After that, Capcom gave an incidental and extremely brief glimpse on the game within a trailer dedicated to the the publisher’s studio working on online games, but nothing else was shown since.
In 2014 the game went through a series of promises for the opening of the Japanese beta, each of which was followed by the inevitable delay, and topped by apologies from the development team.
Back in February, Producer Yoshinori Ono mentioned that Dragon’s Dogma Online would come before its graphically more advanced and PS4 exclusive cousin, and teased that something big about it might have come in 2015. Dragon’s Dogma Online has been out in Japan for months and 2015 ends tomorrow, and we saw no trace of that.
Just a few days after, he disclosed that the project wasn’t canceled, but would take longer in the oven, mentioning that the initial concept didn’t work, and was being overhauled into something different and bigger.
In March, Division 2 Senior Manager Teruyuki Miyashita mentioned that Capcom would support the game for a ten year lifespan, and that’s basically the last time an official source from the publisher ever uttered the game’s title.
A couple of days ago, the Japanese magazine 4Gamer published an article in which several developers were encouraged to talk about their plans for 2016. Producers Yoshinori Ono and Kazunori Sugiura, alongside Miyashita-san himself, were all included.
The three developers have been the most relevant sources of information on Deep Down over the two years since the game’s grand unveiling at the presentation of the PS4 in 2013. Unfortunately, none of them made the slightest mention of it in their messages.
Yoshinori Ono predictably talked about Street Fighter V. Sugiura-san mentioned Monster Hunter Frontier G, Monster Hunter Explorer, Breath of Fire 6 and Dragon’s Dogma Online, echoed by Miyashita-san, who focused on the same titles. Deep Down wasn’t even named or remotely hinted at.
As a fan of the concept of the game, and of his beautifully realistic art style, I have kept investigating every possible source to find new information basically on a daily basis. I have asked Capcom to talk with the developers every time I flew to Japan (and of course I’ve been told that it wasn’t a possibility every single time), and I’m completely in the dark like everyone else.
It would be easy to think that this deafening silence means that Capcom found Deep Down to be too ambitions, and canceled the project in favor of easier and potentially more profitable multiplatform projects like Dragon’s Dogma Online.
Personally, though, I don’t think that’s the case. Deep Down is being developed in parallel with Capcom’s new current generation engine Panta Rhei, and that can slow down a project considerably as the technology is painstakingly nurtured towards full operability. Final Fantasy XV is a good example of that, causing Square Enix to move Kingdom Hearts III to Unreal Engine 4, and to use Epic Games’s middleware for the Final Fantasy VII Remake as well.
While the months of complete silence might have made many fans lose hope, I’m fairly confident that Capcom won’t abandon the project, and will suddenly come up with a re-reveal, hopefully in 2016. I have no idea on when exactly that might happen, but hopefully it’ll sweep our feet off the floor like the first time.