Square Enix says that Ikenie To Yuki no Setsuna (Project Setsuna) is due for a 2016 release for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.
The announcement was made during the SCEJA (Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia) 2015 press conference on Sept. 15. The event is a precursor to the Tokyo Game Show, where Sony is set to unveil the titles that were either developed for or ported to its consoles, handhelds and game platforms, which will begin on Sept. 18, 3 p.m. EST.
Ikenie To Yuki no Setsuna, also known by its English name Project Setsuna, is the current project of Tokyo RPG Factory, a Japanese game developer, the company behind popular titles like Tomb Raider, the Final Fantasy franchise, Dragon Quest, Thief, Hitman and Kingdom Hearts.
The game lets the player progress using events and battles, suggesting that it sticks to the basic progression system of most RPGs. The Japanese publication also reports that Ikenie To Yuki no Setsuna is now 60 percent complete and has incorporated the Square Enix Active Time Battle system.
The announced PS4 and PS Vita title is expected to involve a melancholic feel because the entire theme is built around "sadness," which the Japanese word setsunasa connotes. This is also evident in the game's debut trailer that is currently posted on Square Enix Co. Ltd.'s YouTube channel.
The voiceover is not hyped, unlike most game trailers, and denotes some form of depression. Even the game's landing page on Square Enix' website has a sad, eerie background music.
Ikenie To Yuki no Setsuna looks good and refined. Further scrutiny of the in-game trailer suggests that it has taken some hints from the story-driven RPGs that were released during the 90s, namely the Chrono game franchise, Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy.
The game's similarities to the 1990s and early 2000s RPGs are solidified further by the premise of sacrifice in the story.
According to the trailer's voiceover translation posted by Disqus user tabegoro in the comment section of Gematsu, Ikenie To Yuki no Setsuna details the journey of an escorted 18-year old girl, who possesses great magic powers, to the ends of the Earth where she sacrifices herself to appease the monsters that are rampaging on her island.
The sacrificial ritual, known as Setsuna, is supposed to be held once every decade. However, due to the increasing number of victims that have fallen prey to the monsters, the populace decides that another sacrifice in less than ten years after the last one is needed for peace and tranquility to be regained.
Nostalgia will play a big part in the sales the game makes. The same sales will also be a big factor for the future titles to be released under Ikenie To Yuki no Setsuna.
"It's important to create new IPs, but creating big IPs is difficult... Having been looking at the game industry up until now, it's quite common to see [a video game series] take the form of a trilogy. In that sense, we need to have at least three [titles] before knowing whether it will continue growing or not," said Yosuke Matsuda, Square Enix President.
Ikenie To Yuki no Setsuna (Project Setsuna) is due to be released in Japan in January 2016.