It might be the biggest event of year, but that doesn't mean every game in development will be in attendance at E3 2019. Some might need a little more time, some might not even be in a fully realized, playable state yet, and others might just not want to show up. It's a stressful show!
In the weeks leading up to E3, we've had a number of studios and developers whose absence would be noted get out ahead of the curve. So if you're wondering why something or someone is MIA from the press conferences, you can check below and see if they've said why.
Rocksteady's Next Game
A little bit of deja vu here, as Rocksteady also notably skipped last year's E3. In a tweet from game director Sefton Hill, he says the studio will be watching from London, "hard at work on our next big project." Still teasing us, two years in a row.
Most notably, Sony has bowed out of E3 2019 entirely. Announced in November 2018, the company said, "we are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can't wait to share our plans with you." While Sony has done some State of Play broadcasts and Death Stranding put out a release date trailer just last week, it looks like Sony will remain otherwise quiet through the next week or so. This means The Last of Us Part 2, Dreams, and pretty much all its first-party games will be noticeably absent.
Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6
Both of Bethesda's major looming projects won't be talked about this year, according to a quote from Todd Howard in March. It's a shame, as both are among the most anticipated games for the show, but it's also not terribly surprising. It sounds like Howard and Bethesda Game Studios really want to create something with these games, so waiting a while on the technology to make it happen isn't the worst ask.
Beyond Good & Evil 2
Another majorly anticipated game, Beyond Good & Evil 2 is holding a short livestream just before E3, but it won't be present at the show. Though, I'm sure fans who have been waiting this long for a Beyond Good & Evil sequel can manage at least one more year before we see more of it.
Skull & Bones
Keeping with the Ubisoft theme, the open-seas pirate game Skull & Bones is skipping E3 after announcing a major delay, pushing it out of fiscal year 2019, or past April 2020. This game has nonetheless been beset by two delays now since its original unveiling. It's a shame, because our impressions at the time were fairly positive, but sometimes you just need to keep tuning things up to get them just right.
Need For Speed 2019
In a rather bizarre announcement, Electronic Arts confirmed there would be a new Need For Speed this year, and in the same post confirmed it would not be at E3 2019. Seems rather odd to announce it and then ghost right away. The blog post does mention a later "full unveiling," so it's possible EA felt E3 was packed enough that it should move Need For Speed to its own event.
A new Nintendo Switch model
Despite reports of a new model revision by the end of June 2019, Bloomberg reports that there won't be an announcement of a new Switch at this year's E3. Whether it could end up sliding into the end of June as a surprise launch or the rumored model revisions have been delayed is anyone's guess. That said, that's at least another week or so without the looming anxiety of whether I should get a new Switch or not.
EA Games, I suppose?
Technically, EA is holding a separate event called EA Play that runs the weekend before E3 2019. It's not part of E3 proper and thus could be considered "skipping" E3, but this is also happening tangentially to E3, so I'm counting this as a half-skip. Really, it extends E3 a little earlier. The bigger news is its lack of a press conference, instead hosting several livestreams featuring in-the-moment announcements alongside gameplay.
While there's a good few games not making it out this year, some of the biggest names are not on this list. Cyberpunk 2077, Halo Infinite, Animal Crossing, and Doom Eternal—just to name a few—are all still primed for big stage presences. Or, in the case of Nintendo, a Direct appearance. Keep up with all the dates and conference times you need with our guide to E3 2019.