Sony Entertainment is increasingly using E3 as a showcase for games that won’t be released for years.
2017 is so far a banner year for Sony, riding high on smash hits like Resident Evil 7, Nier Automata, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. As E3 approaches we’re expecting some fantastic announcements at the Sony stage, including news of a new God of War and a new Spider-Man. But while Sony has been able to put on a fantastic show these past few years, it’s starting to look like the games they announce won’t be around for a very long time.
An editorial on Waypoint has pointed out an emerging pattern with Sony’s E3 announcements in that often games aren’t released until many years after the initial reveal. There’s a long list of games that are showcased on Sony’s center stage, but still aren’t seen for many moons after the fact.
For example, No Man’s Sky was initially revealed at E3 2014 but wasn’t actually released (to the disappointment of nearly everyone) until late 2016. Uncharted 4 was even worse; announced at 2013’s E3, it didn’t hit shelves until May of 2016.
The list continues with Horizon Zero Dawn, thus far a contender for best game of 2017. It was originally announced at 2015’s E3. Shenmue III was also a 2015 announcement, but just recently announced it was pushed back to a new release sometime in 2018. Perhaps worst of all was the much-anticipated remake of Final Fantasy VII, another 2015 E3 showstopper, but nobody knows when that game will be released with Square Enix only saying it will be sometime in the next 3 years.
For many people, E3 is all about flashy reveals regardless of when the game will actually see the light of day, but for many others it can be seen as a larger problem with Sony’s in-house development being unable to meet deadlines. Perhaps Sony’s willingness to let release schedules slide is part of the reason for their recent success, but if that’s the case it might make more sense to announce games closer to their actual release date rather than endlessly riding the hype train until who knows when.