E3 2013: Rumour Roundup

E3 is not only the biggest annual event in gaming, but also most often when we see surprise landmark announcements from our favourite publishers and developers! Since this is to be expected, gamers worldwide have started to anticipate surprises in advance, with leaks and rumours now becoming a commonplace tradition before the E3 rush. Sure, some of them are just fabrications designed to draw attention to stagnating or dormant IP’s for hits on some website. Others however, prove to be correct, potentially spoiling some of E3’s biggest surprises early for the unaware!

One thing’s for sure; The guessing game has become another part of the E3 tradition! While E3 2013 is sure to prove some of its rumours false, there are some that have popped up so frequently that they have become difficult to ignore. Certain publishers actively seem to fuel these fires too, teasing ‘surprises’ from big developers like DICE and Rare, which gamers are all too happy to try and guess in advance.

Of the many rumours that may or may not be true, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently recurring speculation going in to this year’s E3. We’ll see how many of these nuggets turn out to be fact at the show this year:

Rumour #1: Capcom’s promised ‘big surprise’ is one of three things: An Xbox One-exclusive Dead Rising 3, an all-new Mega Man game, or a new Okami game!

Mega ManThe Evidence: Capcom said in no uncertain terms that they have a ‘big surprise’ for this year’s E3, one that’s sure to make many gamers happy! While Capcom no doubt has many top secret projects kicking around, the evidence that gamers have managed to scrounge up points to one of three possibilities for this year’s expo:

First, Dead Rising 3. A leaked developer resume listed work being done internally on Dead Rising 3 at Capcom. Moreover, it was also suggested that the game may in fact be exclusive to Xbox One, and could be one of the fifteen exclusives that Microsoft touted during the console’s reveal. This is a long shot, but considering that the original Dead Rising began life as an Xbox 360 exclusive, it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility!

Another suggestion is that the game could in fact be the highly-rumoured new Mega Man project that has been heavily implied since the Blue Bomber’s 25th anniversary came and went. Capcom revealed that discussions are ongoing about a new Mega Man game, and they could be ready to reveal their plans for Mega Man at E3. That’s certainly just as likely to make many gamers happy, knowing that the anniversary will be observed by more than just 3DS eShop re-releases of Mega Man’s NES offerings!

The last suggestion for this ‘surprise’ that many gamers will really like, is that this ‘surprise’ is another Okami game. Capcom originally teased via Twitter some ‘tantalizing’ Okami news for the Japanese Golden Week this year, around the start of May. Golden Week came and went however, with no Okami news revealed. It’s possible that Capcom brass decided to hold off on this new announcement, and wait for E3. Rumours indicate that this apparent new console sequel will be set for release on either PlayStation 4 or Wii U. Either way, that’s surely something else to get excited about, if it proves to be true!

Rumour #2: Driver developer, Ubisoft Reflections is developing a next-gen racer called The Crew!

DriverThe Evidence: Ubisoft Reflections is confirmed to have a surprise planned for Ubisoft’s press conference at E3 2013. This is apparently a new next-gen racing game called The Crew, which will be released on current-gen and next-gen platforms, if rumour is to be believed, following a leak from a French news source.

The game is apparently an open-world racer that plays in an arcade-style, similar to the developer’s previous game, Driver: San Francisco. It will feature an eight-player multiplayer mode, as well as a companion app for stat tracking, similar to one of Ubisoft’s already-revealed Fall blockbusters, Watch Dogs. New York and Los Angeles are rumoured to be locations you can freely travel between, and you may even be able to drive in the wilderness!

If anyone knows driving, it’s Ubisoft Reflections! Considering how aggressively Ubisoft embraces new hardware of all varieties, this one could prove to be one of the French mega-publisher’s most promising new surprises!

Rumour #3: DICE ‘surprise’ is a next-gen Mirror’s Edge sequel, Star Wars: Battlefront III, or both!

Mirror's EdgeThe Evidence: EA, like Capcom, said in no uncertain terms that they have a ‘big surprise’ planned for E3 during their press keynote this year, this time courtesy of Battlefield developer, DICE. While DICE will certainly be speaking at length about this Fall’s hotly anticipated Battlefield 4, rumours have already shifted attention to what this ‘surprise’ could possibly be!

