Video game development is an industry in a near-constant battle with investors, deadlines, technology, and perhaps its largest adversary: the gamer. Rarely is a video game created and produced by one studio or a small group of individuals. Nowadays, it sometimes takes multiple teams over multiple studios that could total into the hundreds.
It’s frustrating when a game gets announced and it takes years to release any content, including an official trailer. In the early days of video game development, shorter time frames existed from announcement to release. As technology advances and gamers hungered for more engaging gameplay, video games took longer to create and program, often taking years. At least these days, most games take an average of 2-3 years to make. Sequels less time because those are usually worked on before its predecessors have even been released.
Rumors in the video game industry are like grains of sand in a desert: they’re always there. Clever gamers scour the internet sometimes in search of leaks - official and not-so-official - about their favorite game. A popular method of obtaining information about future content is called data mining. That’s when “hackers” pull programming from a game’s disc that hints at a franchise’s sequels or upcoming in DLCs.
Here are 10 Video Games Currently In Development (And 10 That Are Rumored).
20 In Development: Anthem
Anthem is a third-person shooter combined with role-playing and action elements. BioWare (Mass Effect, Dragon’s Age) is developing the game, and it will be published by Electronic Arts for the Xbox One, PS4, and Windows platform. In the game, you’ll play as a “Freelancer” who breaks off from their civilization to investigate adjacent areas. As a Freelancer, you have exosuites that are called Javelins. They allow you to carry unique weapons and gives you powerful abilities. You’ll be able to play solo and co-operative (with up to 4 others in your group) in what Bioware promises is a shared world.
The game was actually teased in 2014 and then again in 2017 (both teasers at E3).
Anthem was officially announced at 2017’s E3, and its original release date was Q4 in 2018. The game was shown with 2 different types of Javelins running on the Xbox One X. But earlier this year, EA announced the release was pushed back to some time in the early part of 2019 because the new Battlefield took priority for EA.
The Vice President of EA, Patrick Soderlund, stated in an interview that the developer will provide new content and updates well after the game’s release and that Anthem is “the start of maybe a 10-year journey.”
19 Rumored: Watch Dogs 3
When Watch Dogs released in 2014, many critics and gamers felt it was basically a Grand Theft Auto clone with computer hackers. Ubisoft promised one game and delivered a different game than it previewed prior to its release. However, Watch Dogs 2 was a grand improvement over the previous one, with a large world and rich personality with fun (and better) hacking mechanics. The sequel was received much better than the first.
A third installment is inevitable considering the success of Watch Dogs 2. While Ubisoft hasn’t mentioned anything in particular, several clues exist hinted at a Watch Dogs 3. After a patch for Watch Dogs 2 in February 2017, the ending became longer and the cutscene added an audio conversation between 2 unknown characters. They discuss the “rise of hacktivism” around the world in the Middle East and Europe. A coordinate system appears, and the waypoint sits at a section of London, England.
Early this year, when “Spax” by N.E.R.D. was played with the Uplay program open, users were able to click on a special profile command line. One command pulled up a list of unreleased games. The puzzle itself paid homage to the type of hacking found in Watch Dogs. And finally, a tweet on the Watch Dogs Twitter account posted “This is everything.” It was immediately removed.
18 In Development: Shenmue III
The Shenmue franchise started in 1999 with the first game, with the sequel releasing 2 years later. At the time, Shenmue was the most expensive video game ever developed and release, hitting around $47 million in product and marketing costs. Games now easily hit over $100 million in budget. Although the first and second games have a strong cult following and have made many “Best of” lists over the years, Shenmue and Shenmue II were considered commercial failures.
That didn’t stop Yu Suzuki (the original director) from continuing Ryo Hazuki’s quest to find Lan Di. Sega licensed the franchise back to Suzuki and his video game development company, Ys Net. Shenmue III did spend over 10 years in development before Suzuki ran a Kickstarter campaign for Shenmue III’s funding. The target was $2 million, but supporters easily matched that within 8 hours, making it the fast Kickstarter to ever hit that amount. When the campaign ended, Shenmue III just over $6 million.
The game has been delayed a couple of times, first to the last half of 2018, then again to 2019.
Suzuki reassures fans that because of “new technologies” the developer has discovered “new possibilities and expressions.” While this doesn’t inspire confidence, Suzuki adds that the game “has become bigger and more beautiful than I initially expected.”
