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The Last Guardian, Shenmue III, FF VII Remake - Sony's E3

PS4 maker packs conference with long-awaited projects many thought would never happen

A lengthy gameplay look at Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was technically the climax of Sony's E3 2015 conference, but for many, the highlights of the conference came much earlier in the show.

Right off the bat, Sony opened with a trailer for Fumito Ueda's The Last Guardian. Originally announced at E3 2009 for the PS3, The Last Guardian is the next project from Team Ico, creators of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. The project has had a troubled development cycle, to say the least. Ueda left Sony in 2011 and said he would continue work on the project as a contractor, but almost nothing has been said of the title since.

Later on in the show, Square Enix showed off Final Fantasy VII Remake. While that project has never been announced before, it has been an oft-requested revision of the very first Final Fantasy game released on PlayStation platforms, and the first entry to use 3D visuals. Gone are the original game's cherubic character models, replaced by more detailed renderings of Cloud, Barrett, and the rest of the crew.

Completing the trifecta was the unusual announcement of a Kickstarter project at Sony's show. But it wasn't just any Kickstarter campaign being announced; it was for Shenmue III, the next chapter in Yu Suzuki's modern-day adventure RPG franchise. The first two Shenmue games were highlights of the Dreamcast's brief lifespan, and it has been 14 years since the second game's release. The crowdfunding campaign is seeking $2 million. Shortly after the end of Sony's press conference, it had raised $730,000 from more than 8,300 backers.

Those weren't the only big games on display. Sony also announced Horizon: Zero Dawn, a new IP from Killzone developer Guerilla Games that pits bow-and-arrow-armed hunters against cyborg dinosaurs in a post-apocalyptic future, while Media Molecule showed off its latest creation and sharing title, Dreams. Square Enix even went beyond the Final Fantasy VII Remake, using the show to reveal IO Interactive's new Hitman game, as well as World of Final Fantasy for PS4 and Vita.

In another first, Activision used Sony's E3 conference to showcase the new Call of Duty, an annual rite that had been previously reserved for Microsoft's show. Additionally, Sony said that map packs for the game would arrive first on PlayStation. On top of that, PS4 players who preorder will get first crack at the multiplayer beta in August.

Interestingly, Project Morpheus only received a brief segment, with Andrew House showing off another Guerilla original game, the eSports shooter Rigs, and listing titles like World War Toons and Wayward Sky as others headed for the platform. He stressed that Morpheus will be an optional peripheral for developers to support as they see fit.

Finally, Sony announced the latest rollout plans for the PlayStation Vue television service. It launches tonight in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and in July, Sony will become the first provider to offer a la carte channels nationwide. So far, the only participating channels confirmed are Showtime, Fox Soccer Channel, and a new Machinima channel.

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Latest comments (15)

Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend4 years ago
Good news that the Last Guardian is not dead and buried, but I still get a sick feeling in my stomach when big ass publishers like (Edit: Sega) go and do a KickStarter campaign for a title they could easily fund themselves. I get it that out of favor old school developers do KickStarters for games nobody will fund, I get that. But big publishers... hmmmmm don't like it.

Edit: For some reason I thought Shenmue was a Sony product.... actually (Edit: was) Sega.... but still close....

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 16th June 2015 3:05pm

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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee4 years ago
@Darren. If you're referring to Shenmue III it is not a Sony property and will likely release on other console platforms with more funding. It was merely announced at their conference as it will be a PS4 title and begs the publicity.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 16th June 2015 10:30am

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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 4 years ago
Ultimately, somebody will wheel in a five year old with a drawing of the game he wants to make, a CGI trailer will be shown, and PR experts will sell the idea of crowdfunding this child's education so he can make the game of his dreams 20 years down the line. Also the kid will be an afro-asian transgender human cyborg hybrid.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Klaus Preisinger on 16th June 2015 12:34pm

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Show all comments (15)
Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend4 years ago
@Adam

I hear you and you are right, but I still think they could have backed it themselves if they are wheeling it out in E3.
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee4 years ago
This is Shenmue III and Yu Suzuki, it has the industry legacy to die for. There has always been an issue of how to fund the successor to what was a seriously innovative, yet expensive Dreamcast flop.

It must have also been a challenge to get the rights to use the IP too. I personally think Kickstarter is simply the best approach to getting this game to market, finally, with the fans support. Myself included.

Despite the constant negativity surrounding Kickstarter and the questionable record video games have on the platform, this is one of those experiences I always hoped it would make possible when publishers have to be risk averse. To me this also speaks highly of modern middle-ware, again reducing the costs of making such an ambitious game. That's my personal view :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 16th June 2015 11:12am

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Jamie Firth Video Games Production 4 years ago
Nowhere does it state that Sega are involved *at all* in Shenmue 3. If they were, then surely the developers would have given potential backers that piece of information rather than seemingly distancing themselves from them? (from their FAQ: "SEGA has officially given us the rights to use the "Shenmue" license")
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Istvan Fabian Principal Engineer, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe4 years ago
Shenmue 3 is funded now.
As for why Kickstarter:
- gauge commercial viability
- let customers vote with their wallet
- greater freedom during development - for the better or worse
- engage with potential customers
- build a community
- viral marketing
You can always find a minor, but very vocal group advocating a sequel for game X, product Y etc.
Doing a crowd funding campaign can gauge the realistic size of such community - rather than relying on hearsay and guesstimates - that information alone is invaluable; getting some money alongside is a nice bonus though.
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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend4 years ago
Ok folks I got my wires crossed, it happens from time to time. I think you can all chill now. ;)
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
Gyaaah. I kick myself again because last year I'd predicted The Last Guardian had been shifted to PS4 and someone wanted to bet me that it was canceled and gone for good. I didn't take that bet and yep, there was a PS4 at stake (or the cost of one if I lost). I need to be more of a gambler! :P

Anyway, I wonder if the Shenmue 3 success means more stuff like this on consoles down the road. Someone gather up what's left of Camelot and have them get the right to use Shining Force from Sega so we can get a new game (and/or all of Shining Force III in English).

I do hope Sega is paying attention to the speediness of the funding and maybe allows for a way to let Suzuki use content from the first two Shenmue games. Or at the very least least allow for a remade HD recap video segment of events from the first two games for fans who haven't played either game.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 4 years ago
I lost a bet as I thought Last Guardian was going to be the dark horse launch title for PS4.
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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend4 years ago
I don't think you are the only one that lost a bet on the Last Guardian, its been a very elusive title.
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John Karageorgiou consultant 4 years ago
So so happy to hear that The Last Guardian is alive and well. This is THE biggest E3 news in my books.
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee4 years ago
I'm hearing rumours Sony may now be getting involved in Shenmue's development.
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Jamie Firth Video Games Production 4 years ago
Well colour me stunned! :-)
You know, the cynic might say that had they said this at the time then they wouldn't have raised the money quite so quickly...
How long before SEGA are announced as being involved as well? Or is that me being over cynical?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jamie Firth on 17th June 2015 2:43pm

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Benjamin Crause Supervisor Central Support, Nintendo of Europe4 years ago
Its cool to see the last Guardian is still a thing I can't help myself but to think this means another problem: A game which has been this long in development, trough turmoil and being back and the board twice: How can this ever be profitable? This project must be already a huge money sink. With just one game I doubt they can make all of that back.
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