Most evidence points to a sequel to cult parkour-action game, Mirror’s Edge. Mirror’s Edge 2 listings for Xbox One were leaked by Amazon’s German site, before being quickly pulled. Even EA’s own help page had a Mirror’s Edge 2 listing show up on it quickly before it was promptly yanked! It seems like the existence of Mirror’s Edge 2 internally at EA has been all but definitively confirmed, but whether it’s the ‘surprise’ in question remains to be seen.

The other frequent rumour is that DICE is in fact being assigned to revive the cancelled Star Wars: Battlefront III. This falls in line with EA directly stating that they will reveal new next-gen Star Wars games during their E3 2013 press briefing. Many of Battlefront III’s assets were likely already available after EA won the Star Wars game license from LucasArts’ closure, and surely, making Star Wars: Battlefront III E3-ready probably wouldn’t be terribly difficult to do in a short time. An announcement like that would certainly help to boost EA’s reputation in the gaming community, that’s for sure!

Either way, this DICE surprise is sure to be a good one!

Rumour #4: Rare’s ‘surprise’ for the Microsoft conference is a Killer Instinct revival for Xbox One!

Killer InstinctThe Evidence: Yet another instance of a publisher speaking in no uncertain terms, Microsoft directly stated that Rare has a ‘surprise’ for their E3 2013 conference, and it’s one of the fifteen year-one exclusives for Xbox One! While many Rare enthusiasts are crossing their fingers for a new Banjo-Kazooie game, or a new Conker’s Bad Fur Day game, more evidence seems to suggest that Rare could be reviving their cult classic Killer Instinct series of fighting games, for Microsoft’s next-gen console.

While they didn’t receive the same recognition and fanfare as Donkey Kong Country by any means, the Killer Instinct games were some of the most beloved cult hits from the Super NES library. A revival would certainly make for some good press in the much-maligned Xbox One catalogue, not to mention giving the console the lone next-gen fighting game that has been advertised at this point.

Why Killer Instinct? Well, a rather interesting news story broke earlier in the year about Microsoft applying for a Killer Instinct trademark, only to have it rejected because an obscure television show already had claim to it. Might this suggest that the game will be called something else? Either way, it looks like Rare’s fans may yet get the chance to FIGHT ON!

Rumour #5: Final Fantasy Versus XIII is being re-branded as Final Fantasy XV, and is being upgraded to PlayStation 4, where it will be exclusive!

Final Fantasy Versus XIIIThe Evidence: Despite widespread speculation to the contrary, Square Enix has continually stressed that the mysterious Final Fantasy Versus XIII, first announced as a PlayStation 3 exclusive at the start of this console generation, is not cancelled, nor dead. News, images and vague trailers were mysteriously trickled out for several years, but then seemed to stop entirely. Even so, Square Enix has denied that the game is being canned.

Consequently, they’ve announced an hour-long keynote of their own for this year’s E3, solely to discuss the future of the Final Fantasy brand. Square Enix reps also directly stated during Sony’s PlayStation 4 reveal back in February that they have, what else, a ‘big surprise’ to showcase during Sony’s E3 2013 press keynote. It will also be a Final Fantasy surprise!

While Square Enix’s Final Fantasy conference will no doubt show off games we already know are coming to the storied RPG franchise, such as Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD, Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, those apparently aren’t going to be the star of the show. Incessant rumours from all kinds of sources indicate that Final Fantasy Versus XIII is not only being upgraded to being a PlayStation 4 exclusive, but speculate that it will also be re-branded as Final Fantasy XV! Considering that the Fabula Nova Crysallis mythology originally planned for Final Fantasy XIII seems to have fallen by the wayside, particularly with Final Fantasy Type-0 for PSP not looking like it’s going to release outside of Japan at this rate, this is definitely possible!