17 Rumored: Doom 2
Bethesda Softworks rebooted the Doom franchise by releasing Doom in 2016. The game received consistently high ratings and positive reviews from most major gaming magazines and websites. Players especially loved the single-player campaign, comparing it to the quality of PvE of the newer Wolfenstein games. Doom (2016) was nominated for many awards and won 13 of them. With the popularity and success of the reboot Doom, a sequel could be on the horizon.
The biggest hint that Doom 2 is rumored to be something the developer is working or will work on is from the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Bethesda, Pete Hines. He said, when asked about the company’s plans for E3 in 2018 that “I couldn’t give you any guesses as to what we’re going to announce and when those games will be out. But I will say, we have a lot of new stuff to talk about at E3. Whether or not folks realize it, this is the hell on Earth time for us with E3. We are in the midst of so much planning and work for all of that content but I’m really excited.”
The phrase “hell on Earth” sealed the rumor of a possible Doom 2: That is the subtitle of 1994’s Doom II: Hell on Earth.
16 In Development: Days Gone
Exclusive to the PS4, Days Gone is an adventure-action game with elements of survival horror. It’s being developed by SIE Bend Studio, best known for their Syphon Filter franchise and PlayStation Vita Uncharted games. In Days Gone, a pandemic wipes out most of humanity and changed many of those who survived called Freakers, who are basically zombies that keep evolving.
You’ll play as Deacon St. John who used to be a bounty hunter. After the pandemic, he sticks to himself, constantly on the move. Days Gone starts 2 years after the first days of that devastating pandemic. Progression involves objectives to complete with stealth, long- and/or short-range weapons. One touted feature of the game includes the weather and day/night system: Freakers will be slow by day, but astonishingly aggressive at night.
The game officially went into production in January 2015 and uses the Unreal Engine 4.
At the 2016 and 2017 E3, the developer had stage demos of two different Freaker types and infected animals/human enemies, respectively. Originally, Days Gone had been planned for a 2018 release, but in March 2018, the game was pushed back to 2019 for unknown reasons. Those in the media who’ve been allowed to get early gameplay in were impressed with the visuals, but worried the main story won’t make the zombie-hunting any different from other, similar games.
15 Rumored: Star Wars Title From Respawn
Turning into less of a rumor since 2016, the announcement that Respawn Entertainment is making a Star Wars game was official. However, it’s interesting to note that over the past 2 years, barely any information about that game has surfaced. Even the executive Vice President of EA Studios, Patrick Soderlund, even said on the EA website in 2016 that more information about the game would be coming soon.
Respawn is best known for Titanfall, so hopes are extremely high that it’ll treat the Star Wars game franchise well.
In 2017, this “Star Wars” game still remained a video game secret, but it became more likely to move forward more quickly when EA acquired Respawn Entertainment for over $450 million in total with cash, equity, and performance bonuses. Even at that time, a Star Wars title was still on the books. In November 2017, a representative of Respawn Entertainment, Jay, answered questions on the website’s blog in a FAQ format. The second question was “What’s going to happen with Star Wars?” His written answer was “Respawn will continue to work on our Star Wars game. Development is going well and we have a great relationship with Lucasfilm.”
The purchase of the studio was after EA canceled the Star Wars project that Visceral Games had been working on. It’s possible that EA felt Respawn’s game was better and worth putting more money into. Some fans and media outlets are expecting at least a 2020 release.
14 In Development: The Last of Us Part II
The Last of Us Part II is another PlayStation 4 exclusive title that is the sequel to The Last of Us, released in 2013. Even though the game was announced the PlayStation Experience event in December of 2016, production on the game started in 2014, with motion capture of the actors beginning in 2017.
Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker return as Joel and Ellie, and Part II takes place 5 years after its predecessor.
In the sequel, you’ll play as Ellie as she continues on her next journey, presumably involving more survival horror with some action and adventure thrown in. Unlike the first game, which focused on the theme of love, director and writer Neil Druckman stated that Part II will be about hate. When the second trailer showed at Paris Games Week in October of 2017, it revealed that there will be three new characters named Yara, Lev, and Emily. There was also a fourth character shown who was unnamed at the time, but gamers learned she would be played by Laura Bailey.
Almost immediately on its announcement, Part II made it on many “Most Wanted” and “Most Anticipated” lists. The game has suffered a number of delays, but it’s been hoped by fans and gamers of the franchise that a release date would be communicated at E3 2018.
