— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) April 23, 2019
With barely two months to go until E3, Square Enix has confirmed that they will be appearing for yet another press conference. In a pretty bold move, Square’s decided to take Sony’s usual spot, on Monday June 10th at 6PM Pacific, 9PM Eastern.
This is particularly noteworthy because while Square did appear last year, the company isn’t usually known for annual appearances at the Expo. Their last appearance before 2018 was in 2015, the year they first premiered Final Fantasy VII Remake. Of course, last year’s press conference was woefully disappointing, as the company managed to avoid talking about their most anticipated titles in Final Fantasy 7 Remake and the Avengers Project, and even avoided mentioning some of the other titles they had coming out that year.
Could this time be different? Declaring this year’s conference to be “live” suggests this is a strong possibility, as it means they’ll potentially be occupying hall space rather than putting out a thirty minute video again.
Certainly, the company has more than enough upcoming titles to talk about. There’s the Platinum-developed Babylon’s Fall, which we’ve heard nothing from since last year and is scheduled to launch this year. There’s Dragon Quest XI S, the new and improved Switch version which is scheduled to launch this fall. The company’s popular MMO Final Fantasy XIV has a new expansion coming in Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, launching on July 2nd. There’s also Tokyo RPG Factory’s upcoming game Oninaki, which has a projected release date of Summer 2019.
Recently the company has undergone some rather dramatic restructuring, with the company consolidating from it’s well-known eleven business divisions to only four. Presumably, it’s the changes related to this restructuring that led to former Tales producer Hideo Baba to leave the recently founded Studio Istolia, which was making the rather beautiful looking Project Prelude Rune. This conference could also talk about whether or not this project still exists or was canceled with Hideo’s departure.
Of course, all of this ignores the two biggest projects at Square-Enix: Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Crystal Dynamics’ Avengers Project. The last time we heard anything on FF7: Remake it was learning CyberConnect2 had been removed from the project, and we were supposed to hear more about Avengers in 2018, but that never materialized. We do know Square is expecting a serious bump in profit for this fiscal year, which could mean one or both of these projects dropping between now and March 2020, but that’s still not proper confirmation that either is anywhere close to releasing yet.
Whatever happens, with Sony gone, there’s probably not a more interesting company that could’ve taken their place for 2019.