E3 Pre-Show Thoughts: Square-Enix
Believe it or not, the Western half of a S-E conference would probably look fairly similar to what it looked like last year.
Rise of the Tomb Raider's due to come out on PS4 around November, and now's the perfect time to remind people of that. It'll come packed in with all the DLC the people who got the "privilege" of buying it on XB1 had to pay for, and possibly some extra tweaks in order to entice people into buying a year old game for $59.99. And as much as I want to troll some more, I'll be one of the suckers wanting to pay for it, so I can't.
With the model for releasing Hitman being split into seven episodes released in consecutive months, the third episode will have released not long before E3 actually starts. Which makes E3 the perfect place to talk about why they split it into pieces and when you can get the fourth episode in June.
Deus Ex was supposed to come out in February and thus should only have come up at E3 for potential DLC talks, but with the game being punt-kicked six months, a showing at a conference next month would remind everyone the game exists and make them all forget the fact that it's the 5000th game this gen to see a delay with some ridiculous gameplay reel. Since this time the focus is on being able to play however you want, I'd expect something that shows a variety of ways to approach the same mission.
Of course, none of this really matters since the games people really want to see from S-E come from their Eastern half. And of course, you can't really talk about S-E Japan without talking about...
Due out at the tail end of September, Final Fantasy XV is one of honestly far too many games S-E fans have been waiting nearly/over a decade for. Expect this title to be front and center at E3 whether they do a conference or not. It's their tentpole game--it's going to be a big deal.
Speaking of games that just have to make an appearance, Square-Enix NA has actually been putting a bit of marketing muscle behind Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness. And with good reason--it sold like absolute shite in the East, so unless the West can do triple the numbers it did over there (possible, but highly unlikely), this is probably the last we'll see of the franchise on consoles. That sound you hear is me weeping openly. (Dammit wasn't it enough that they killed Suikoden?! ...*ahem* Sorry about that.)
Anyway, the game will be barely two weeks from release by the time E3 starts so this will be the final push the game gets before it's sent out to find for itself on the NPD charts. If I'm lucky this game will catch on the same way Fire Emblem did once it got on 3DS.
As for what's left...quite a bit, actually...
I Am Setsuna, the game that's meant to be a return to form for "true RPG fans" or whatever the PR line was when they revealed it last year, released earlier this year in Japan and is scheduled for a release on PS4 on July 19th. It's not exactly a big game, but it was first "unveiled" at E3 so it's probably due for a re-appearance now that the completed product is ready to be put on shelves.
Then there's World of Final Fantasy, a game that technically has no release date just yet but is due for a 2016 release and was first shown exactly one year ago at E3 2015. At the time, it was 30-40% complete, so at this point we're either looking at a delay or a release date around December or so. Realistically, it doesn't look like the most complex game ever graphically (though no doubt it's a lot of fun) or design wise, so I'd bet on seeing some gameplay with a release date whether they do a conference or not.
We're somehow still not done, as both Square-Enix and Platinum are certain that Nier -Automata- will make it out before the end of the year. That seems impossible, but the folks at Platinum are wizards, and hopefully this game sells well enough to both make a profit and keep Platinum's ridiculous record with the core fans going forward.
Now all of that is more than enough to cap off a show with, but there's actually still a handful of games left churning up the rumor mill.
Let's start this off with the least likely thing. Partially I want this, so it's just a guess. But then there's also that time Square-Enix said they'd start reviving some of their older IPs for a comeback and so far we've gotten Star Ocean in console form and Valkyrie Profile on phones. I'm guessing this is a console project since there's a studio that's been unusually quiet since they said they were working on a new project well over a year ago.
With the right budget and even better marketing, Parasite Eve could totally be a decent-sized hit even if it were just a remake of the original. Add a dash of action to the existing RPG elements and I can totally see plenty of people enjoying the adventures of Aya Brea.
An HD remaster of this game has been soft confirmed so many times that at this point that honestly everyone knows it exists, we're just waiting to see what it looks like. I'm of the opinion that this will make an appearance sometime between E3 and TGS, with a release date for the early part of 2017. No sense in letting any sales of XV get in the way of this, right?
The night before Sony's now legendary E3 2015 conference, Siliconera leaked that we would be seeing Final Fantasy VII: Remake there. That same night, they also claimed we would see a new Front Mission--going so far as to name specific people attached to the game's development. Could they have gotten it wrong? Very possible--perhaps it was false information meant to catch a leaker.
But most likely, Square realized they were already showing off something like a dozen titles last year and didn't need the extra one when it could use all the publicity it can get for proper sales. In short, I'd fully expect Front Mission 6.
Of course, we're less than a month from E3 and Square hasn't announced a conference so most likely we're back to their usual "YouTube show" methods, but there's still a fairly good chance you see a lot of this during the week of the conference.