I lieu of actual news (because January), there are a lot of unsubstantiated rumours flying around the world of gaming at the moment and they are for some big games, so let’s take a look at some of them and see if we can work out if they are ground-breaking scoops or just some very safe guesses.
First up is Tom Henderson, well known for leaking details for Call of Duty. He has suggested that Grand Theft Auto VI will have both a female and male protagonist, a break from every other game in the series which only had male protagonists.
Grand Theft Auto VI rumours have been flying about since, well, before Grand Theft Auto V, and there have been all sorts of outlandish claims. Rockstar’s security is usually very tight, but since they only really make two franchises these days it’s not that hard to guess some details about them, and many open world games do allow you to play as either female or male, or in Cyberpunk 2077, a non-gendered character. So, will GTA 6 have a female protagonist? As most other big open world games give you the choice, then this one could very much be possible, especially when Rockstar took a lot of flak for not doing so last time round. One for the file marked ‘Pretty obvious when you look at how current gaming trends’.
Next up is ResetERA member Navtra who has has been rather good at leaking details for Final Fantasy XVI. She says that Square Enix are preparing a new version of Final Fantasy VII Remake specifically for PlayStation 5 and it should be announced in February.
Let’s have a think about that one, specifically in terms of the timing and the platform. Cast your mind back to October 2019 when, after a bit of faffing from Square Enix, it was revealed that the game was PlayStation 4 exclusive until March 2021. Forgotten about that hadn’t you. That means Square Enix should be announcing the PC and Xbox versions of the game sometime before then, and as it’s January already that just leaves… February! What a coincidence!
Microsoft have been pretty grumpy in the past if they got straight ports of a year old PlayStation games so Square Enix have no doubt been tarting up Final Fantasy VII so it looks super spiffy on Xbox Series X, which means they have a next-gen version of the game and bingo, there’s your PS5 version as well. File under: ‘Pretty obvious when you think about the timing’.
Finally, three actors who worked on Star Wars Battlefront II have been back in the studio recording dialogue and bouncing around mocap suits. They state they are working on the same project, which totally means Star Wars Battlefront III is a thing, right?
That seems at odd with comments from EA in September last year who said there was no plans for a threequel, something they have stated numerous times. There’s also the small issue of Battlefield 6, or Battlefield 2021, or whatever EA decide to call it, which DICE have been working on for a good few years and should be out this year. If that’s still on track then that will be EA’s big shooter for Christmas 2021 meaning Battlefront III would be in 2022, almost certainly their big Christmas release.
Now we have to think about timing again. The issue here is that EA’s exclusive Star Wars license runs out in 2023, so when that agreement comes to an end they could also lose the rights to create any new content, no DLC, no battle passes, no way of making money. After the debacle of microtransactions in Battlefront II, they would likely play it safer, but would surely still try to make money from DLC, battle passes and skins, so without that income it’s unlikely EA would release a Star Wars game near the end of the license.
Also we should take note that just this week Disney revived the Lucasfilm Games label to oversee Star Wars titles.
DICE do have two teams so it’s possible they could be developing Battlefront III simultaneously but EA have said “the studio is focused on the future of Battlefield that we’ll be bringing to players in 2021” which does suggest it’s all hands on deck to get that game out.
Looking at the big picture there are many indications that Star Wars Battlefront III will not be happening, not to mention extra complications and delays of working from home due to Covid which are hampering all game development.
Are EA working on a new Star Wars game? Almost certainly, probably Jedi: Fallen Order II, a single player game that won’t have a long DLC run, so the chances are the actors are probably working on that rather than Battlefront III.