« | Main | »

Square Enix Announcement Will Not Shock You (Probably)

By Heath | April 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm

If there’s one thing gamers love more than real announcements containing real information, it’s vague, passive hints at hypothetical non-announcements. And Twitter is keeping vague in vogue. Sonia Im of Square Enix America, bless her heart, apparently can’t express personal interest in a Square Enix game on her Twitter without the whole internet jumping on it. Worse still, the coming announcement isn’t going to be one that blows up the gaming world.

The whole internet is slobbering about this post Sonia made on her Twitter. It’s been posted and speculated upon by a dozen websites, including JustPushStart, who actually misquotes the Tweet. Slips happen to everyone, and I ain’t hatin’ here, but with stories like this, it causes problems. Damian Seeto, in that article, says “she guarantees that people will be excited.” Sonia didn’t do that. She said she thinks people will be shocked and stoked.

I think a lot of things. I very rarely play the guarantee card. (And if I do, watch out, because someone’s gonna die.) This kind of thing is where the hype machine overheats and explodes. It’s not even Square Enix fueling this fire; it’s gamers.

Anyway, what everyone needs to keep in mind here is that Sonia works for the North American division of Square Enix — meaning publishers, not developers. They’re the guys that translate and publicize stateside versions of games made by Square Enix Japan. Generally, if you follow RPG news on the internet, you have heard of whatever game Square Enix USA is going to announce. Chances of Sonia referencing something which is a new revelation by Square Enix Japan (such as a Xenogears 2 or Final Fantasy XV) are extremely small. If it does turn out to be your dream announcement of a new Vakyrie Profile, Chrono 3, Final Fantasy VII PS3, Einhander 2, a new Vagrant Story, or whatever it is you’re personally wanting, then hey, that’s great. But let’s be honest, the chances of any of those being this mystery announcement are miniscule. (Again though: no guarantees.)

Now that we’ve established what it’s almost certainly not, here are some more realistic things that Sonia very well might have been referring to.
* Final Fantasy Gaiden: The 4 Warriors of Light (DS). Square Enix recently trademarked “The 4 Heroes of Light” in North America. The game was released in Japan in October of 2009, so perhaps some people looking forward to it had lost hope. It might just “shock” and “stoke” that crowd.

* Lufia DS (AKA Estpolis: The Land Cursed by the Gods)
People have forgotten about this one, and Lufia 2 is one of the most beloved RPGs of the SNES era, which takes care of “shocked” and “stoked” in a snap. The game was developed by Neverland and published by Square Enix in Japan this past February. It seems an announcement for North American localization would be coming up soon, if it is to happen.

* Final Fantasy IX for PSN. This was already announced for Japan just recently. Since the translation work is already done, it’d be an easy project for Square Enix USA to whip together as well.

* Cross Treasures (DS). Another Square Enix game released a while ago in Japan that never saw the light of day elsewhere. Meh, it seems as plausible as anything else.

* Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 for DS. Comes out soon in Japan. The first title had decent success in North America and the second seems likely to come out. Other possible Dragon Quest-related announcements could include the stateside release plans for Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road Legend (arcade game being ported to Wii) or an official date for Dragon Quest IX (though that one has already been announced for North America, so it’s probably not that).

* A download and/or mobile game. Downloadable games like Gyromancer and Chaos Rings are some that are announced quickly and released very quickly in multiple territories. If Sonia’s company is indeed bringing something to North America that the internet somehow hasn’t heard of, there’s a high chance of that being a downloadable game or something for iPhone.

* Final Fantasy Agito XIII for PSP and/or Versus XIII for PS3. Neither of these are officially confirmed for North America yet. Square Enix might be planning release date announcements for one or both simultaneously. Simultaneous international releases are becoming more and more popular these days, so it’s plenty feasible.

* Stateside release plans for The Third Birthday (PSP).

Now of course, like I said, there are no guarantees with this. Perhaps Sonia is reading this (hi!) and laughing because all of my hypotheticals are wrong. But the point is this: don’t overhype yourselves. Sonia works for Square Enix USA, and is therefore almost certainly talking about a game whose existence you know about already.

As for her excitement, you have to keep in mind that Sonia works for Square Enix and it’s her job to be excited about Square games. Don’t hate: I’m not saying the games are bad and I’m not saying her feelings are insincere — not at all. But when she doesn’t like a certain game, is she really going to get on Twitter and say “Working on an unannounced game. It’s not that great?” Won’t happen.

Just let the announcement come as it comes. Every single time rumor escapes that a new announcement is looming, the same couple of hypothetical titles get namedropped by gamers. Keep the perspective in mind — that this is Square Enix the publisher talking, not the developer — and let nature take its course, guys.

Topics: Editorials, Rumors