E3 2017 Missing In Action
A few of the series missing from E3 2017. Square Enix / Nintendo / Sony / Rockstar Games / Microsoft

The quick-fire flurry of E3's press conference schedule is over for another year, but while the picture of the video game industry for the next two-to-three years is a little clearer, there were a number of high-profile absences from the show that stuck out like a sore thumb.

This year's event was something of a muted affair, with far less moonshot announcements and fan-pleasing reveals than we've all come to expect. Release dates and first-look gameplay footage became the status quo that largely defined EA, Bethesda, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo's showcases.

The few surprises that did emerge from Los Angeles –most notably Beyond Good & Evil 2, Metroid 4 and a Shadow of the Colossus remaster/remake – were undisputed crowd-pleasers, and we can't wait to hear more about all three.

But what about the games and developers we expected to see that stayed at home for the show?

IBTimes UK has picked through the biggest and most obvious omissions from E3 2017 and are ready to ask the all-important question: "What the hell, E3?"

FromSoftware / Bloodborne 2

The Dark Souls saga has ended, Bloodborne is looking increasingly likely to be a one-off series (we still have hope), and FromSoftware, the Japanese studio behind the two frighteningly hard franchises, was MIA at E3 2017.

Hopes that Sony would pull a "one more thing" and beckon director Hidetaka Miyazaki onto the stage, or at least show a video teaser, were met with disappointment, leaving the name, gameplay and overall status of FromSoftware's next project open to increasingly wild speculation.

Last we heard, Miyazaki was teasing that the studio is working on three titles, with two based on new IP ideas and the third a reboot of an existing franchise. All eyes will now be on PlayStation Experience (scheduled for 9-10 December) for whatever comes next.

Please be Bloodborne 2.

Bethesda's new IP

In all fairness to Bethesda, The Evil Within 2 leaking hours before its third annual conference put a slight dampener on its biggest surprise. Prior to the show, that didn't matter too much, because Bethesda also had a brand new IP called Starfield – an Elder Scrolls and Fallout-like open-world RPG that would launch the studio's established formula into space.

The fact that the Starfield rumour stemmed from a 4Chan leak should've sent alarm bells ringing, but there was enough smoke to suggest that a fire was imminent. It wasn't.

Bethesda's Pete Hines later revealed that Elder Scrolls 6 isn't in active development, but that the studio does have two major projects that are coming along nicely.

Visceral's Star Wars

Star Wars Battlefront 2 formed the centrepiece of EA's "Play" event and received a whopping 30 minutes of airtime, but where were the other Star Wars titles we heard about in 2016?

Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment's mystery Star Wars project was always a long shot, but Visceral Games' untitled third-person, action-adventure game is penciled for a 2018 release.

Nevertheless, the anticipated game – which is is being co-developed by Electronic Arts' Motive Studios and headed up by Assassin's Creed 2 producer, Jade Raymond, and co-creator of the Uncharted series, Amy Hennig – was conspicuous by its absence.

We at least got a tweet from Hennig to assure us all is well in camp Visceral:

Retro Studios

Not seeing Retro Studios' logo during Nintendo's E3 Spotlight livestream was made all the more confounding by the presence of another; namely seeing Metroid Prime 4 emblazoned across the stream for all to behold.

Having created the original trilogy, the immediate assumption was that Retro must be behind Samus' comeback on Switch. Nintendo later clarified that an entirely new, unnamed team is leading development on the sci-fi adventure.

As for Retro Studios? Who knows. The studio's last game, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, launched in 2014. The team has been silent ever since.

Sucker Punch

For the second year in a row, Sucker Punch – the first-party Sony studio made famous by, well, Infamous and its sequels and expansions – was nowhere to be seen at E3.

The Seattle-based developer hasn't entered the limelight since 2014's Infamous: First Light, which was technically only an standalone expansion for Infamous: Second Son, which launched mere months after the PS4's western debut. That was almost four years ago.

Prior to the reveal of Insomniac's Spider-Man at E3 2016, the rumour mill was convinced it was open-world veterans Sucker Punch that would be bringing the web-slinger to PS4.

This made Sucker Punch's E3 2017 no-show even more baffling as logic seemed to dictate that we'd find out what the developer was actually working on after the surprise studio switcheroo. At least Spider-Man looks fantastic.

Honourable mentions: Super Smash Bros Switch, Red Dead Redemption 2, The Last of Us Part 2, Wild, Rocksteady Studios, Deep Down, Dreams, Animal Crossing Switch, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Death Stranding, Shenmue 3, Agent (hahaha), Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Halo 6, Skate 4 (dream on), The Sims 5, Dead Island 2, Borderlands 3, Half-L... no.

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