2K will reveal a new game from one of its “biggest and most beloved franchises” at Summer Game Fest – What could it be? – WGB

Summer Game Fest is less than a month away now, and with it comes the promise of big announcements and surprises from its 55 confirmed partners.

One of those partners is 2K Games, and the official Summer Game Fest Twitter account is teasing that 2K intends on debuting the next game in one of its “biggest and most beloved franchises.”

Zero hints were given as to what it could be. So let’s take a few educated guesses.

First, there’s the Mafia franchise. This one tops the list because last month a fairly reliable source by the name Kurakasis stated that they heard that Take-Two, the parent company of 2K, was gearing up for a Mafia announcement.

“I can tell you that a few days ago, Take-Two began preparations for an announcement regarding the Mafia series” wrote Kurakasis.

A new entry in the Mafia series has been rumoured for years, but was officially confirmed in 2022. Various reports have indicated that it could be a prequel to the first Mafia game, set in Italy.

The last time we saw a new entry in the Mafia series was 2016 when Mafia 3 launched to a fairly lukewarm critical reception. Despite it scoring lower than its predecessor, Mafia 3 vastly outsold Mafia 2, shipping 4.5m copies in just the first week. It went on to sell 7m copies by 2020, indicating that there’s a lot of people who enjoy the Mafia franchise.

The next game on the suspect list is a new entry in the Borderlands series. Developer Gearbox was recently bought from Embracer by Take-Two. 2K had previously handled all the publishing rights for the Borderlands series.

The last time we heard from Borderlands was actually a spinoff in 2022 called Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, which took the looting and shooting of the main series and combined it with a Dungeons & Dragons parody. However, when Take-Two bought Gearbox a few months back, it also announced that the next entry in the Borderlands series was in development. While it was not specifically referenced as Borderlands 4, it seems like a fairly safe bet that it is. And since Borderlands 3 was launched in 2019, it would be about the right time for a new entry.

Plus, Borderlands is easily the biggest franchise in 2K’s arsenal if you don’t count their sports titles.

Then there’s BioShock. 2K formally announced way back in 2019 that a new BioShock game was in development by an internal team called Cloud Chamber. Boasting several members of the original BioShock team, but not the creative madman that is Ken Levine, Cloud Chamber was setup specifically to craft the next game in the BioShock franchise which saw its last release with BioShock Infinite in…2013!? Are you shitting me? God, I feel old.

At the time, 2K stated that BioShock would be in development for “for the next several years”. Since then we’ve heard practically nothing from 2K or Cloud Chamber. There have been numerous insider reports but nothing concrete, leading people to wonder if 2K is just keeping it under wraps for maximum dramatic effect, or if its in development trouble.

Moving on, we have two strategy series that 2K publish, both of which could easily be described as “beloved”. I am, of course, talking about Civilization and XCOM.

In recent years the XCOM series has been reimagined in several ways, such as the small-scale XCOM: Chimera Squad in 2020 which acted as a sequel to XCOM 2’s War of the Chosen expansion. With that said, developer Firaxis said Chimera Squad was “neither a sequel or expansion to XCOM 2” and instead positioned it as a spin-off exploring new gameplay and story ideas. The smaller scale and smaller price-tag were intended to help bring in a new audience.

The last proper XCOM game was XCOM 2 in 2016, so its a while since we’ve seen the brutally hard strategy series. However, I’m not sure 2K view XCOM as one of its “biggest” franchises, so I think the chances XCOM 3 being announced are slim. As much as I adore the series, it doesn’t feel like 2K has the same level of confidence in it.

I think a new Civilization game is the more likely of the two 2K strategy franchises. Civilization VI came out in 2016 and was supported by a wealth of expansions, with Firaxis finally ending support just a couple of years ago. Since then the company has struggled a little, releasing the excellent Marvel’s Midnight Suns which sadly didn’t find a lot of commercial success. Firaxis has also been hit by layoffs since then. But a new Civilization game could be the boost they need, and we learned in 2023 that Civilization 7 is indeed being worked on, as confirmed by Firaxis themselves.

Ultimately, it comes down to either Mafia or Borderlands, in my opinion. In terms of just sheer popularity, a Borderlands 4 would make the most sense for the grand stage of Summer Game Fest, but the recent rumours of a new Mafia title are compelling. When you get down to it though: Borderlands, Mafia, BioShock and Civilization are all possible. There’s been enough time between entries in all of these series for new games to be ready, and we know that are new games in development for each of them. XCOM seems the least likely of the bunch.

For the sake of having some fun, I’ll pick just one: Mafia 5 will be shown at Summer Game Fest. The recent rumours are compelling enough to make me thing its the most likely candidate.

On a deeper level, I’m really hoping BioShock might finally break cover though.

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