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Predictions 2024: Another Banner Year for Videogames With More Exciting Releases

From the likely unveiling of the next Nintendo Switch, eagerly awaited titles like Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and Dragon's Dogma 2, 2024 holds much promise.



Happy New Year to JAPAN Forward readers. We are pleased to bring you "Predictions 2024," a special New Year's series sharing the foresight and expectations of selected contributors for the coming year in their fields of specialty, continuing with Daniel Robson, Chief Editor of IGN Japan.

Next in the Series

After the incredible run of top-quality games released in 2023, it's almost hard to imagine how 2024 can compete. But I have a feeling this will shape up to be another banner year for videogames — especially from Japan.

It won't all be rosy. The run of layoffs that plagued the game industry in 2023 — with some 9,000 staff let go throughout the year — seems likely to continue, at least for the immediate future. But from a consumer standpoint, there's plenty to be excited about.

Daniel Robson at IGN's head office in Los Angeles. (©Daniel Robson)

​​Nintendo's Next Move

After years of speculation, all evidence points to 2024 as the year when Nintendo finally announces the successor to its immensely successful console, Nintendo Switch. Since it launched in 2017, Switch has sold some 132.46 million units worldwide, making it the third-highest-selling console of all time.

Even in its seventh year, games still sell like crazy on Switch. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, its best-selling game, is in the hands of some 57 million players. But these days, the hardware struggles to keep up with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, and gamers are ready for a refresh.

Reports have suggested for some time that Nintendo is hard at work preparing its next console, and of course it is. There have been rumors that development units were secretly shown to development partners during Gamescom in August 2023. Nintendo also admitted that Switch sales have begun to slow down. Therefore, an announcement this year seems inevitable, and a launch in time for the 2024 holiday season feels like a pretty safe bet.

New Switch Games

With or without a new console, Nintendo has already announced a great lineup of games for the Switch this year. Princess Peach: Showtime is a long-overdue solo outing for Mario's eternal flame. In the last Princess Peach game, 2005's Super Princess Peach, Peach's special abilities included being able to cry — you know, because she's a girl. This time, the gameplay trailer shows her thrusting a rapier, learning kung fu, and becoming a detective, for what looks like a fun and colorful adventure.

That comes alongside Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Luigi's Mansion 2 HD, and, who knows, maybe even Metroid Prime 4, which was announced seven years ago. Not to mention the Donkey King Country expansion set to open in spring at Universal Studios Japan's Super Nintendo World area, which will surely drive new interest in Nintendo's simian mascot. Could that mean a new Donkey Kong game will be announced too? Time will tell.


Japanese RPG Renaissance

While PlayStation has not announced a single first-party title for 2024, PS5 will certainly benefit from the console-exclusive release of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. The sequel to 2020's FFVII Remake, the game will reimagine the word beyond Midgar from Square Enix's 1997 classic. Just like the first part of the remake series, the story will likely be expanded with new plot and characters, and it will surely follow 2023's FFXVI in terms of gorgeous visual design and epic battles.

Indeed, 2024 seems like it will be a strong year for Japanese RPGs. FFVII Rebirth is being joined by Metaphor: ReFantazio, the new game from Persona series developer Atlus, as well as tactical RPG Unicorn Overlord from a different development team within Atlus. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, meanwhile, is a hotly anticipated new game from Yoshitaka Murayama, creator of Konami's Suikoden series, due out in March. Konami itself is working on a heavily enhanced remaster collection of the first two Suikoden games, whose release date is TBA but could well be in 2024. And could this year also bring Visions of Mana, the recently announced sequel to Square Enix's long-dormant Mana series? RPG fans are hoping the answer is yes.

Dragon's Dogma Returns

Also in March, Capcom will release Dragon's Dogma 2. Coming 13 years after the first game in the series, the long-awaited sequel promises an immersive open world filled with danger and adventure. For the past few years, Capcom has been on a killer hot streak, creating critical and commercial hits. And with the global demand for open-world action-RPG games like Elden Ring, the timing seems right for Dragon's Dogma to return.

The day after Dragon's Dogma 2's March 21 release, Koei Tecmo's Team Ninja studio will release Rise of the Ronin, a PS5-exclusive samurai action game set in war-torn 19th-century Japan. The studio behind Ninja Gaiden and Nioh, Team Ninja are masters at crafting games with deep and satisfying combat. The 2020 success of Sony's US-developed Ghost of Tsushima has shown that players are up for crossing swords with samurai in feudal Japan, so Rise of the Ronin will surely have an eager audience waiting for it.

New Releases in Sega's Classic Franchises

Two other Japanese publishers look set to have a strong year in 2024.

Sega will kick off the year with the January 26 release of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth — the latest mainline entry in the series previously known as Yakuza. Infinite Wealth is a direct sequel to 2020's Yakuza 7 and also follows the story of Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, a spinoff game that was released in November 2023. The interaction between returning protagonist Kazuma Kiryu and Yakuza 7's newcomer Ichiban Kasuga should be fun to experience.

Sega also announced at the Game Awards in December 2023 that it is making new games in several of its classic franchises such as Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, and Streets of Rage. Details are sparse, but we will surely find out more this year. And if we're lucky, maybe we'll even get to play some of them. I grew up as a Sega kid, besotted with the Mega Drive console, so the return of Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, and Shinobi is too exciting for words.

Konami's Resurgence

And then there's Konami. Through high-profile breakups with developers such as Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima and a growing focus on its gym pachinko businesses, Konami alienated gamers and left many of its key franchises dormant. But over the past few years, the company has made some promising moves, and now it is preparing AAA-scale remakes of two of its biggest games: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Silent Hill 2. 


Neither of these games has set a release date yet, but Konami released a collection of MGS games in 2023. It also released a Silent Hill spinoff interactive drama series. This suggests it may be ramping up for more soon. 

In fact, the remake of Silent Hill 2 is one of several games Konami has announced. Smaller Silent Hill projects such as Silent Hill f and Silent Hill: The Short Message are also being produced in conjunction with independent game studios around the world. From Polish psychological horror specialists Bloober Team to US indie darlings Annapurna Interactive, Konami has made some astute partnerships, so the signs look pretty good.

Global Gaming Landscape

Obviously, there will be a ton of great games from places other than Japan in 2024. As a Star Wars nerd, I'm personally psyched for Ubisoft's Star Wars Outlaws, which will let players live the life of a space-faring scoundrel like Han Solo. And now that Microsoft has finally completed its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, I'm excited to see what it does with the mega-popular Call of Duty franchise. I also think we may see Xbox begin detailing its plans for the mobile game market, possibly including its own Xbox mobile game storefront. Now that Microsoft owns Candy Crush publisher King as part of the Activision acquisition, this could lead to a huge shakeup in the global mobile games market.

Daniel at the India Game Developer Conference 2023 (©Daniel Robson)

The rise of China's gaming giants will continue this year too, with the release of the hotly anticipated action game Black Myth: Wukong and Genshin Impact publisher HoYoverse's new game Zenless Zone Zero among many others.

Oh, and since NFTs and metaverse projects completely disappeared from the mainstream gaming market in 2023, I do wonder what unwelcome buzzwords will dominate the year ahead. But hey, the whole year can't be perfect, right?

Whatever happens, I'll keep bringing you monthly updates in my column for JAPAN Forward. I'm excited to see what 2024 brings — and I hope it's a year of fun and adventure for you, too!


Author: Daniel Robson

Daniel Robson is the chief editor of videogame news site IGN Japan. Read his series Gamer's World on JAPAN Forward, and find him on X (formerly Twitter).

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