E3 2019 Dreams -- I Hope For An Announcement of Yoko Taro's Next Masterpiece
Nothing could bring me more joy at E3 than seeing what madness is coming next from the mind of NieR: Automata creator Yoko Taro.
There are three game creators that I will follow pretty much anywhere: when they announce they’re releasing a new game, I don’t need to see a second of gameplay or even hear the premise. Those three creators are Hideo Kojima, Goichi Suda (Suda51), and Yoko Taro.
Just last week, the whole world got a glimpse of what Kojima has in store for us this November with the long-awaited Death Stranding. And Suda51 announced earlier this year that he will be in attendance at E3 and might have some news to share. So, Mr. Yoko Taro, the proverbial ball is in your court.
I know, I know. NieR: Automata just came out two years ago. Plus, Yoko is heavily involved in creating a NieR-themed raid for the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV expansion Shadowbringers. That said, I don’t play FFXIV and the Emil-sized hole in my heart is only growing.
“Pretty much from the opening sequence of Automata, I knew that I was all the way here for Yoko Taro’s brand of over-the-top narrative and bonkers way of delivering that story.”
I came to Yoko Taro’s work later than I’d like. My first Yoko Taro game was 2017’s NieR: Automata. However, I have a disease termed Havetoseeeverythingitis, so I did watch playthroughs of the original NieR and the Drakengard trilogy beforehand.
Pretty much from the opening sequence of Automata, I knew that I was all the way here for Yoko Taro’s brand of over-the-top narrative and bonkers way of delivering that story. This is a game with 26 different endings, five of which are incredibly crucial to the plot. I think of games like Fallout 4 where you have the option to play the game again to see a different ending; however, those endings don’t really play into each other. They are all separate potential endings.
In Automata, all of the endings feed into each other. You simply cannot get certain endings without completing the ones before it. Thus, the game asks that you play through it at least three times to experience the full story. What other game does that? Who even imagines delivering a story in this weird, somewhat convoluted context?
That’s the kind of imaginative work I want from Yoko Taro. Recently, he said that he wants to “continue to fail”. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t happy with the success of Automata: it means that he’s worried the success will pigeon-hole his future creations. In the games industry, successful IPs often get sequel-ized to death. For someone as creative and innovative as Yoko Taro, finding that kind of success would be the worst-case scenario.
Instead, I want the reins fully off: let this man create whatever odd thing he can invent. Give him all the money he needs and let him go. Yoko’s vision cannot be replicated. Placing the shackles of success on him would only be hurting gamers everywhere.
So, here’s my E3 wish for this year: the Square Enix conference will take place on Monday, June 10. We’ll see a trailer for the upcoming Marvel’s Avengers game. Fine. Then they put out some new information about the Final Fantasy VII Remake. Whoopie. And, as the conference is ending, we hear this song start up:
Then, an Emil-clad Yoko Taro walks on stage. The crowd erupts as he introduces the final trailer of the conference, his newest game. We get a 90-second trailer that makes literally no sense. It has stunning artwork and touching music. Maybe we see a quick shot of the future protagonist, but either way, I don’t want them to show off much. No, I want the mystery. I want the fan theories. I need to play whatever crazy thing Yoko dreams up next.
If it seems like a dream that is unlikely to take place, you’re probably not wrong. His heavy involvement in the Final Fantasy XIV expansion probably means his next big project is still in pre-production at best. And, it certainly seems likely that we won’t get too many more big games coming to the current generation. I know NieR is still somewhat niche, but it did move over 3.5 million copies. They’re probably holding the next game for whatever consoles are coming next.
However, Persona 5 came out in 2017 for the PS3. The PS4 has sold over 10 million more consoles than the PS3 did. I am willing to dream that Yoko Taro’s next masterpiece can be the final swan song for the eighth console generation.
As we near E3, what do you want to see the most at this year’s show? What’s your dream scenario? Be sure to let us know in the comments. Lastly, be sure to check out some of the other hopes and dreams for E3 2019 from the rest of the DualShockers writers.