Why else would Square Enix devote an entire conference to just one ‘surprise’, unless they had an announcement that they knew people would want to spend a whole hour asking about? It looks like a next-gen Final Fantasy XV is coming sooner, rather than later! It also looks like Final Fantasy Versus XIII may imminently see the light of day as well. If it’s true, it’s about time!

Rumour #6: The Last Guardian is being moved to PlayStation 4; Announcement to be made during Sony’s conference this year!

The Last GuardianThe Evidence: Like the Final Fantasy Versus XIII re-branding rumour, this one has started to show up all over the place! Again, like Final Fantasy Versus XIII, despite aggressive evidence to the contrary, Sony has continually asserted that their third Team ICO-developed game, The Last Guardian is not cancelled, nor dead. They have assured that development is moving along. What they haven’t stressed however, is that The Last Guardian is still coming to PlayStation 3.

With so many rumours suggesting that the laboured development is coming from the game straining the technical limitations of the PlayStation 3 (definitely possible if you check out the gorgeous trailers!), it would make sense that The Last Guardian may have been upgraded to a PlayStation 4 release to better realize the game. Lead developer, Fumito Ueda has left Sony, but is apparently still working on The Last Guardian on a contractual basis. Thus, it seems like slowly, but surely, Sony is refusing to abandon this one, even with the current console generation coming to an end!

This rumour seems to pop up every year, so it’s no surprise that E3 2013 is also seeing a rumoured re-showing of The Last Guardian. Still, with PlayStation 4 being a reality at this point, evidence is mounting that The Last Guardian may have been upgraded to a next-gen release. Hopefully, we can kill two birds with one stone at this E3, and get the other longstanding lost PlayStation 3 exclusive that everybody wants, to finally get a release plan!

Rumour #7: Retro Studios is reviving the StarTropics series for Nintendo!

StarTropicsThe Evidence: Part of the reason why Nintendo generally has the best surprises and curveballs at every E3, is because they’re definitely the best at keeping secrets! Sony and Microsoft see many of their big announcements leaked in advance, Sony especially, but Nintendo seems to be a lot better at keeping a very tight lid on their E3 announcements, beyond what they choose to tease anyway. One Nintendo surprise may have squeaked out however, after a very detailed Nintendo memo was posted on NeoGAF, and boy, is it a big one!

Beyond confirming what we already know will be shown at E3’s Nintendo Direct presentation for this E3; The reveal of the new Mario platformer for Wii U, the first screenshots and/or trailer (depending on which translation you want to believe) for the fourth Super Smash Bros. game, trailers for the new Mario Kart and Yoshi games coming to Wii U, and Monolith Soft’s ‘X Project’ for Wii U planned to get a new trailer, this memo also may have the secret to Retro Studios’ mystery project. If this memo is a fact, Retro Studios is reviving one of Nintendo’s most ancient cult IP’s; StarTropics! The memo also promises a very ‘shocking’ surprise for the end of the presentation too, a surprise so top secret that even the memo doesn’t list it! This makes sense, as this is how Nintendo caps off their presentations at virtually every E3, but that’s not the point. The point is, StarTropics may be revived!

If you’re not familiar with the brand, it was an attempt to create a Legend of Zelda-style action-adventure game, but mainly designed for North Americans. This series was around back during the NES era, and it resulted in two beloved cult NES games. The games differentiated themselves from Zelda and the similarly-conceived Metroid by having a cartoony sense of humour, as well as being set in the modern world, despite featuring similar dungeon-crawling gameplay as its inspiration. Think of it as Earthbound re-imagined in a Zelda style!

Given that next year would mark twenty years since the release of the last StarTropics game, and that Zelda creator, Shigeru Miyamoto recently teased that Retro Studios would be ‘great’ for developing a game like Zelda, it’s very possible that this E3 could see the announcement of a StarTropics revival for Wii U, planned for release next year in commemoration of the twenty-year gap. Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime has also teased that Retro Studios is indeed working on something, and he thinks it’s something that people will get very excited about.

Hopefully, this means we can take up that yo-yo against some alien scum once again!

We’ll see which rumours are true when E3 begins next week! For all of the hottest coverage on the biggest gaming event of the year, Eggplante will have all of your vital E3 reports, as they surface!