5 IP Primed for a Breakout in 2018
The last 12 months have been enormous for two Japanese IP, as they finally achieved the mainstream Western acclaim and success. The one-two release punch of Zero and Kiwami has elevated the Yakuza franchise into the spotlight while the Monster Hunter franchise entered the stratosphere this January thanks to the incredible reception toward Monster Hunter World. The successes of these IP prompted a simple question in my head – which IP would be the next to achieve that mainstream acclaim and blockbusting sales – well these are the five IP I think are primed for their Western breakout.
Long has the Dragon Quest franchise lived in the shadow of the Final Fantasy franchise, but with a double shot of Dragon Quest in 2018 courtesy of the releases of Dragon Quest Builders 2 and the long-anticipated Dragon Quest XI, the West may finally be about to sit up and pay attention to the franchise. In Japan, a release of a core, numbered entry of the franchise prompts a national day off work, and while unfortunately the same won’t happen over here, Dragon Quest seems on the verge of finally getting the recognition in the West that it has long deserved.
Ni No Kuni
The first entry in the Ni No Kuni franchise was lost somewhat courtesy of a January release and a lot of hype leading up to the releases of Bioshock Infinite, Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us, but those who played it fell in love with it. The sequel still harnesses the beauty of a Studio Ghibli masterpiece and has a swell of support following every morsel of news that gets out. Ni No Kuni II arrives in March and with it comes a golden opportunity, on the extremely successful PS4 (and of course the PC too) to capture an enormous audience with a crowd longing for JRPGs with a twist.
Shadow of the Colossus
Already the recipient of universal acclaim, Shadow of the Colossus was one of those games that failed to snare the audience it so obviously deserved. While the odds of the game getting a sequel are slimmer than a snowball’s chance in hell, with a remake arriving on the PS4 this week, the game has a second chance to capture the hearts and minds of millions.
Who said all the games in this list had to be Japanese in origin? Darksiders has been on the periphery of the collective consciousness for some time but due to some ill fortune has struggled for the opportunity to capture an active audience. A third Darksiders game is on the horizon however and with it rides a fresh chance to grab some new fans. The earliest stages of marketing cycle have been positive with the first two acts in the franchise receiving current-gen remasters and an IGN First to help raise the game’s profile. Perhaps third time’s a charm for the Darksiders IP.
Closing out this list a new IP. BioMutant, a new IP from former Avalanche employees (developers of Just Cause) is an action-RPG, set in an open world, with a customisable character, a third person perspective and a lot of style. It ticks all of the boxes right? While every other game in this list has had previous opportunities to gather an audience, BioMutant is still a largely unknown commodity, but with the swell in popularity it has already garnered, it has the potential to be one of the breakout IP of 2018.
So those were the five IP I give the greatest chance of breaking the shackles and becoming massive successes in the West in 2018. Got some others that I didn’t consider? Please mention them in the comments below.