It’s the most wonderful time of the year. E3 is almost upon us, and the water cooler conversations among gamers are rife with predictions, hopes, dreams, hype, and skepticism as to what may be coming just around the bend. This article is going to take a look at Square Enix, what we know about their upcoming E3 press conference, and what we hope they might include.
With some truly massive titles on the horizon for Square Enix, there are a few safe bets as to what we might see during their press conference this year. At the same time, there are some potential surprise announcements that I (and Square Enix fans collectively) are hoping beyond hope grace the stage.
What we can expect
Among the safest bets is another look at Kingdom Hearts 3. We’ve seen several trailers for the game this year alone, with the hype train at full speed and the marketing steadily rolling out. This has given fans hope that the long awaited sequel will reach the 2018 release date we’ve been promised, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that a delay could be on the cards. While the game has never officially been delayed, the title has become somewhat of a punchline when talking about long development cycles (also looking at you, Final Fantasy XV).
With Shadow of the Tomb Raider already revealed with a gritty trailer, chances are Square Enix will take the chance to reveal some more gameplay and story elements on the world stage. The rebooted Tomb Raider franchise has been critically praised, but somewhat underwhelming sales-wise, so a solid push from the publisher could help boost those numbers and keep the franchise healthy.
Octopath Traveler is almost upon us, so a spotlight shone on the Nintendo Switch exclusive as a final push would fit nicely on the E3 stage. The demo received high praise from those who checked it out, so showing off some more gameplay and that irresistible art style would be just what fans want.
E3 would also be prime time for Square Enix to reveal more about the Avengers Project from Crystal Dynamics. With the film franchise seeing its biggest numbers yet, Avengers-hype is at an all-time-high, so cashing in on this would be ideal for the publisher. Other than a few images and a vague trailer, there is little information about the Avengers Project, and I for one am certainly keen to see more. The details we want most are characters, combat, and setting; who do we get to play as, how are we going to use our powers, and where in the infinite Marvel universe is the game taking place?
We know Dontnod are working on Life is Strange 2, and we know it isn’t going to focus on Arcadia Bay or Max Caufield this time. It’s a safe bet that Square Enix will give some insight into the new episodic adventure game, perhaps revealing who we’ll be playing as, what their powers (if any) might be, and where the game is taking place. After all, Life is Strange: Before the Storm ended up being a real delight, so fans would be stoked for more!
Finally, it’s high time we got some real, substantial news about Final Fantasy VII Remake. It’s pretty clear the project is in trouble, so some reassurance from Square Enix would go a long way to keep fans keen. Some new gameplay, combat, and how these “episodes” are going to roll out would be a good place to start. I, for one, certainly need something to keep me invested in the FFVII remake, and I know I’m not alone in feeling that way.
What we’re hoping for
Now, let’s have some fun! There are several big-ticket items Square Enix could bring to the table that would absolutely blow fans’ minds. Starting with the biggest and most hype, let’s talk about what surprises the publisher might have up their sleeve for E3 this year.
Firstly, a reveal of the next mainline Final Fantasy game: Final Fantasy XVI. Even just a logo and title reveal would be enough to drive the audience wild, but I’m going one better and hoping for at least a CG teaser trailer. Square Enix have been committed to the steady roll out of post-game content for FFXV, and FFXIV continues to have a thriving fanbase, but its time to see what’s on the horizon for their most recognisable franchise.
The second most hype announcement would be the next title in the NieR franchise. Automata was such a surprise hit last year, with Checkpoint calling it an ” action-packed joyride”, that it seems inevitable that the franchise will continue. Yoko Taro simply needs to continue making games, and the world of NieR (and Drakengard) is ripe for more content.
Just prior to Tokyo Game Show last year, Square Enix teased a new shooter in the Front Mission universe, titled Left Alive. There is very little known about the mech-based action game, and I am very interested to see more.
Staying in the shooter realm, something new in the Deus Ex franchise would send me, personally, bananas. While Square Enix and developer Eidos Montreal have stated that the franchise is no longer going to be active, recently news came about that “Deus Ex will live on“. Could we see something that confirms this at E3 this year? We can only hope.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is already out in Japan and is a huge success: the game sold over 2 million copies on day one! The English version is due out in September, and Square Enix could take this opportunity to remind fans that its coming, that its good, and maybe show off some new story content that we are yet to see in the west.
My final hope is a new announcement from Tokyo RPG Factory. I really enjoyed Lost Sphear, describing it as “an ode to the era of RPG classics” in my review. As the studio edges ever closer to realising their goal of recapturing the magic of the SNES era RPGs, I am excited to see what they’ve got up their sleeves next. Will it be my pipe dream of a full remake of Chrono Trigger? Probably not, but I can settle for a new original story, especially since the track record is solid with I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear.
So there you have it: our Square Enix E3 predictions. On top of these, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to see some more FFXV DLC, Final Fantasy Dissidia NT DLC, or a new mobile port of a classic RPG. However, there is only so much you can pack into one showcase, so we’re hoping for the big guns.
Let us know what you’re hoping for from Square Enix this E3! The Square Enix E3 presentation is slated for 10am on the 11th of June PT, but that makes it 3am on Tuesday the 12th of June AEST.