With E3 right around the corner, gamers all around the world are speculating, theorizing and making their E3 bingo cards in anticipation for what our AAA developers are going to throw at us. But perhaps one of the most interesting and exciting conferences ahead is Square Enix’s on Monday, June 10th. This conference is already confirmed to be highlighting some pretty heavy-hitters, but what other surprises could be in store for us? In this article, I break down VII (pun-intended) games to expect from Square-Enix at E3 2019.
I. The Avengers Project
Back in January of 2017, Square-Enix revealed the surprising news that they had made an exclusive deal with Marvel/Disney to produce a multi-game series of video games, kicking off with an untitled Avengers project. This “Avengers Project” would be developed by Crystal Dynamics, the developers of the rebooted Tomb Raider series of games, which implied that it would be an action-orientated game, as opposed to Square-Enix’s typical role-playing style. Since then, we have not heard anything about the game, with some even speculating that the game had been dropped by Disney due to the fact that Square-Enix’s recent AAA titles had received mixed reception from fans and critics. Despite this, Square-Enix officially unveiled on June 1, 2019 that the “Avengers Project” would be officially unveiled during the press conference at E3 2019.
But what exactly is “The Avengers Project?” While the initial teaser trailer from 2017 suggested that the game would focus on Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and The Hulk, recent reports and leaks have suggested that the “Avengers Project” may be taking an entirely different approach to the Marvel universe. Rather than a game focused on the Avengers, rumours suggest that the game may be more of a Destiny-style game, where players create their own unique hero that must interact with characters and environments from the Marvel universe. What we do know? The game will include both single-player and multiplayer action gameplay, it will include some sort of character customization, and it will be narrative-driven. Whichever direction the “Avengers Project” ultimately takes, it is definitely going to be one of the most talked about unveilings of E3 2019.
Speaking of Square-Enix’s multi-title deal with Marvel/Disney, another Marvel-related title that the company has begun teasing for their E3 conference is a game called Outriders. The Outriders are not the most recognizable characters from Marvel Comics, which gives Square-Enix tons of room to reinterpret them. Traditionally, they are genetically engineered aliens used by Thanos to conquer the universe. While it is unclear whether or not this game is actually linked to the Marvel universe, or whether it simply shares the name of a Marvel property. Either way, it looks like Square has a big Sci-Fi game in the works that will take form during their conference on June 10th.
III. Kingdom Hearts III ReMIND
Unrelated to Marvel’s properties, but still on the topic of Disney, Square-Enix also has a substantial DLC planned for its blockbuster title Kingdom Hearts III that released earlier this year. Back in April, game director Tetsuya Nomura announced during an orchestral performance of the Kingdom Hearts soundtrack that additional content would be added to the game in the form of Kingdom Hearts III ReMIND. This ReMIND content will include an “additional scenario,” as well as two new secret bosses and two new secret scenarios. From the sounds of it, ReMIND is the modernized version of the series’ Final Mix re-releases, which often included content such as extra cutscenes, bosses and scenarios that expanded on the series’ lore, and dropped hints at where the series would be headed. Kingdom Hearts III already included quite a few plot threads that seem to hint at the series’ eventual convergence with the plots of Kingdom Hearts Union, but I’m sure that ReMIND will do just what the title suggests, and “remind” players how Sora’s story is ultimately destined to meet with the story of the Foretellers. This will of course lead into…
IV. The next Kingdom Hearts project
Another Kingdom Hearts project? So soon after Kingdom Hearts III? In an interview with series director Tetsuya Nomura that was featured in the Japan-Exclusive Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania Guide, he confirmed that there are several Kingdom Hearts games being conceptualized to succeed Kingdom Hearts III, with at least one side game planned before the release of Kingdom Hearts IV. It is likely that this “side game” will pick up right where Kingdom Hearts III ended, and feature Sora and Riku traveling through worlds based off of other Square-Enix properties such as Verum Rex and The World Ends With You.
