So the not-so-cryptic teaser from Square Enix last week was indeed a tease for the announcement of a brand new Star Ocean title. Revealed in the new issue of Famitsu, Star Ocean 5: Integrity And Faithlessness is being developed by Tri-Ace and will be released on both PS3 and PS4.
There is no release date as yet but battles in game are reported to be seamless and in real time and the development team are taking inspiration from Star Ocean 3.
As reported by Gematsu, producer Shuichi Kobayashi says in Famitsu “I decided to change positions and become a producer out of the belief that Star Ocean is worth staking my life and legacy on. For Star Ocean 5, I wanted the game to overtly take cues from Star Ocean 3 and draw its essence from that game.”
“Star Ocean 5 is about bringing a sense of reassurance back to longtime fans which is why the game’s logo is reminiscent of Star Ocean 3’s.”
The team is clearly making sure as many people as possible can play by developing the game for PS3 and then porting up to PS4. Square Enix is to be considering unique ways to use PS4’s Share functionality for the game. In terms of production, release looks like a long way off as development is reported to be 30% complete.
Square Enix is teasing a new project for reveal next week, demonstrating the international publisher's remarkable breadth of semi-secret ad campaigns. Thankfully, unlike Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's bizarre "Can't Kill Progress", this teaser isn't a three-day livestream of a guy pacing around a cell and being pretend-tortured.
Instead, it's a single page titled "SQUARE ENIX NEW PROJECT", showing a few letters and numbers over a satellite image of the Atlantic Ocean. It invites viewers to spread the mystery on Facebook and Twitter, with a message including the hashtag #sqex_secret and Monday's date. Other than the image of the ocean, the letters "SAR", and the numbers "0101", the teaser doesn't give us much to go on.
Still, it's enough to get the conjecture started. The big blank space between the "S" and "A" is just begging to be filled in with a "T", and that's definitely an ocean in the background. Since teasers and binary go together like chocolate and peanut butter, the four numbers translate to "5", though they also have plenty of space for more to drop in.
Put all that informed guesswork together and you get "Star Ocean 5", indicating the sequel to 2009's Star Ocean: The Last Hope. Fans have been waiting for years to see if and when the sci-fantasy role-playing series would continue, and while this teaser's no guarantee, it's definitely enough to put stars in their eyes.
According to Gematsu, Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda recently said the company was planning an unannounced "JRPG for home game machines" for this fiscal year (that's by March 31, 2016 in real-people dates). Star Ocean's original developer tri-Ace was purchased by Nepro Japan, a mobile gaming group, in February, though Siliconera reports that it will continue making console games.