While this console generation has seen the release of many amazing titles, unfortunately, there hasn’t been a surplus of new AAA franchises. Microsoft has relied on Gears of War, Forza, and Halo, while Nintendo has leaned on old classics like Mario and The Legend of Zelda. Even Sony, which has traditionally been very good about introducing new series, has almost entirely focused on publishing sequels from last-gen. Besides the work of FromSoftware, such as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Bloodborne, Blizzard games like Overwatch, and Hearthstone, battle royale games, and a few others, it almost feels like publishers believe it is too risky to introduce new series with the current state of the industry. But hopefully, that is going to change for the next console generation. With E3 right around the corner, now is a good time to take stock of the various potential new titles that are swirling in the rumor mill.
Elden Ring (FromSoftware and George RR Martin collaboration)
While a collaboration between FromSoft and George RR Martin sounds like some sort of pipe dream, recent leaks make it seem like this union is actually happening. There have been tidbits of information about this pairing for months, and when Martin posted on his own blog about consulting on a Japanese video game, many began to speculate that the rumors were true. If the leaks are to be believed Hidetaka Miyazaki, the long-time director of the Soulsborne titles and Sekiro, will be working with Martin to craft this world. Similar to many of their other games, Elden Ring will be a fantasy RPG, but reportedly it will feature horse riding and take place in a large-scale open world. It is expected to be the studio’s largest undertaking yet, and allegedly the FromSoft has been working on it for several years already.
Bleeding Edge (New game from Ninja Theory)
Ninja Theory, the developers of Senua: Last Sacrifice, DmC, and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, are allegedly working on an online multiplayer title called Bleeding Edge. Once again, details have leaked, stating that the game is a 4v4 online brawler. While this is a big change of pace from the narrative-driven games the studio has recently focused on, they have just as much experience with crafting character action games as they do with storytelling. The leaked trailer shows smooth action gameplay in the context of a grungy sci-fi setting and looks vaguely reminiscent of MOBA inspired class shooters like Overwatch.
Rocksteady’s Unannounced Game
It’s been four years since the release of the last Rocksteady game, Batman: Arkham Knight, and for the previous few E3s, rumors about the studio’s upcoming game have surfaced. While there hasn’t been a substantial leak (yet) about the exact nature of the game, many speculate that it will be another title set in the DC universe. In particular, it is believed that it may be a Suicide Squad game. Additional rumors hint that it may be structured similarly to a live-service title like Destiny, focusing on online co-op and a constantly evolving set of quests. It is speculated to be planned for the next console generation.
Ah, the leaks continue. This one is for a roller-derby themed competitive title from Ubisoft called Roller Champions. While the leaked video only shows map layouts, it’s probably fair to assume that the game will mostly follow the rules of the sport that it is based on. That said, Rocket League has been invoked as a comparison point quite often, implying that Champions will be a decidedly arcadey take on the sport. This seems in keeping with the stylized aesthetic. A photo of the control layout also gives some insight into the nature of the game.
There are a few other rumored titles, albeit with less concrete details. Ken Levine, the director of Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite, is heading up a studio called Ghost Story Games. While there isn’t a great deal of information about what they’re working on, Levine recently revealed in an interview that it will be a work of science fiction and that it will explore the nature of artificial intelligence. Another rumored Ubisoft game is going by the code name Orpheus, a small-scale RPG with an art style reminiscent of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
While all of these games may not end up at E3, it’s probably fair to assume that there are a few surprises in store beyond what has leaked. While it’s tough to tell if we are going to see an overall uptick in new franchises, if the rumors are to be believed then we have at least a few new experiences to look forward to.