But would this game be announced so quickly after Kingdom Hearts III was released? It is possible. After all, Kingdom Hearts III was announced back in June 2013, almost six years before it was officially released. If Square-Enix wants to keep hype for the series going after Kingdom Hearts III, it might not be a bad idea to tease the next title in the series at this year’s E3 conference.
V. The World Ends With Two
The World Ends With You is not just a story featured in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance and the potential upcoming Kingdom Hearts side game, but is also a cult classic RPG that originally made its debut on DS, before being ported/remastered for iOS and the Nintendo Switch. Since its original release, The World Ends With You has always had hints at a potential follow-up story, with each subsequent release adding more and more to this buildup for a sequel. With The World Ends With You: Final ReMIX‘s release on Nintendo Switch last year, series creator Tetsuya Nomura has revealed that this is the final release of the original game. Nomura has always expressed interest in producing a sequel for the game, but has never found the time or the platform for it to happen. However, it seems like the series has found its perfect home on the Nintendo Switch. And for those of you who have played the Final ReMIX addition, you’ll know that the new scenario included in the game seems to directly lead into another game, leaving off at a major cliffhanger that sets up an entirely new story. I think its about time that Square-Enix finally reveals the long-awaited sequel to The World Ends With You at their conference this year.
VI. Octopath Traveler sequel
Speaking of sequels, there is another adored JRPG franchise that is just aching to get a sequel on the Nintendo Switch. Octopath Traveler was the critically-acclaimed, Switch-exclusive hit that released last summer. Looking to emulate the glory of the classic Final Fantasy games, Octopath Traveler returns to Square’s roots in a breathtaking, visually and narratively stunning journey that brings together the tales of eight unlikely adventurers. After the game’s massive success, Square announced in March 2019 that they would be porting the title over to PC, as well as releasing a prequel story for iOS. However, this announcement was also made with Square representatives informing the press that it would take “a little while longer” before we see a true sequel on consoles, implying that a full-blown sequel is on the way. The original Octopath Traveler was unveiled when the game was merely in conceptual stages, so much like the Kingdom Hearts side game, it is possible that Square-Enix teases their fans with a reminder that there is an Octopath Traveler game coming to our Switch screens sometime in the future.
VII. Final Fantasy VII Remake
Since its release in 1997, Final Fantasy VII has been Square-Enix’s most iconic, popular and beloved title across its vast catalogue of games. Since the PS3 generation, fans have been begging Square-Enix to make a full-blown HD remake of the classic. Finally, at E3 2015, Square-Enix finally announced that they were developing the remake for the PS4.
However, after E3 2015, Final Fantasy VII Remake information had gone dark. Other than the announcement that the game would be a “multi-title series,” there was no new information, screenshots or gameplay for years. Every E3, Square-Enix fans prepared themselves for another round of information, and every year, Square-Enix fans were disappointed by the game’s absence. Last year, I attended the Final Fantasy orchestral performance of Distant Worlds in Vancouver, where orchestral conductor Arnie Roth assured fans that Final Fantasy VII Remake was “coming eventually.” And then finally, last month, Square-Enix broke their silence during Sony’s State of Play by dropping the first official trailer for the title since its initial unveiling almost four years ago, with a promise for more information at their E3 conference.
This announcement easily made Square-Enix’s conference one of the most anticipated of the entire show. Final Fantasy VII Remake has the potential to be one of the most anticipated titles of all time, and I am sure that gaming and Final Fantasy fans alike are thirsty for as much information on the title(s) as they can get. Hopefully, Square will deliver when they show off the game on Monday, and hopefully, we do not have to wait another four years for the game(s) to release.
Will all of these titles appear at Square’s conference on Monday? Likely not. Many of them have already been confirmed for appearance, but others are just pure speculation. And who knows? Maybe Square-Enix has some other surprises up their sleeves. After all, this is the company that brings us Tomb Raider, Chrono Trigger, Dragon Quest and other beloved gaming franchises. Either way, I think that Square-Enix’s conference is going to be one that you will not want to miss!