As we approach E3 2015 season, gamers can expect a few big reveals to leak out over the next month or two. Some developers keep everything a secret until it’s showtime at E3, but others like to give fans a few teasers to speculate about before any official announcements. Square Enix has been all about the teasers this year and despite the big reveal of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided leaking a bit early, the company still has one mystery driving fans crazy.
Last week, Square Enix published a secret website as the start of a viral marketing campaign for an upcoming project. The original contents of the site were basically nonexistent, aside from an image that looked like an outer space view of an ocean and a few letters and numbers. Fans quickly made the leap that the ‘S A R’ could be part of the word star (the start of Star Ocean) and lots of gamers thought the numbers ‘0 1 0 1’ might be part of a binary message.
The case that the teaser is leading up to the reveal of a new Star Ocean game grew even stronger today when the secret website was updated to include a bigger image, new letters, and new numbers. The image is now zoomed out to reveal a planet (so ocean was a pretty good guess for the zoomed in image) and the text still has some big gaps in it, but says ‘S T A R 2 0 1 5 0 1.’
Fans with a critical eye have quickly pointed out that the spacing in S T A R is a little strange, so there could still be room for more letters that would change the word. If Star Ocean is just a red herring, then Square Enix may have a group of very disappointed JRPG fans on its hands. It took the developer nearly a decade to get Final Fantasy XV ready for release, so if a new Star Ocean is really coming this fiscal year, the team must have been quietly working on it for a quite a while.
Now that we have a few new numbers, it is clear that the second line is not binary, but is likely a release date. There isn’t enough information to figure out a month or season yet, but it looks like something is coming in 2015, whether it’s Star Ocean or something else entirely. Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda did tease that a new JRPG would be making its way to current-gen consoles this fiscal year, so Star Ocean seems like a very real possibility.
The last installment in the Star Ocean franchise released in 2009 and was a prequel. If the upcoming game is a new Star Ocean adventure, we’ll be very interested to find out if the game continues the adventures from the Star Ocean: The Last Hope prequel or if players will return to the main timeline of the series.
Do you think that Square Enix is going to reveal a new Star Ocean for later this year? Would you rather see a new IP? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Square Enix