7 Biggest Rumours This Gen That Never Happened
Shenmue III? Xbox 360 Blu-ray? Final Fantasy VII remake? We're still waiting for some rumours to come true…
Published on Oct 5, 2012
Rumours and gossip is an inevitable part of the games industry and often it points towards something big about to break. The PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale announcement, People Can Fly working on Gears and Elder Scrolls online are a few examples of stories that were heavily rumoured ahead of their official unveiling.
But what of the rumours that never happened? What of the talk and chatter that amounted to… well, talk and chatter? These are the seven biggest rumours this gen that never happened.
EA Buys Ubisoft
Back in December 2004, when EA and Activision were battling to become the biggest publisher in the world, EA bought a 19.9% stake in Ubisoft.
While this wasn't large enough to have any control over Ubisoft's management, Ubisoft described the move as "hostile", sparking rumours that EA had Ubisoft in its sights for a takeover.
The rumours continued when EA considered upping its stake in the publisher little over a year later.
Yet despite the talk, nothing happened. EA's strategy seemed to shift, as they snapped up studios like BioWare and Pandemic instead, while Ubisoft struck gold with its Assassins Creed series.
In July 2010, EA sold its stake in Ubisoft. EA said its priorities had changed while Ubisoft was 'pleased' with the move.
How different things could have been. Assassin's Creed III with an EA logo on the box? It could have happened.
Nintendo Wii Vitality Sensor
Technically, this doesn't qualify as a rumour because Nintendo showed off images of the prototype to the world, describing it as a "look into the future", and included it on their press release for E3 2009.
The idea was that the Vitality Sensor clipped onto the Wiimote and was a device you put your finger in (ahem) so it could read your pulse. And this was good because… because… erm… hmmm.
Nintendo has been oddly quiet since then. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata blamed the delay on "differences in biological information in humans."
Will it ever happen? Probably not. We can't see the practical use of the device, nor how it will be marketed. Wiimote was easy - play tennis! Play golf! Go bowling! Vitality sensor - measure your pulse! Do… stuff!
Wii-U seems to be Nintendo charging off in a new direction anyway as it explores touchscreen possibilities, and that seems to be ripe with potential the vitality sensor never had.
This is one of those rumours that will likely never go away but rather, just quietly fade with time. And that's exactly what's happened since August 2005, when Kikizo (now VideoGamesDaily) ran a story that Shenmue III was ready for next-gen.
"Sources close to the development of Shenmue 3 revealed to Kikizo that the project has essentially been close to finished and 'ready' for some time - but in hibernation, pending a deal for the entire series on at least one next-gen console," they excitedly reported.
We don't know what it was that sparked the initial story they ran but we do know Shenmue III is nowhere to be seen.
And this was back in 2005. Sega has taken a hammering since then, culminating in lay-offs earlier this year and a renewed focus on "developing digital content and driving its existing IP such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Total War, Football Manager and the Aliens franchise."
It'll take something drastic for Shenmue III to be released. Our prediction, sad as it is, is that hero Ryo Hazuki will never find Lan Di.
Head to Google, enter "Apple console", "Steam console" or "Apple Steam console" and watch the rumour entries flood the page.
The rumour makes sense in that it matches up with the direction the games industry is heading towards. Cheaper downloadable games, the success of Apple Store, the success of Steam, the worry that AAA blockbuster console games will become too expensive to make, the OUYA kickstarter…
Nothing has been confirmed and it's unlikely we'll hear anything for some time. Because after all - we have Apple Store and we have Steam. Do they really need to be welded into a console-size platform? Even so, the rumours will likely persist and grow louder alongside the continued success of those platforms.
Beyond Good & Evil 2
Does it exist? Is it in development? What is it? Is Ancel working on it? What is love?
So many questions, so many rumours, so little known info. It was first confirmed to be in development in 2008 and since then, we've had an extremely slow trickly of quotes, screenshots and this leaked video:
It was rumoured to be cancelled in 2010, now it's rumoured to be targetting next-gen. Basically, no-one outside of a few select people at Ubisoft knows what's going on with this title and no-one is talking.
But hey, at least you can get the original on PSN and in HD!
Xbox 360 Gets Blu-ray Drive
In the early stages of the Xbox 360 vs PlayStation 3 battle, Sony was putting a lot of faith in its Blu-ray format. While Xbox 360 relied on DVDs, Sony's Blu-ray allowed for more content to be stored on the disc and Blu-ray movies to be played on PlayStation 3.
The latter point was particularly important in the early days of PlayStation 3. Developers hadn't yet seen their blockbuster ambition grow to the point where the Blu-ray disc was being filled, while Blu-ray movies was an obvious, easy sell to capitalise on the growing HDTV trend.
So it made sense that Microsoft tried counteract this USP with its on HD-DVD drive, which didn't play games but did play HD-DVD movies. Long story short, Sony won.
Then rumours started popping up that Microsoft would adopt an external Blu-ray drive for Xbox 360. And these rumours would persist for years and years. Even as recently as last year, they flared up again, despite the Xbox 360 nearing the end of its life.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
It's up there with Shenmue III as one of the most requested games this gen, with the voices only grower louder as Square-Enix has nudged the Final Fantasy series in a brand new direction.
In Square-Enix's defence, it hasn't really teased a remake and tried to quietly downplay expectations of a full Final Fantasy VII remake without ruling it out entirely - a difficult balancing act to play out in front of press eager for headline quotes and fans clinging to any scraps of hope.
Then it happened! Square-Enix brought a remake to Final Fantasy VII!
Ah. It wasn't so much a remake as a 'ever-so-slight redux', with achievements, cloud saves (not the character) and a character booster pack allowing players to play through with increased HP, MP and Gil.
But the rumours persist and some fans feel this is Square-Enix testing the waters for a full remake. It's unlikely, as this seems more Square-Enix finding a way to squeeze more money out of its back catalogue, but that hasn't stopped talk and hope for a full remake of the RPG classic.