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Unannounced Video Game Clues Hidden In Plain Sight

Upcoming video game releases have a way of putting players, publishers, and developers at odds with each other. Publishers and studios often want to keep projects a secret until the time is right, sometimes refusing to confirm whether a title is even in development. Meanwhile, many gamers like to seek out every last detail about their most anticipated launches — especially when it's a new entry in a long-running franchise. Neither side can get everything they want. 

Video game companies go to great lengths to keep a lid on their upcoming games and peripherals. But with so much attention on them, it's almost inevitable that word will get out. Of course, just because a clue is out there doesn't mean fans are going to find it. There are many examples of major clues about upcoming video games and equipment that were right there for prospective players to discover, if they had only known where to look. The majority of these hints went public by accident, while others were left intentionally.

Here are seven clues about unannounced video games and video game hardware that were hidden in plain sight.

Phil Spencer had an Xbox Series S on his shelf during interviews months before it was revealed

The Xbox Series S is the smallest Xbox console to date and in the run up to the console's reveal one of Microsoft's points of emphasis was how compact the system would be. The company's Executive Vice President of Gaming and Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, found a unique way to illustrate this point. It turns out the Series S is so small that many fans didn't even notice it the first time it went on display.

Though Microsoft officially revealed the Xbox Series S on Sept. 8, 2020, Spencer actually revealed it a couple months earlier — twice, in fact. In a July interview with journalist Seth Schiesel, a Series S was visible on the bookshelf behind Spencer. Weeks later, Spencer pulled the same trick in an interview with Justine and Jenna Ezarik.

If anyone did take note, they didn't point it out before Microsoft broke the news in a tweet three days after the Series S' official unveiling.

Daniel Kaluuya wore the Xbox Wireless Headset in a commercial for the Xbox Series

The Xbox Series S wasn't the only piece of hardware that Microsoft hid in plain sight before its official launch. It did the same thing with the Xbox Wireless Headset, only on a much bigger scale.

Microsoft formally revealed its latest wireless headset on Feb. 16, 2021, touting it as a best-in-class gaming headset for both sound quality and chatting. The official unveiling came approximately three months after the Xbox Series X|S went on the market in the U.S. on Nov 10, 2021. But the unofficial reveal was actually several months earlier. 

In an October 2020 ad for the Series X|S, Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya took the console for a spin while wearing the new headset. The commercial didn't call attention to it, but it was right there for millions to see. Once Microsoft eventually revealed the headset, it also confirmed via tweet that it had indeed hidden the headset in the commercial intentionally. 

It's one thing to hide a game console in the background of interviews with journalists. It's another thing entirely to hide a major piece of hardware in a nationwide commercial and still get away with it.

Bethesda's Todd Howard isn't shy about his love of Indiana Jones

On Jan. 12, 2021, Bethesda, seemingly out of nowhere, announced an upcoming video game starring Indiana Jones. This news came as both a shock and a delight to Indiana Jones fans, who have been waiting for a new game since 2009's LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues. Even more shocking, there hadn't been any previous indication that Bethesda was working on an Indiana Jones title. But if fans had paid close attention months earlier, they might have connected the dots. 

On Nov. 8, 2020, journalist Geoff Keighley tweeted a screenshot from a Zoom chat that included Bethesda Softworks director and executive producer Todd Howard. On a bookshelf behind Howard, two pieces of Raiders of the Lost Ark memorabilia were visible — the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol and the Ark of the Covenant. 

Fans only noticed after the Indiana Jones project was revealed. Once they did notice, Bethesda Senior VP of Marketing Pete Hines insisted it was a coincidence, claiming that Howard just loves the franchise. Even so, the fact that a high-level Bethesda employee is a huge Indy lover could have tipped fans off, especially since Howard is executive producing the upcoming Indiana Jones game.

Bottom line: if a gaming exec does an interview from home, always check the bookshelves.

A voice actor listed a role for GTA 6 on his resume

Grand Theft Auto 6 continues to be one of the most anticipated video games. Grand Theft Auto 5 first released way back in 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with GTA Online following two weeks later. Since then, the only new GTA content has come from GTA Online, like December 2020's rather disappointing Cayo Perico heist.

An April 2020 report by Jason Schreier finally confirmed the game's existence but Rockstar Games still hasn't admitted that GTA 6 is happening. But shortly after Schreier's report, there was another strong clue that GTA 6 is on the way. On May 27, 2020, the GTA 6 rumor focused Twitter account @GTAVINR shared the resume for actor Jorge Consejo. On it, Consejo listed a role he had recorded in 2018 for GTA 6. Later that day, Consejo responded on Twitter, refusing to comment on specific projects, but not denying it, either. 

All of which raises a question: are there other resumes with clues out there? 

An Australian racing cockpit manufacturer teased Gran Turismo 7 on Instagram

Another highly anticipated game in a beloved long-running franchise is Gran Turismo 7. The last Gran Turismo game was Gran Turismo Sport, which released in 2017. The last numbered game was Gran Turismo 6, which came out way back in 2013. As recently as May 2020, there had been no official word that developer Polyphony Digital was working on the next title. But that quickly changed. 

Next Level Racing is an Australian company that builds specialty cockpits, stands, and accessories for racing and flight simulators. On May 20, the company published a since-deleted Instagram post asking fans which upcoming games they were most excited about. One of the options was Gran Turismo 7

Many took this to mean that Next Level Racing was involved with the game. The company released a statement claiming the media had misrepresented their post. But a few weeks later, Sony announced Gran Turismo 7 at the Future of Gaming event on June 11. 

PEGI might have announced that XCOM: Chimera Squad is headed to consoles

In 2012, developer Firaxis Games and publisher 2K Games rebooted the 1990s strategy franchise XCOM with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which was initially released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Then in 2016, Firaxis and 2K teamed up for a sequel, XCOM 2. Like its predecessor, XCOM 2 was initially launched on PC before coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One a few months later. XCOM 2 also got a Switch port in 2020, and both games were eventually released on Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.

So, when Firaxis and 2K released the not-quite-sequel, not-quite expansion XCOM: Chimera Squad on April 14, 2020, fans were disappointed to learn it was a PC-only title. Worse, Firaxis told US Gamer it had "no current plans" for console ports. But nearly a year later, a page on the games rating website PEGI suggested otherwise. 

A listing for a console port of Chimera Squad briefly appeared on Pegi.com on March 28. It was quickly taken down but not before a Redditor captured and shared a screenshot. According to the listing, Chimera Squad is headed for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch. Many publications took this as confirmation, but Firaxis and 2K have yet to comment. 

Bethesda revealed Dishonored 2 on its Twitch stream while rehearsing for E3 2015

Video game companies can spend years polishing their presentations for reveals at events like E3. But in 2015, the folks at Bethesda found out what it feels like to put in tons of work on an E3 reveal only to let the cat out of the bag early.

Just before it was set to reveal Dishonored 2 to the world, Bethesda accidentally livestreamed its E3 2015 rehearsal on Twitch on June 13. During the stream, a hot mic reportedly picked up a conversation in which Bethesda employees discussed the upcoming sequel to Dishonored. The conversation included Dishonored developer and former Arkane Studios CEO Raphaël Colantonio. Nobody ever said "Dishonored 2," but viewers felt it was clear what they were talking about.

Several fans recorded the stream and posted it online. Bethesda tried to limit the damage, but the next day the company announced what many already knew: Dishonored 2 was coming.