Square Enix Reveals PS4 Release Window for Rise of the Tomb Raider
Square Enix backed the wrong horse and lost. They are currently saddled with a tired old nag, and the relationship is very obviously an uncomfortable one if their squirming is anything to go by. It was obvious that something did not sit quite right with the relationship between Square Enix and Microsoft even when the partnership was first announced, as word quickly spread that it was a timed exclusive. Regardless, at the time discipline held up well enough to ensure that gamers were given the run-around, and nobody knew quite what the deal was with Rise of the Tomb Raider on Sony’s PS4. Incredibly, Square Enix’s discipline broke this week, and this is the first such Microsoft deal to have had the release dates for alternate versions officially announced before the game has even been released on the Xbox One.
Rise of the Tomb Raider will launch exclusively on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 on November 10 this holiday season. It will then launch on Steam early 2016, and will launch on PS4 during the 2016 holiday season. It is pretty obvious that Square Enix is getting some seriously cold feet about their exclusivity deal with Microsoft, so much so that they now appear to be compromising the sales of the Xbox One version of the game with promises of the PS4 port to come! How many Xbox Ones will this exclusivity deal help to move now? Still, it will be very interesting to see just how interested PS4 owners will be in paying $60 for a game that has already been on the market for twelve months, especially one hobbled by being a cross-gen Xbox 360 port in 2016!
Mighty No. 9 May Have Been Delayed by a Year
Over the week news began to break that Mighty No. 9 may have been delayed for up to a year. Ian Miles Cheong of Gameranx was the first member of the game media to notice a NeoGaf post which seemed to suggest that Keiji Inafune’s disappointing follow-up to Mega Man, Mighty No. 9, had been delayed into 2016.
“Mighty No. 9 has been delayed by a year according to a post on NeoGAF. Deep Silver should just cancel it.”
Mighty No. 9 was [is?] originally intended to launch on September 15 of this year, yet it would seem that a broad selection of American and Canadian retailers have changed the game’s release date to a placeholder date of December 31st, 2016. These retailers include: Amazon (both US and Canada), GameStop, EB Games, GameFly, Walmart (US/Canada), Best Buy (Canada). The game’s publisher, Deep Silver, has been contacted by various gaming sites, yet has declined to comment on the situation. Postponing the game’s release may ultimately prove to be the best course of action for this mismanaged project, yet one cannot help but wonder whether a year is enough time to save Mighty No. 9, given that the game’s chief problem appears to be with its level design.
In other Comcept news this week, Red Ash continues to languish on Kickstarter – and how could it not? Keiji Inafune’s choice of community manager destroyed the game’s community and any goodwill that gamers had toward the project, then the Beta version of Mighty No. 9 turned out to be awful, and now two Red Ash projects have been launched simultaneously on Kickstarter while Mighty No. 9 might still be over a year away from release. As of writing Red Ash‘s Kickstarter campaign is sitting at $460,000 out of $800,000 with only ten days to go. What really takes the cake though is that it would appear that backers must spend $79 to even get access to the full version of the game and $89 in order to get a physical copy of the game – though consumers could be forgiven for being ignorant of this owing to the campaign’s exceedingly poor description of its tiers:
“TIER UPDATE! Now, when you pledge $79 or more, you will receive the main story of RED ASH (“The New Order Conspiracy”, estimated at 12 hours) for free! This will be a digital copy on PC or console, and you will receive it in addition to your copy of “The KalKanon Incident”.”
Red Ash will still reach its funding goal, but only just. It is a project which has been hobbled by Comcept’s own arrogance. They will not source enough money to produce the game that they want to make, and nor should they. It is difficult to imagine how the legacy of Mega Man could be any more debased. Hideki Kamiya was right.
Spike and tri-Ace Join Forces On RPG Project
Over the past couple of days a teaser site has popped up to countdown the announcement of a new ‘side-view RPG‘ project produced by tri-Ace [of Star Ocean fame] and Spike Chunsoft [the makers of Danganronpa]. This pairing is conceptually brilliant – here we have tri-Ace who are extremely skilled at putting together the technical aspects of an action RPG, but are lousy at crafting a narrative; and joining them are Spike Chunsoft, who have been extremely successful at selling games on the strength of their writing and world building prowess. Mere months ago tri-Ace appeared for all the world to be moribund and dormant, then it was announced that they had been purchased by Nepro Japan to produce phone games. It was a shock to everyone when tri-Ace subsequently announced that Star Ocean 5 was in production, and now we have them collaborating with Spike on a new RPG project. Spike Chunsoft could very competently compensate for tri-Ace’s weaknesses, so this could potentially prove to be a game well worth playing.
So what could the parties involved do to completely squander the potential of this happy union? One may be jumping to conclusions here, but tri-Ace’s Masaki Norimoto has been confirmed by Siliconera to be working on the project. He is the fellow who wrote the scenarios for Valkyrie Profile and Resonance of Fate. These are not the most poorly written of tri-Ace’s cannon to be sure, but their narratives are far from compelling – which is reason for some small concern. That being said, Masaki Norimoto is also listed as a tri-Ace designer, so he may not in fact be working on the project as a writer.
Anime Spotlight: School-Live!
Ever wanted to live at school? Yuki Takeya sure does, which is why she is a member of the ‘School Living Club’, along with her friends Kurumi Ebisuzawa and Yūri Wakasa. The girls live at school and spend their days looking for fun school activities. Why do the girls live at school? Because they are the final survivors of a zombie outbreak – PLOT TWIST!
School-Live! is produced by Lerche, the same studio responsible for Ranpo Kitan, Assassination Classroom, along with Persona 4 and Danganronpa animes. It is available via Crunchyroll and began its run on July 9 2015. There appear to be three episodes currently available.