13 Rumored: Gears of War 5
Gears of War is a rare video game franchise supported by a devoted fan base. There are 5 games, a comic book series, a board game, and several novels that give gamers a rich universe to enjoy. The series has been the most played on Xbox Live.
At the end of 2017, Phil Spencer mentioned the franchise in passing. Whether he meant to or not is unknown; he spoke about the biggest exclusive franchises such as “Halo, Forza, and Gears of War” when mentioning “future unannounced games” being released globally and on the Xbox Game Pass. However, other details are now known that means Gears of War 5 might soon get under development.
The company Splash Damage worked on other Gears of War games, developing the multi-player modes. Splash Damage posted listings for new jobs on its website that specifically list titles for the “Gears of War Franchise.” Gears of War 4 was released in 2016, so it’s timely that Spencer mentions the series and one of the major developers of a couple of the previous games have listed jobs. Note that some other listings are for “Unannounced Projects." It might be soon that the rumor turns to confirmation.
12 In Development: Metro Exodus
Based on the Metro 2033 that was created by Dmitry Glukhovsky and other writers over short stories, novels, and novellas, the Metro franchise extended into the video game media in 2010 with Metro 2033. Two other games followed with Metro: Last Light and Metro Redux - though the latter title consisted of re-mastered versions of the first two games.
4A Games is developed Metro Exodus, which continues the franchise: it takes place 2 years after the events of the first two games.
Players will take the role of Artyom, who is seeking a ride on a train called “Aurora,” which will take him to a new and safe life. The time frame of the game is over the course of one year. Anna is also in the game, returning from Last Light. She was also a main character in the novel Metro 2035, if you keep track of the books. She is now Artyom’s wife in the game.
The game will keep the survival horror and stealth mechanics that made the games popular and remain a first-person shooter. Microsoft announced the game at a press conference at last year’s E3 and started development in 2014. The planned release date is Q1 2019 for the PS4, Xbox One, and Windows platform.
11 Rumored: Splinter Cell
Sometimes, retailers inadvertently mention future games, although such details are quickly removed on discovery. Destiny’s DLCs have often been spotted months at GameStop’s website ahead of any official release by Bungie. The same thing has happened to a rumored Splinter Cell game when Amazon Canada let a link slip by.
Details were scarce, but the Amazon listing did state Splinter Cell 2018 was owned by Ubisoft, but no game platforms were listed. It could end up on any of the current consoles or PC - maybe an exclusive to one of them. There was no box art and no actual release date, even though the title of the listing included 2018. One other detail: the model number read “E3TomClancy’sSpinterCell2018_PC,” which encouraged rumors of some kind of E3 2018 announcement. It’s not know if the listing was posted on accident by Ubisoft or Amazon.
If you want further evidence that a new Splinter Cell game might happen, Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot said that Splinter Cell is “one of his favorite sires and is a franchise the company talks about a lot.” In a later interview, he also said that all the Tom Clancy series are “coming along nicely” and Splinter Cell “hasn’t been forgotten.”
10 In Development: Skull & Bones
At E3 2017, Ubisoft announced Skull & Bones, a tactical action game set on the high seas. The game is loosely based on the ship battles in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, which many felt were done very well. Skull & Bones focuses on piracy and ship warfare.
In the open world environment on the waters of the Indian Ocean, you’ll control a pirate captain who is fully customizable. You have the option to play solo in the single-player campaign or ally with up to 5 other pirate captains and take your ship into combat in what’s called the Disputed Waters. There will be different types of ships to collected - like sloops-of-war, brigantines, frigates - with mortars, cannons, and rockets as weapons. One of the main feature of the multi-player mode is Loot Hunt. Two opposing ships go against each other in treasure hunting to increase their riches and worth. Also, like many games in recent years, Skull & Bones will have micro-transactions.
The game was supposed to release in late 2018, but has been delayed until sometime in 2019, possibly in 2020.
Despite that, from the concept alone, it already sounds like a better Sea of Thieves, which has been vastly criticized since release.
9 Rumored: Star Fox Grand Prix
Star Fox Grand Prix rumors are the type that everyone want to believe will come true, but the details that emerge fall short of believability. Rumors of this game began when a blogger told a freelance writer on Twitter that Star Fox Grand Prix was a sure thing. It fanned the flames, but no other proof could be found.
