By Dakota ‘DarkHorse’ Hills
There’s probably only a handful of people in the world who know what exactly is getting revealed at Evo 2022 this weekend, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have clues to start piecing things together.
One of the biggest question marks going into the big event is whether or not Bandai Namco will announce Tekken 8 (or whatever their next big fighting game project is), and the chances now are looking considerably higher than they were just a few days ago.
Although there’s been no official word out of the developer is planning to have anything to reveal at Evo, but someone else kinda did it for them.
Sony unveiled yesterday they will be holding their own PlayStation Tournaments: Evo Lounge streams for Friday and Saturday where they promise to have exclusive fighting game announcements.
The developers listed as taking part are Arc System Works, Warner Bros. Games, Capcom, SNK, and of course, Bandai Namco Entertainment.
Bamco does have 2 of their current games on the Evo mainstage this year between Tekken 7 and Dragon Ball FighterZ, but the prospect of either of them receiving new content at this point is questionable at best.
PlayStation reveals EVO Lounge Live Show for #EVO2022
“[It] will feature top-shelf curated show coverage, bracket updates, interviews with players, and exciting content and reveals from developers and publishers”
AWS, WB, Capcom, SNK and Bamco confirmedhttps://t.co/nJpIpVRSS3 pic.twitter.com/nMPFSGJxfq
— Nibel (@Nibellion) August 1, 2022
Tekken 7 hasn’t seen any new major updates for about a year and a half now since Lidia launched as the last DLC character of Season 4, and things have been really quiet as to what the future of that game holds.
Dragon Ball FighterZ did get a new DLC character in Lab Coat Android 21 about six months ago, but there’s been similarly radio silence as to if it will get any more content too.
While both titles are still wholly enjoyable for the most part, Tekken 7 and DBFZ are starting to show their age in the changing landscape of fighters with the former releasing in arcades all the way back in 2015.
Basically all of Bamco’s biggest competition in the space between Capcom, ArcSys, SNK and NetherRealm Studios have all moved on to their next generation of projects, and it doesn’t seem very smart to stay quiet at this juncture.
There is still certainly a chance that Dragon Ball isn’t done just yet with the wild success that title has seen over its 4 and a half years. Now just seems like the best time to move on — unless they announce rollback netcode or something.
Our money, however, is on Bamco having a new game to show off or at the very least tease, and Tekken is the obvious route to travel down.
Dating back at least 8 years now, the company has also maintained a strong relationship with making big reveals during Evo finals, and that includes Tekken 7 itself back at Evo 2014.
Later in 2017, Katsuhiro Harada and Michael Murray would hype the massive crowd up with the reveal that Fatal Fury’s Geese Howard would be joining Tekken as a guest character after Street Fighter’s Akuma had already blown those doors open.
That would be followed the next year by Negan’s now infamous teaser for the 3D fighting game and then again at Evo 2019 with the Season Pass 3 announcement for Tekken 7.
This isn’t including all of their Dragon Ball FighterZ and Soul Calibur 6 announcements over that time either, so they’ve arguably had more to bring to Evo than any other company over the past decade.
On his latest episode of Harada’s Bar, the longtime Tekken Director did make it seem like he didn’t want to get fans’ hopes up too much for big news, but he could also be trying to throw people off of the trail.
“We’d like to do what fans expect at the expected time, but it’s hard,” said Harada. “The reason for that is we need to read between the lines from an industry perspective.
When a company announces something at a certain time, we should avoid running into each other with announcements. There’s a balance to consider.”
While it somewhat makes sense that Bamco wouldn’t want to necessarily get lost in a sea of new announcements, skipping out on what is basically the Super Bowl of fighting games to avoid that doesn’t — especially when they’ve had a long track record of doing just that.
I’m not exactly ready to stake like $1,000 on Tekken 8 being at Evo 2022 just yet, but the timing and everything appears to be lining up just right to be finally introduced to what the next generation of the franchise holds.
Videos via DopeDojo and RonanLIVE | S.Viorel Nicolae.
Source: Event Hubs