Warner Bros. are going all in on just a single game for E3 2021, with co-op zombie shooter Back 4 Blood the sole title that they will be showcasing at the all-digital event on 13th June. This means we won’t have any updates on other titles like Gotham Knights, Suicide Squad or Hogwarts Legacy.
The news was confirmed by a Warner Bros. spokesperson to TechRadar, while the Summer Games Fest twitter account also revealed that the Back 4 Blood slot is all that Warner Bros. has set for the show.
The Warner. Bros Games presentation is Back 4 Blood, there is not a separate event.
— Summer Game Fest – LIVE This Thursday (@summergamefest) June 4, 2021
This shouldn’t really be much of a surprise, given that Warner Bros. entire slate of upcoming games has suffered from delays. 2021 was set to be a huge year for the company, but Hogwarts Legacy and Gotham Knights were both pushed back to 2022, joining Suicide Squad which was always intended for 2022. Even Back 4 Blood has been delayed, though only within this calendar year. Back 4 Blood was originally expected this summer, but is now slated for release on 12th October 2021.
Warner Bros. hasn’t blamed the pandemic in any of these delays, but it is undeniably a factor, with almost all video game developers now working remotely from home. The pandemic has been regularly cited by other companies as a reason for slower than expected game development and the delays that this inevitably produces.
Back 4 Blood comes from Turtle Rock, a new take on that team’s classic 4-player co-op zombie shooter, and a spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead (though they were very clear that it’s meant to be its own thing… for legal reasons). The game sees four survivors battling through waves of AI directed zombies and other larger nasties, with new twists like massive zombies, a card-based difficulty modifier system and more mixing things up.
Following its delay, Warner stated that an open beta would be coming this summer instead.
In our preview for Back 4 Blood from an alpha test, I wrote:
There’s obviously a way for this game to go from closed alpha to its full release in June 2021, and Turtle Rock will be rebalancing all of these elements over time, but Back 4 Blood immediately feels like a natural and modernised successor to the greatness of Left 4 Dead.
The Tank is dead, long live the Ogre!
You can read the full preview in the article Back 4 Blood Preview – Is this the Left 4 Dead sequel we’ve been waiting for?