Then someone on Reddit posted information about a “something like Diddy Kong Racing mixed with F-Zero essentially…It will have an adventure mode of some kind…and there will be some boss fights and a hub world like it too.” The game was in development at Retro Studios. It’s not a bad description of a game from a reputable studio.
In mid-May 2018, Eurogamer has confirmed that Star Fox Grand Prix is, in fact, real. They have sources that state the game is a real one from Retro Studios. Eurogamer does a great job when it comes to video game rumors and knowing when to release information like that. However, nothing official has come from Nintendo or Retro Studios so the rumor must stay a rumor for now. E3 2018 would be the perfect time to officially announce this game everyone is excited about.
8 In Development: The Division 2
Many expected a sequel to The Division, but didn’t know when a good time would be to release it. When The Division released in 2016, it maintained a strong user-base for the first couple months, but numerous glitches and cheaters on the PC kept it from skyrocketing to major success. Over time, the game improved in terms of content and general fixes, with update 1.8 being the turning point in a mediocre game becoming good.
In March 2018, Ubisoft officially announced that The Division 2 is coming and will be a true sequel.
However, many fans expressed that they would have been just fine with making more content for the first game. “It wasn’t an easy decision,” the creative director said. “There are so many stories and so many experiences we want to explore…we really thought a sequel was the best way to investigate these things.”
The first Division received the April update, but will also get a June update that adds a feature called “Shields.” They are challenges to unlock features in The Division 2. Ubisoft didn’t make a release date announcement, but being committed to attending all major game shows hints that the sequel may come out in the next year or two.
7 Rumored: Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 4 is till keeping the rumor mills churning. Since 2012, Horizon games have been released every 2 years on the even-numbered years (Forza Motorsport games have been released on odd-numbered years since 2005). In 2018, fans of the long-running racing series expect the fourth version of Forza Horizon in the final Quarter of the year. Even the rumors might be premature.
What didn’t help spark the rumors was when the Head of Marketing for Xbox (Aaron Greenberg) switched out his Twitter header picture. The picture showcased a number of Xbox games, including box art for Forza Horizon 4. Under the main title were Japanese characters, giving clues to where the game might be set, and a Porsche graces the bottom half of the cover.
Fans figured out the issue immediately: the box art was fake. The Porsche is an older model, and Forza has always had brand new cars on the newer versions of the games (Motorsports included.) Greenberg eventually admitted the cover art wasn’t real or official, that it was “some cool fan made art.” Notably, he didn’t confirm or deny any information related to Japan.
The last two Forza games (6 and Motorsports) didn’t have official announcements until the E3 before they were released, so it’s possible the same thing will happen with Horizon 4.
6 In Development: Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 is slated to be CD Projeckt Red’s biggest title to date, even bigger than their previous game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. More employees worked on the new game, and the developer even created a new division called Wroclaw to help keep the game from going into development hell with delays and problems. Cyberpunk 2077 is based on the board game Cyberpunk 2020.
The game takes place in the dystopian Night City where humanity has evolved into technological singularity and everyone is divided into social classes. The U.S. is bankrupt and “mega-corporations” are in control. In the video game you control one of 8 customizable characters trying to survive. Depending on the person you choose and the agency you represent, there will be different types of endings.
The game was officially announced in 2012 and had a teaser trailer the following year.
It’s rumored to release in 2019, but in June 2017, CD Projekt Red admitted that early design data had been stolen and was held for ransom.
If the money wasn’t given, then the designs would be released to the public. The developer didn’t comply, but the game’s secrets remained hidden. In March 2018, the developer reached a “major milestone,” which facilitated the opening of the new studio, so the target year of 2019 still looks to be legit.
5 Rumored: Gran Turismo 7
The Gran Turismo franchise has exclusively released on PlayStation hardware through its lifetime. Gran Turismo 6 was met with mediocre reviews. Fans and critics found the game glitchy, the online component weak, and the single-player mode lacking. It wasn’t the best game in the series, so isn’t it obvious that another sequel could be released soon, fixing a lot of the features and issues in the 6th version?
A picture of a retail box found its way to Reddit. It was a generic picture from a video game store, sitting next to a “Pre-Order Now” sign. The release date on the box listed April 2019, and the box also stated the game will have a full career mode for the single player. What some fans are excited about from this rumor is the Gran Turismo 7 Collector’s Edition that comes with a lot of fun stuff, like an actual, life-size helmet.
