream only) -- 9 a.m. PT (noon ET)

We're there

CNET will be on the ground, covering covering E3 2019 alongside our sister site, Gamespot. We'll update this page throughout the show as more games are announced.

Microsoft shows off Xbox trailers, hardware, services at E3

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Updated 10:37 p.m. PT: Minor details and link to Ikumi Nakamura posts