Why I think Versus received a reboot treatment

#1TixusPosted 2/11/2013 11:53:04 AM
It goes without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway: This is all pure speculation based only on trends I've observed in other companies whenever this sort of thing happens.

It seems that the popular discussion these days is that Versus XIII is getting moved to the next generation of consoles. I won't dismiss this as a possibility, but I have another idea for why we've been getting the silent treatment from Nomura and his buddies (or enemies) at Square Enix. Simply put, they decided to start over on it. Maybe they weren't satisfied with the direction it was going, the mechanics of the game, or had a new idea they liked better--but something led to them deciding to scrap (most of) what they had been doing and start over from scratch.

I've seen this happen in a lot of games in the past, but only two are currently coming to mind (I'll get to them in a minute). The trend always looks something like this:

- Game is announced, there's some limited media released.
- Some more media is released some time after, that reflects the original concept.
- Media blackout occurs. People expect it to show up events like TGS and E3, but there's no sign of it.
- Game gets brief mention in interviews, but only to the extent of "Yeah, we're working on it. Look forward to more in the future."
- Out of nowhere, the game gets a proper unveiling, and it looks vastly different from what was previously shown. There's usually a pretty even divide between fans who liked the old direction and are very vocal about their dissatisfaction with the change, and fans who are open to giving this new vision a shot.

First example, Resident Evil 4: We heard hints of it, but nothing for the longest time. The version they were working on became Devil May Cry. Then after a long period of nothing, we learned that it was going to be a Gamecube exclusive (After suspecting it would only be on PS2), and got the teaser with Leon exploring some kind of dark castle with black fog. Then, more images, another teaser, and a silent period...and then suddenly one day when checking Gametrailers, I saw a video for the unveiling of Resident Evil 4. Leon was in a village fighting Spanish-yelling locals that wielded weapons, on a mission to save the president's daughter. The community was up in flames.

Second example: Duke Nukem Forever. This one had more to do with a less-than-qualified team trying to stay on top of changing technology, only to constantly fall behind the curve because there wasn't enough manpower to deliver a product in a timely manner. However, the pattern was still the same: There was a trickle of media when they were using the Quake engine. Then they switched to the Quake 2 engine, and had a few more things to show, then silence. 3DR later announced that they were moving to the Unreal engine, then more silence, then the 2001 trailer. Then a lot more silence. Then they announced they were switching to the Unreal 2 engine, and that they'd basically be starting over from scratch. Then a lot more silence, and finally there was that teaser, the studio going under, Gearbox, and the final product--which didn't resemble any of the stuff they had shown.
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So, the hunter has become the huntress.
#2Tixus(Topic Creator)Posted 2/11/2013 11:53:48 AM
I know there are other examples of "announcement, trickle, silence, drastic changes, controversy," but I can't think of any right now. What does this mean for Versus?

If they did in fact reboot it, it could be a number of things. Maybe they decided they wanted to overhaul the game's story and setting. The game might still play similarly and feature some of the same cast, but look completely different (i.e. Noctis being a special agent sent to another country to save the King's daughter, "Stella," where "Stella" is a reused art asset for a new character). There's also the chance that they started over development when moving to the next generation, but are keeping some of the themes and ideas they had in the previous version. Sometimes that kind of change requires starting over from scratch, according to other companies that have done it. We may see art assets and ideas getting reused in the newer build, but some elements that have changed significantly (Like, imagine it being an open-world game that majorly takes place in the city and its outlying regions, instead of following a narrative that spans a chain of different locations across the world).

Though none of this is concrete, Versus XIII definitely falls into the aforementioned pattern, and SE's dropped some telling hints in the past. To paraphrase:

Nomura: "forget about Versus for awhile," (Because it's a long ways off, or because it's changing?)
Wada: "more will be revealed when we feel it displays that classic FF feeling." (That was already the original goal--an action game that felt like a classic Final Fantasy. Maybe they weren't pleased with what they came up with the first time, and decided to try again.
Nomura: "I want to reveal Versus, but I have to wait for another reveal I can't talk about yet!" (This doesn't have to imply a name change or upgrade to the next generation, but both could be speculated. The one thing it clearly states is that something significant happened in the development that can't be talked about...and it might be a game-changer.