Keep in mind that this picture surfaces in May 2018, and nothing has come from Sony or the developer, Polyphony Digital. If the April 2019 release date is even close to when it releases, then fans expected some kind of announcement or trailer or gameplay at this year’s E3.
4 In Development: Life Is Strange 2
Episodic games gave surged in popularity since Telltale Games started releasing The Walking Dead. Most of these types of games run 5 episodes and are perfect for the casual gamer because of the game’s focus on story rather than heavy action or fighting.
Dontnod released Life is Strange in 2015 to praise and high ratings; the game has won nearly 20 awards while nominated for many others. Many fans and gaming magazines loved the time travel mechanic. The developer then released in August 2017 a 3-episode prequel called Life is Strange: Before the Storm in which you play Chloe, Max’s friend from the first game.
It makes sense that a sequel would come from the developer, and Dontnod announced in May 2017 that the sequel was in development.
Before they started production, the developer already knew that the story wouldn’t be about Max Caulfield (the main character from the first game who could control time), but have a new set of characters. The directors from the first game, Michel Koch and Raoul Barbet, return for the 2nd game. Life is Strange 2 is expected to include Arcadia Bay, but also have a new location.
In May of 2018, a French website reported that the sequel is expected to release some time before 2020.
3 Rumored: Halo 6
The games in the Halo franchise have been released on a consistent schedule, which gave a tiny amount of credence to Halo 6 release in 2018 (since the rumors circulated in 2017.) No Halo information was given at E3 2017, but then again, Microsoft is known for suddenly announcing Halo titles. With 343 Industries’ experience in making Halo games, Microsoft could get it developed and finish in a short amount of time.
In January 2018, 343 stated in a blog post that, referring to 2018, “The promise of new fun times to be had and adventures to be embarked upon. No, not those adventures, but plenty of exciting ones regardless - some which might surprise you more than others.” The statement, “No, not those adventures” seemingly refers to main games in the Halo franchise.
The studio is not giving any information about what those adventures are or if they are related to Halo. The community manager did say the “game” is well underway and “they really just want to give the development team enough time to create the next big FPS experience.” Fans are still holding hope that 343’s 2-4 year release window (the longer time for the rare delay) for Halo games still holds, and that the studio would announce something at E3 2018.
2 In Development: The Surge 2
Across the board, The Surge has received average to above-average reviews. The science-fiction action RPG is reminiscent of Lords of the Fallen in terms of gameplay mechanics and features. In the game, you use an exoskeleton to fight the bad guys. You can upgrade the exosuit and target specific parts of the enemy. The plot revolves around a dystopian future where the world’s resources are used up. It has remained a solid game for fans of action RPGs - solid enough, in fact, to warrant a sequel.
The Surge 2 will continue the dystopian atmosphere in a city that’s on the verge of internal collapse because many of the big cities are way over-populated.
A major change, according to the chief designer, is how the enemies react and attack. “They’re able to adapt better to what you're doing, behind more interestingly in groups, not to the point that they’re reading your mind but the idea that there are more layers of behavior for you to learn and master and anticipate.” Some of the other changes planned are so different that Deck13 had to redesign the game engine used in the first Surge.
The game was announced as being in early development in February 2018 and have stated the game will most likely release some time in 2019.
1 Rumored: Fallout 76
On May 30, 2018, a Twitch stream from Bethesda “announced” a game titled Fallout 76. For 24 hours before, in a live stream, a simple title card showed the iconic Vault Boy bobblehead in front of a computer monitor that had the recognizable “Please Stand By” pattern screen. This was a teaser stream that was over 100,000 people watched over the course of the airing. At the end of the stream, Bethesda’s Todd Howard spoke and then various scenes were showcased.
You can see Vault 76, a location in Washington D.C., that’s decorated with “Reclamation Day” motifs; there’s a Pip-Boy showing the date as October 27, 2105; some unknown person living in the vault, and a broadcast stating, “When the fighting has stopped and the fallout has settled, you must rebuild.”
Fallout 76 remains in the “Rumored” section because of two main reasons. One, no one is entirely sure what kind of game this version of Fallout is. Two, there have been many Fallout games canceled, some only months after development started. Fallout Extreme, Fallout Tactics, Van Buren (which was the codename for a canceled Fallout 3 version), Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2, and Fallout Online have all been past Fallout games canceled.
What video games are you looking forward to? What rumored video games do you want to be real? Let us know in the comments!