It’s perhaps a little far into the new year already to be offering you a preview of what’s to come – sorry about that – but piecing together a full picture of coming attractions in 2019 hasn’t been easy. After a first quarter packed with big releases and dominated by EA’s would-be juggernaut Anthem, the picture is quite hazy, with big names being scarce and release dates – even of the very loosest variety – even scarcer.
Nintendo has a very busy year ahead (Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, Luigi’s Mansion, another Pokémon, potentially Metroid Prime and Bayonetta) but Sony’s plans for PS4 are vague at best, and we would be shocked to see the likes of Death Stranding this year. It will be a long while before Microsoft’s studio acquisition spree pays off, too, leaving Gears 5 and not much else to wave the Xbox flag. On the third-party side, we can be sure of seeing EA’s next Star Wars game, and Ubisoft will surely have something as yet unannounced up its sleeve, while Cyberpunk 2077 seems more like a 2020 game – at the earliest.
Dig around a little, however, and you uncover a wealth of fascinating software from indie teams (headlined Spelunky 2), from what may be the last of the major crowdfunding projects (Shenmue 3 and Psychonauts 2) and from an emerging category of larger-scale, semi-indie productions with publisher backing, of which Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds is the most exciting prospect. At first, we thought we’d struggle to find 50 games for the list, but by the end we had far more than we could feature.