There are probably only a handful of people in the world who know exactly what will be revealed at this weekend’s Evo 2022 show, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have clues to start putting things together.
One of the biggest questions surrounding the big event is whether or not Bandai Namco will announce Tekken 8 (or any other big fighting game project), and the odds seem much higher now than they did a few days ago.
While there has been no official word that the developer plans to reveal anything for the Evo, someone has done it for them.
Sony revealed yesterday that they will stick to theirs PlayStation Tournaments: Evo Lounge. Friday and Saturday streams, where they promise to have exclusive trailers for fighting games.
Participating developers include Arc System Works, Warner Bros. Games, Capcom, SNK and of course Bandai Namco Entertainment.
Bamco has 2 of its own games on the Evo mainstage this year between Tekken 7 and Dragon Ball FighterZ, but the likelihood of either of them getting new content is doubtful at this point.
PlayStation Reveals EVO Lounge Live Show for #EVO2022
“[It] will feature top-shelf curated show coverage, updates, player interviews, and exciting content and reveals from developers and publishers.
– Nibellion (@Nibellion) in 2022 August 1
Tekken 7 hasn’t seen any new major updates in about a year and a half since Lidia appeared as the last DLC character in Season 4, keeping things very quiet about the game’s future.
Dragon Ball FighterZ received a new DLC character, Lab Coat Android 21, about six months ago, but there was similar radio silence as to whether he would also be getting more content.
While both titles are still enjoyable for the most part, Tekken 7 and DBFZ are starting to show their age in the changing fighter landscape, the former having been released in arcades back in 2015.
Basically, all of Bamco’s biggest competition in the space between Capcom, ArcSys, SNK, and NetherRealm Studios have moved on to next-gen projects, and it doesn’t seem very smart to stay quiet right now.
There’s still definitely a chance that Dragon Ball has yet to reach the wild success that the title has had in its 4 and a half years. Now seems like the best time to move on – unless they announce a revoked network code or something.
But our money is on Bamco making a new game to show off, or at least tease, and Tekken is the obvious way to go down.
The company, which has been around for at least 8 years, has also had a strong relationship with big reveals during the Evo finals, including Tekken 7 itself at Evo 2014.
Later in 2017, Katsuhiro Harada and Michael Murray excited a huge crowd by revealing that Fatal Fury’s Geese Howard would be joining Tekken as a guest character after Street Fighter’s Akuma had already opened that door.
This will be followed by the now infamous Negan 3D fighting game trailer next year, and then again at Evo 2019 with the release of Tekken 7 Season 3.
That also doesn’t include all the Dragon Ball FighterZ and Soul Calibur 6 announcements during that time, so they’ve had more for Evo than any other company in the last decade.
In his latest episode Harada Barthe long-time Tekken director made it sound 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 track.
“We’d like to do what the fans expect in time, but it’s difficult,” Harada said. “The reason for this is that we have to read between the lines from an industry perspective.
When a company announces something at a certain time, we should avoid facing the announcements. A balance needs to be considered.”
While it makes a little bit of sense that Bamco wouldn’t necessarily want to get lost in a sea of new announcements, they’d miss out on a largely combative Super Bowl to avoid it — especially when they had a long way to go. record as it did.
I’m not ready to bet $1,000 on Tekken 8 at Evo 2022 just yet, but the timing and everything seems right for me to finally get my hands on the next generation of franchise content.