Keeping your game relevant is difficult, especially if you announce it long before it’s even ready. However, some studios don’t help themselves by teasing a new release and then promptly falling off the edge of a cliff. It’s a common problem to balancing hype and release windows, but you have to have some kind of progress report to keep people interested.
With E3 2018 just around the corner, it’s time to look at some AWOL games that could really do with a spot in the limelight to remind gamers that they actually exist. Whether it’s just a teaser or more info, it’s the perfect opportunity to remain relevant, otherwise you have to wonder when that time will actually come.
In the interest of variety, we’re excluding Cyberpunk 2077 because everyone and their grandmothers knows that CD Projekt Red will finally thrust it back into the spotlight with a new trailer, if not more. As for the rest of these games, though, your guess is as good as mine.
1. Dead Island 2
A game so invisible at this point that it’s worth periodically checking in on to see if it’s as dead as its zombies, Dead Island 2 has been ravaged by problems ever since it was announced. After a light-hearted trailer was revealed for the zombie survival game way back when, development duties have swapped hands and…that’s about it. There have been no signs of progress since.
If Deep Silver didn’t occasionally pop up to remind everyone that it exists, it could have been very easy to forget that it was even announced. Time is quickly running out for the project with the demand for zombie games not what it once was, so E3 2018 may be the last chance saloon for Dead Island 2.
Remember WiLD? No judgement if you don’t: it was announced as a PS4 exclusive a couple years back with no real updates on it since. Its creator, Michel Ancel, has periodically popped up to confirm that it’s still in development, but with the bulk of his attention now seemingly taken up by Beyond Good & Evil 2, you have to worry for this ambitious project.
An open-world survival game with plenty of dynamic mechanics, WiLD looks like it could scratch an itch for plenty of people, especially as it’s also multiplayer. The likes of Horizon seem to have overshadowed it, but it also looks like Ancel’s other big obligation has only pushed it further back. It would almost be like a new game announcement for Sony at E3 2018 at this point.
Let’s be realistic: Agent isn’t going to happen any time soon, if ever. Initially revealed as a PS3 exclusive, Take-Two and Rockstar have gone almost completely quiet on the mysterious project with only a couple of trademark updates as an indication that it’s still somewhat alive.
It’s also a stretch to suggest that Rockstar, a studio currently entrenched in Red Dead and constant GTA Online updates, even have it in their mind to continue developing the game. However, with Rockstar saying not long ago that they want to get back to making new games, it might be time for them to dust off the Agent files and see what they can make of it, whether it’s this generation or the next. If it is announced at E3 2017, though, expect a similar reaction to the next game when it was first unveiled.
4. Final Fantasy 7 Remake
A classic case of showing your hand too early, the remake of Final Fantasy 7 has almost been completely absent from the limelight since it was announced back at E3 2016. It’s such a huge undertaking to put a new spin on a classic from the ground up, so you have to wonder why they didn’t just wait a couple more years before unleashing the hype train.
It’s not looking great for the project with Square Enix struggling to find staff to work on it for one reason or another. In addition, its controversial episodic nature made some kind of sense when that was the trend in game development (see: Hitman), but now that’s just not the case. The Final Fantasy 7 remake has an outside chance of looking pretty in the limelight again at E3 2018, but don’t hold your breath.
5. Crackdown 3
You have to feel for the developers of Crackdown 3. After it was detailed further at last year’s E3 to an emphatic “meh”, Microsoft took it back to the drawing board somewhat to come at it from another angle. Sumo Digital’s artstyle and somewhat lackluster gameplay just didn’t resonate with that many people.
With Microsoft trying valiantly this year up to their game with exclusives, it would make total sense for them to announce a release date for Crackdown 3 at E3 2018, or to at least show how it’s changed. It’s been on whole hell of a convoluted journey since 2014, so here’s hoping Crackdown 3 can finally deliver something to get excited about at this year’s E3.
6. FromSoftware’s New Game
After being revealed at The Game Awards with the teasiest of trailers, FromSoftware’s new game has been shrouded in mystery, especially as the trailer did little to shed a light on what it was about. It’s seemingly not going to be a new Bloodborne game, though.
Loosely nicknamed Shadows Die Twice after the end-card in the trailer, there’s almost nothing more to go off for the new From game unless you’re really just speculating. It may not even be that similar to their Soulsborne games with FromSoftware likely keen to try something different while retaining the grisly and dark DNA that they’re known for. Rumours suggest it will be show off at E3 2018, so watch this space.