I'm half-expecting that whenever Versus gets its next "proper" unveiling, it's going to look dramatically different from what we've seen in the past. Controversy will surely ensue. I personally don't mind whether or not my prediction pans out at this point, because they've shown so little and enough time has passed that I don't feel much investment in Noctis's world. I do hope that they keep the gameplay mechanics and elements they were originally shooting for, because those were the things that sparked my interest in Versus in the first place.
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So, the hunter has become the huntress.
#3fanofff6Posted 2/11/2013 12:03:16 PM
This sounds about right. I can't imagine they've been working on the same build since 2006/2007/2009/whenever development actually started.
#4JaylesseePosted 2/11/2013 12:08:15 PM
Sounds legit.
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I'm only serious 23.7% of the time.
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#5PillsberyDoeManPosted 2/11/2013 2:21:14 PM
it's still a bit hard to stomach at this point (that's what she said), but versus does fall in line with a lot of those games that undergo drastic overhauls. and i'll tell you another reason why it's not such as farfetched idea. because of the failure of ff14, company resources had to be allocated into rectifying that pile of garbage. the mmo's are basically se's most important titles because they bring in the most profit. with that in mind, i guess the idea was to find a way to "satisfy" the customers and churn out some $60 dollar games while 14 was being fixed, and before moving on to the next big thing for se (versus). that's how we ended up with two unnecessary sequels to ff13.

now........ back when all of this was decided, assumingly some time shortly after 14's failure of a release, a decision HAD to be made on versus. square enix had to have had a layout of all their main releases for the next few years (13-2 and LR included), but by the end of that "layout", how much of this gen would be left? would versus have the time to fit into it???

technically, they COULD release versus even after sony and microsoft release their next gen consoles. it's happened in the past or very close to it, but there's also the possibility that the ambitions for versus would take this game way too long to release after the next gens are out, therefore... shifting it to next gen would make sense.

NOW..... here's another thing to consider. the last piece of media we've seen on this game was in the January 2011 trailer. i don't have the quote on hand, but it was said that the footage used in that 7 minute trailer was from an earlier build and that was MONTHS old. i think around 5-6. put that into perspective. when was 14 released? in September 2010. Surely, they must have decided from some time between 14's release in September of 2010 and the 1st Production Department Premiere in January of 2011, that versus would have to make some serious changes.

maybe it wasn't a completely confirmed decision that versus would go next gen in the beginning, but who knows if that's changed over time? hell, it was already confirmed long ago that it would be using a part of the Luminous engine.

even after all of this, i still think it's a little crazy to assume it's gone next gen, but whatever. we'll have all we need to know sometime this year.
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impatiently waiting on versus xiii... -> EDIT: not so much anymore... (4/28/11)
Zelda Timeline! - http://goo.gl/XFceA
#6PillsberyDoeManPosted 2/11/2013 2:25:32 PM(edited)
double post.
jeez, i've never seen a profile like this before. O_o

User Name Tixus
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impatiently waiting on versus xiii... -> EDIT: not so much anymore... (4/28/11)
Zelda Timeline! - http://goo.gl/XFceA
#7Asd202Posted 2/11/2013 2:35:39 PM
WoW a really good post TC kudos too you.
#8theofficefan99Posted 2/11/2013 3:06:10 PM
I could definitely see it happening.
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#9ExentrykPosted 2/11/2013 5:13:05 PM
We already know about a reboot in the visual sense, i.e., they applied Luminous Engine's lightning to the game. That lightning wasn't in the 2011 trailer, so that means that this change is fairly recent.

Who knows what else they changed. The postmortem will definitely reveal some interesting stuff.
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