In a year that saw more than a half dozen separate press conferences at E3 2015, Square Enix held their’s and showed off quite a dynamic lineup. Not only is the publisher working on a bundle of unique titles, but they are also looking to explore new horizons and emerging platforms.
Square Enix has a major December ahead of themselves with both Just Cause 3 and the next installment in the Hitman series both releasing within a week of each other. Rise of the Tomb Raider will launch during November and is an exclusive to Xbox One. Just Cause 3 is one of the most anticipated games of the year and it’ll be bringing a level of fun and destruction we have yet to see. While there still is a lot more to know about the next Hitman, it’s been too long since we got the chance to play as Agent 47.
There are plenty more games coming after the three aforementioned titles and with the breadth of content Square Enix has coming down the pipeline, they felt E3 2015 would be the right time to share it all with the public. In an interview with GamesIndustry, Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda talked about why they wanted to host a press conference at E3 2015 and the games they have coming up.
“We have a lot of titles in our lineup this year and felt we wouldn’t be able to express everything just with the booth alone. So we decided to move forward with the conference in order to showcase it in the best light. Timing-wise, we have a great lineup which is a good mix of Western and Japan-based titles. It’s rare to have publishers that hold a lineup from both regions, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase that lineup to the public,” Matsuda said.
From Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, to Deus Ex and Tomb Raider, some of the industry’s biggest franchises both reside with Square Enix and are coming up within the next few years. They made a major splash at E3 when they announced Final Fantasy VII for the PS4 and they look to make an impact with the three major releases they have coming up this fall.
New emerging platforms and technologies are coming to the forefront of the gaming industry, and how publishers like Square Enix support them will be quite telling. Matsuda went on to describe the vision and desire Square Enix has for creating games specifically crafted for both AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) platforms.
“Within our company we have various types of content, not just games but also art, comics, manga, and that type of media. And we’re in the midst of considering what would be the best fit for the AR, how we can utilize that for those type of experiences. One example is how we’re partnering with Oculus for Hitman Go. That’s something we’re trying out right now. But not only with games, we’re thinking we could potentially utilize it for manga and those type of media as well. And in terms of games, we’re interested in creating new types of experiences rather than existing ones,” Matsuda said.
Just about all of the brands we’ve heard announced for Oculus Rift are new IPs that haven’t previously been released. This is great from an originality standpoint, but there’s little star power to get people interested in the device. It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, Square Enix continues to bring to platforms like Oculus after they’ve launched.
Rise of the Tomb Raider will launch on Nov. 10, with Just Cause 3 releasing on Dec. 1 and Hitman coming out on Dec. 8. We’ll keep you updated on all of our Square Enix coverage as it surfaces and you can look forward to an exclusive interview with Square Enix CEO for the Americas and Europe, Phil Rogers.