The summer game announcements for 2023 have come and gone. With that, we wanted to take a look at some of the biggest games that were missing with no explanation and figure out what could be going on. Some of the largest publishers in the world have yet to show new games this year. Plus some of the most widely speculated games have been missing for years. When we will eventually see games like Grand Theft Auto 6, Bioshock 4, and Perfect Dark?
Take-Two has alluded to having a monster year in 2024 and 2025. Even stating during a recent investor call that they have “several groundbreaking titles” slated for the fiscal year 2025. Given that nothing was announced this year, it appears the stars are indeed aligning for an insane release schedule starting next year. With nothing shown this summer, it appears games like Borderlands 4, Bioshock, Judas, and Grand Theft Auto 6 will start rolling out in late 2024, or early 2025. I expect these games to release in an 18-month period following the first games release.
Following the release of PS VR2, this spring came a lull in VR2 game releases. Quietly three or four games were added to the library and a full remake of Resident Evil 4 was announced. Although missing is the revamped PS VR2 version of PSVR hit shooter Firewall Zero Hour. Firewall Ultra was one of the first PS VR2 games announced, since then we have heard almost nothing. What is taking so long? Are more changes coming to the game? Does Sony have nothing for VR this holiday and they are moving it? Is Sony making some sort of gun peripheral?
When Microsoft announced its new “AAAA” studio The Initiative in 2018, they didn’t imagine they would fail to retain talent. With that, a small collective is left at the studio while work is being moved to Crystal Dynamics. Following the team’s work on Marvel’s Avengers, Square Enix sold Crystal Dynamics to now troubled mega publisher the Embracer Group. With that, it is no surprise that the upcoming Perfect Dark reboot is taking longer than expected.
Ghost of Tsushima 2
Ghost of Tsushima was released in July 2020, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, I would expect that a full sequel could take up to five years. It is easy to imagine that the transition between the first and second games happening during the height of the pandemic could cost the team at least one year of development time. Given that, I would have expected to see Ghost of Tsushima 2 announced at Sony’s event this summer. A two-year marketing cycle post-announcement is common for Sony, plus they had nothing to show in the form of single-player first-party games. There is no way that Ghost of Tsushima 2 is a late 2025, or early 2026 title right?
Flagship Nintendo Titles
In January 2019, Nintendo announced that Metroid Prime 4 would be scrapped and moved back to series creator Retro Studios. At this point, it has been four years so the game must be far along now.
While we did get a new 2D Mario game in the way of Super Mario Bros. Wonder, it has been six years since Nintendo released a 3D Mario game. With the success of the movie, you would think that they would release a new flagship Mario game.
When it comes to Mario Kart, the last mainline entry was released almost a decade ago. Nintendo is still printing money with a Switch re-release of Mario Kart 8. You would think they would want to print even more money and release a Mario Kart 9, although that does not appear to be the case.
With the three missing games, it seems like Nintendo may be gearing up for a Switch successor. With no new Zelda game anywhere in sight, Nintendo could launch the new hardware in early 2025 with a first-year combination of 3D Mario, Mario Kart, and Metroid Prime 4. This time around Nintendo may even get support in the form of a new Call of Duty game.
In 2021 Contraband was announced by Xbox and Avalance Studios Group. Contraband comes from the developers of Rage 2, and the Just Cause series. When it was announced two years ago, it was only shown in a conceptual capacity. With Xbox’s recent troubles with co-op shooter Redfall, you would have to imagine, Xbox wants its ducks in a row before they show gameplay.
With Microsoft showing 10 first-party games this year, and making a commitment to launch 4 “big” first-party games a year, you have to wonder, where does Contraband fit within this group? If all is well on the home front, Microsoft could show Contraband next summer, and make it one of the “big four” for 2025. We can not wait to see where this fits in the Xbox library.
A Bloodborne Remaster
The new regime over at PlayStation makes bad decisions all the time. Whether it is the PS VR2 game library, closing SIE Japan, or making a limited edition LeBron James PS5 before a Spider-Man branded one. With that said, they are not stupid, they are fully aware of the communities desire for a Bloodborne remaster. Although the reality is, Sony can not upset the apple cart or upset one of the world’s most sought-after developers in FromSoftware.
Sony launched the PS5 with Demon’s Souls, then came the beloved Elden Ring almost a year later. Now we have Armored Core launching this year. Sony is best suited to keeping FromSoftware happy by not cannibalizing sales of their new games. I believe Sony and FromSoftware will strike when FromSoftware has no pending releases. I think a lot of it depends on when the Elden Ring DLC is coming out. If you think about it, there has been no window where Sony could release a Bloodborne remaster and not step on other games from the same developer. FromSoftware can not keep this pace up for the entire generation, there will be a multi-year gap after the Elden Ring DLC and that is when Sony will likely strike.