A new Tales game was announced earlier this morning on a Niconico stream. Basically, it was announced that the game would be called Tales of Zestiria (named for the word “passion” moreso than zesty fruit) and would be released on the Playstation 3. The main hero’s names are Slei/Slay and Alicia (spelling of these names are not yet official), and the story is set in Greenwood, which is a new area for the series. The Highland Kingdom and Lawrence Empire fight for control over Greenwood, which is one big field, much like Xillia. We also found out that there will be dragons involved and they’re probably going to be central to the plot, considering that Hideo Baba (the producer of the series) said only time will tell whether they’re friend or foe. The battle system is going to be a variant of the style the series is known for, and they stated that the system will likely be paced much like Graces has been. The animation is done by ufotable, who are also responsible for the Tales of Symphonia animation and the Xillia games.)
The game will be released worldwide, though there’s no official release date. Another trailer will be shown at Jump Festa 2014 from December 21-22.
Additionally, Hideo Baba had this to say on the Playstation blog. The relveant parts of the post are quoted below:
Hello again, everyone. My name is Hideo Baba from Namco Bandai Studios Inc., and I’m the producer for the Tales series. As some of you know from previous posts, I like to step in from time to time and deliver great news to our fans on PlayStation.Blog. Today is one of those special days!
I’m very proud to announce that Tales of Zestiria, the newest installment and 20th Japanese anniversary commemorative title for the Tales franchise, will be launched in North America for PS3. This is a huge moment for Namco Bandai Games, and the Tales team in particular, as it’s the first time we’ve simultaneously announced the game for both Japan and the west.
There’s not much else to say about Tales of Zestiria right now, so please stay tuned for more information in the future. [...]
The Tales team has been working hard to strengthen our relationship with overseas fans over the past few years, and we’ve seen the fruits of our labor with the success of Tales of Xillia — which has sold over a million copies worldwide. The Tales team would like to thank all of the Tales fans around the world for their continued support, and extend a warm welcome to new fans to the series as well.
So what does this mean?
First, it means that we are in fact getting a new Tales game, and that alone is something worth getting excited for if you’re a Tales fan. This is a completely new game, not a rerelease or a sequel, which is an added bonus, though there aren’t many people scoffing at Tales of Symphonia Chronicles or Tales of Xillia 2, both due out next year.
It’s also worth noting that they are in fact releasing it for NA and EU as well as Japan, and that they’re announcing this right off the bat. This doesn’t mean, however, that we’ll have a simultaneous release, which is something to be mindful of going forward. Historically, EU and NA have typically gotten the Tales games about a year or more after Japan has; on the other hand, “worldwide” release and the statement, “To respond to their love and support I am honored to open a new chapter of the Tales of series together with Japanese and overseas fans,” quoted here with emphasis added, which could imply same-day release, but doesn’t necessarily do so. Hopefully, release information will be announced soon.
I’ve also seen complaints about the game getting released on PS3 instead of PS4, but it’s not uncommon for games to continue to get released on the previous cycle’s console after the current cycle begins. Notably, Persona 4 was released on the PS2 in 2008, and the PS3 launched two years before that, though this is hardly the only game that fit that pattern. More recent examples are Lightning Returns, Dark Souls II, and Persona 5, which are all slated for a PS3 release next year.
Regardless, this is certainly a time for excitement for many Tales fans and hopefully more information will be released soon.