E3 is a magical time, full of amazing announcements, phenomenal screen shots, videos, and hands-on time with all the games that are coming our way in the near future.
Or is it?
This post, as the title implies, will be a Sony-centric look at some E3 announcements that have fallen by the wayside over the last few years, with some very promising titles flat out disappearing or remaining shrouded in the fog that is developer oblivion, not to be heard from again. I will delve into recent history, this way we aren’t talking about giant enemy crabs or an awesome looking spy MMO that never came to be. We will take a look at the last 5 E3’s, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and this year, 2012. I know what you’re thinking, how can I already have an item on this year’s list? While I hope I’m wrong, there is room for doubt, and we’ll get to that, but right now, but let’s start taking a look at this list.
This was a fantastic year for E3, we saw amazing things in the way of Fallout 3, Gears of War 2, Saints Row 2, Wii Motion Plus, Resistance 2, Playstation Video Service, Final Fantasy XIII, and more.
Another game that was mentioned, was The Last Remnant.
The Last Remnant was a new RPG developed and published by Square Enix, which was due to have simultaneous release in Japan, North America, and Europe for the Xbox 360 AND PlayStation 3. Sadly, this game never came to the PS3, and I wrote about its doomed fate in the summer of 2009. To date, these are the only comments Square Enix has given on why it was not released on the PS3, however director Hiroshi Takai has also stated that he found developing for the 360 “a lot easier” than for the PlayStation 3. Some held out hope, however, because as late as March of this year, the PS3 version is still listed as upcoming on Square Enix’s official Japanese website.
Conclusion: Financial constraints led to single-console release. Perhaps Sony should’ve chipped in a dollar or two to get this onto their console, or perhaps they made the right decision, as the game received only a 66 for a Metacritic rating.
Another exciting year, Metal Gear Solid: Rising, The Beatles: Rock Band, Crysis 2, Crackdown 2, Mass Effect 2, Left 4 Dead 2, The Saboteur, New Super Mario Brothers Wii, Metroid: Other M, Final Fantasy XIV, God of War III, Assassin’s Creed II, Mod Nation Racers, Uncharted 2, Gran Turismo 5, you name it, it was there. What was also there, for Sony, were two fantastic announcements. One, being from Team Ico, called The Last Guardian.
This monstrous beast appeared before us all at E3 2009, and nary a word has been spoken about the game since. From what we can gather from that video, the story will follow a boy who is trying to escape from the large ruins of a castle and it will revolve around the boy developing a friendship with the beast, whose name is Trico, a name many believe is derived from the Japanese words for bird (tori) and cat (neko), as the beast has resemblances to both animals.
In interviews during February 2011, designer and director Fumito Ueda stated that while they were still planning to ship the game worldwide by the end of 2011, some design decisions remained in question. These included if any kind of on-screen heads-up display would be present, such as a strength or stamina meter for Trico, a decision that Ueda is “still anguishing over.” Sadly, the end of 2011 came with potentially unfortunate news for this game. Both the game’s executive producer, Yoshifusa Hayama, and Ueda announced that they would be leaving Sony as of December 2011, but Ueda has stated he would remain committed towards the completion of The Last Guardian through a contract with the company.
As of February 2012, Shuhei Yoshida, president of SCE Worldwide Studios, stated that development of the game was continuing albeit with “slow progress”, and Ueda continues to work daily on the project. Yoshida also stated that Sony has brought in technical support help from their Santa Monica studios and other worldwide studios to assist in completing the game; as such, the state of the game was “not to the point that we can talk about the timing of launch”. At E3 this year, Yoshida explained the game’s development was still experiencing “technical difficulties”, but were still working to resolve these.
Will this game ever be released? Only time will tell, but the way things are going, it’s not looking good.
Conclusion: Game remains in “Development Hell”. At least, it can’t be any worse than Duke Nukem Forever, right?
Also in 2009, while all we really had was one image to go on, Jack Tretton stood up on stage and announced an exclusive new IP for the PS3 from Rockstar Games, called Agent.
So little is known about this game, we can confirm it is going to be a stealth-based action game, set during the Cold War and will take players into “the world of counter-intelligence, espionage, and political assassinations”, according to a Rockstar press release.
On August 15th, 2011, a former Rockstar North environmental artists who worked on GTA IV and Agent posted the first images of Agent in his online resume, but these images clearly state 2009 on them, so it is hard to determine where the game is in its development cycle, especially with the development of Grand Theft Auto V going on.
Geoff Keighley interviewed Jack Tretton at E3 this year, and when asked about where Agent from Rockstar was, Jack’s response was:
“You couldn’t have said it better when you said Agent from Rockstar. I work for Sony Computer Entertainment. The minute I start working for Rockstar, I’ll have some definitive information for you on Agent, but I’d suggest you interview one of those guys. That’s what I’ve said for the last five years, and I’ll continue to do that.”
Conclusion: Game may or may not be getting worked on right now?
When I started thinking about writing this column, I actually did have a game in mind from the E3 2010 Sony Conference, a title for PlayStation Move, which while didn’t impress me much at the conference, gathered many a follower. Sorcery remained a mystery pretty much all the way up from the conference in 2010 to a spot of news in November 2011, and then it was released last month, receiving a pretty decent 70 Metacritic rating.
Conclusion: Quiet, but a successful release afterall.
Unfortunately, we haven’t heard jack about the game since. I was really hoping for some news on this title at E3, but, not so much. We can only hope that Insomniac is busy plugging away at this, and maybe we’ll see some more of it at Gamescom or the Tokyo Game Show later this year. One good thing of note, is that the game is still on the company’s website, so we know it’s being worked on. One has to wonder, with the potential of a new console around the corner, will Sony ask that this be developed on the PS4, thus delaying it further?
Conclusion: Still in development.
Yes, this year’s E3. Yes, it’s still going on. Yes, the big surprise of the entire con was this phenomenal looking title known as Watch_Dogs.
Sure, it may be crazy talk to speculate that this game will never come to the PS3, but the validity is there. While Yves Guillemot did mention the game to be coming out on the PS3, in interviews since, the development team has mentioned that the game is more than a year away from being complete and that they have strict orders to push the technology of this game to its absolute limits. Does this mean we have to wait until the next-gen consoles come out until we see this game? Will this game become like one of the many I mentioned above that never actually sees the light of day?
Conclusion: To be determined.
A part time gaming journalist and radio practitioner, and one of the first editors here at Default Prime, Mike has been gaming since birth, starting back with the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64, on through to the PS3, PC, and whatever comes next. He is educated in communications and is a project manager by trade.
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