There used to be no room for indie games on the E3 showfloor.  Press conferences used to be so busy promoting the most expensive games and promising the biggest experiences, it seemed almost backwards to make room for indies.  It was all about guady, all about glitz and glamour.  With so many triple-A titles to promote, the indies were overlooked.

But over the last few years, we’ve seen the face of E3 slowly change.  More and more indie games have found their way to press conference stages, sometimes overshadowing the triple-A behemoths they’re sandwiched between.  As indie games continue to become a bigger part of the video game industry, the harder it has become for E3 to ignore them.

It looks like this year’s show might feature more indie games than any year prior.  Here are some of the titles you can expect to hear about at press conferences or on the show floor.

 

Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition

Larian Studios is promising that the 2nd edition of their hardcore fantasy cRPG is anything but a minor content update.  While the controller support sounds nice (and necessary for the console versions) I’m more interested in the game’s reworked story with a new ending.  With no console exclusivity ties, it’s unlikely to show up in any press conferences but it should be playable on the show floor.

 

Pillars of Eternity Expansion

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Obsidian’s love letter to the Infinity Engine made a lot of fantasy nerds very happy.  Now that the game has established itself amidst the RPG greats, an expansion is just what the hungry fans of Obsidian have ordered.  Obsidian quietly partnered with Paradox Interactive to do the distributing for Pillars, and while they aren’t slotted during the PC Showcase, they might piggyback on Paradox’s slot to announce their highly anticipated expansion.

 

Minecraft: Story Mode

minecraft-story-mode

Telltale have largely stayed out of the E3 spotlight, bringing their games to show behind closed doors but rarely stepping into the press conference limelight.  Still, with Microsoft now owning Minecraft – and seemingly unsure of what to do with the billion dollar property, this project might find its way to the Microsoft stage.

 

No Man’s Sky

Ever since Sony picked up No Man’s Sky, they’ve featured the game prominently at press conferences.  One can hardly blame them: the highly anticipated space exploration game raised more questions and turned more heads than any of the triple-A titles it stood next to.  While No Man’s Sky is expected at E3, Hello Games has been trying to stay out of the spotlight as they furiously work to deliver on the big promises they’ve made.

 

ADR1FT

Adam Orth and his team at Three One Zero are taking you to the final frontier, then wrecking the craft that got you there and making you fight for you life.  While the game is confirmed to be on the show floor, it isn’t listed to show up in any press conferences.  Still, with ADR1FT’s Oculus support and awesome new trailer, it might get a special call out during Oculus’ small press conference on June 11th.

 

SOMA

This fall everyone is welcome to join the horror masters at Frictional Games as they go beneath the sea and cook up a fresh batch of psychological terrors.  It’s not likely we’ll see stage show presence since SOMA has already released a juicy twelve minute gameplay trailer.  But SOMA is a PS4 console exclusive so don’t rule them out.

 

Hyper Light Drifter

Heart Machine are listed as part of the PC Gaming Showcase conference on Tuesday afternoon.  So it’s a pretty sure-bet that we’ll be seeing a good amount of their highly anticipated Hyper Light Drifter, which stole the show at PAX East in 2014.  The release window was listed as Early 2015 once upon  a time, but clearly has been pushed back.  I expect we’ll get a firm release date next week.

 

Below

Capybara’s Xbox One exclusive follow up to Super Time Force was announced at E3 two years ago, then went quiet until PAX East 2014.  Since then, it’s been back to radio silence.  With Inside being delayed, Below is one of the few indie-exclusives Microsoft have in their back pocket.  It would only make sense to hear more about this adventure roguelike.

 

Volume

The one man show of Mike Bithell Games is another one of the indie console-exclusives that Sony has locked up.  Since the release date and trailer got announced ahead of E3, it might not get the spotlight to itself, but it will most likely be part of Sony’s obligatory indie sizzle reel.  It seems unlikely Sony will forget such a highly anticipated title.

 

The Witness

Since it was shown during the 2013 announcement of the PlayStation 4, and has been tied to the console ever since, it would be fair if you thought The Witness was being published by Sony.  Fair, but wrong: Jonathan Blow’s follow up to Braid is all his own. It would makes sense for it to reappear on Sony’s stage soon, as the game is expected to be released later this year.

 

These are just a chunk of the titles you can expect to see at E3 this year.  I can’t help but feel like it’s a lot of games compared to only a few years ago.  As the indie market continues to grow and expand, I bet the trending rise of indies at E3 continue.

Are there any game you feel I left out?  Let us know what indie games you’re excited to see at E3.