Mirror’s Edge, a fun first person action platformer, has been in need of a sequel since the moment the credits began to roll. However, due to poor sales following the game’s release, the notion of a sequel was quickly cast aside… Or so we thought. Released on both Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in November, 2008, it was thought of positively by the vast majority of its players; and there has been some outcry about whether or not a sequel will come to pass.
The fact is that we don’t know whether or not Mirror’s Edge 2 really does exist, but let’s just look at the rumor trail that has been set out before us. This journey begins in October 2008, the month before the game even released. According to Shack News, senior producer Owen O’Brien revealed that Mirror’s Edge was actually the first part in a planned trilogy, stating, “For these first couple of games, it’s all about Faith. It’s all about her experience in the world.”
At E3 in June 2009 the idea of Mirror’s Edge having a sequel sprung back into the headlines when Patrick Soderland spoke to Videogamer.com. At this point, the game was lauded by fans due to the innovative parkour-like first-person action. However, the game took a hard hit with critics for a poor storyline and short length. Soderland acknowledged that the game was a bold, innovative, and inspiring move just before stating, “You will see another Mirror’s Edge… It’s just a matter of when that time is and what we do with it. We have a small team on it and I’m excited about what we do.” However, in January of 2010, executive producer Karl-Magnus stated “I can’t really comment on that [Mirror’s Edge 2] because we haven’t officially announced that we’re working on it. But we are very happy about Mirror’s Edge one…we are thinking about what we are going to do in the future.”
In February of 2011, development of a possible Mirror’s Edge 2 was brought to a stop. A team from DICE had shown a prototype to EA, but the prototype was declined and the team was then moved to work on something else. Even so, Patrick Soderland went on to say, “What I can say is, we haven’t buried it. We’re absolutely continuing to support Mirror’s Edge as an IP. When we’re ready to talk about it, we’ll talk about it.” Later that year at E3, according to a Game Trailers interview, Frank Gibeau hinted at the idea of a Mirror’s Edge 2, stating “…We’re actively looking at how to bring it back in the right way. We love that franchise.”
Now in 2013, the rumors surrounding the almost mystical Mirror’s Edge 2 have begun to spring back to life yet again. This time it wasn’t following any press conferences, but rather an Amazon Germany listing for the game in which it was posted for both Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Then, one week later, EA posted a page in the EA help center for the currently unannounced game. When you start to see mistakes like this (especially Amazon, which has done the same thing for several games including Call of Duty Black Ops 2) it likely means only one thing. E3 is next week and I’m hypothesizing that fans might be getting closer to the actual possibility of Mirror’s Edge 2 and an official announcement this year; especially with EA registering the domain name for Mirror’s Edge 2 recently.
I’m personally excited for a Mirror’s Edge 2. With the first game DICE was able to create a wonderful fantasy world where you felt like you were completely engrossed in a futuristic city where there were two factions; the blues and the runners. There was little focus on combat and a lot of focus on traversing semi-open areas where the slightest misstep could mean your demise. The biggest problem with the original Mirror’s Edge was its short length, however that could be completely fixed with a next generation sequel.
If the game is really going to be announced at E3, then it will surely be on the next generation consoles, and possibly even may be coming out in the launch window. If that is the case then it may be the perfect way to make sure Mirror’s Edge 2 does better in sales than its predecessor. Let’s face it, there are normally very few, if any, good software choices with the release of any new consoles in past cycles. Also, software is normally slow to roll out in the first few months after console releases. Yes, fans on the first one will without a doubt buy the sequel, but seeing as sales weren’t on the high end there are a lot of console owners who haven’t had the chance to experience the Mirror’s Edge universe. So, if Mirror’s Edge 2 is able to slip in to the void where there is little competition, it will have a lot better chance to get into the hands of new players and bolster a better sales period.
However, if the second half of the current rumors is true then the benefits of being launched for new consoles will be completely dwarfed. If you haven’t heard yet, perhaps the biggest, and most worrying rumor circling Mirror’s Edge 2 right now is that it may be one of those new Xbox One exclusives that Microsoft was raving about at their press conference a couple of weeks ago. This would be a tragedy for the revival of the Mirror’s Edge IP. Not only would that potentially cut the sales in half by keeping it from an entire console, it would cut down the amount of people who get to join in the Mirror’s Edge universe. We have seen games go from being exclusive on one console with the sequel becoming available cross platform, but this may be the first time where a game will potentially go in the reverse direction. Nonetheless, Mirror’s Edge 2 has shown up on the rumored Xbox One E3 list of games to show, and possibly demo.
At the Microsoft press conference we saw that EA and Microsoft are working pretty closely for content on the Xbox One, seeing as EA got a fairly good portion of stage time. We can hypothesize that Microsoft asked for EA to finish development on Mirror’s Edge 2, and maybe put some money into the pot so that it could be finished as an Xbox One exclusive. Maybe EA felt that since they were working together that they could pass them an IP they were not really doing anything with. For whatever reason it may be happening, making Mirror’s Edge 2 an Xbox exclusive would be a complete disservice to the IP. I mean this seems like a sure fire way of making sure that we never see the third installment.
While the idea that Mirror’s Edge 2 will only be available on one console may completely destroy any chance for real success of the IP, it could be a way to counter the attacks Microsoft have been under since their press conference. If Microsoft can obtain a fan favorite such as the Mirror’s Edge as one of their exclusives, then that could give the Xbox community a lot to be excited about. If they can seal the deal with something like this, then what future exclusives could Microsoft potentially obtain?
However, despite being a fan favorite and a title that DICE has really wanted to keep alive and continue working with, the Mirror’s Edge IP has failed to get a lot of traction. Yes, the fans of Mirror’s Edge see the game as a wonderful title needing a sequel, but I don’t think that means the Mirror’s Edge IP is really strong enough to determine a console sale. How many of those fans that were chanting for a sequel were PS3 owners, and would they really switch to a whole different console for that IP? That’s especially true given the issues people are discussing about the Xbox One and the relatively poor reception Microsoft is getting from the general public.
Once again this is all speculation based on things around the net, but I have a strong feeling that Mirror’s Edge 2 will be announced this E3. It’s a wonderful to hear about the resurrection of a franchise that I would love to see grow and have success, but if EA has made a deal with Microsoft to make Mirror’s Edge 2 a console exclusive then that will surely cause the Mirror’s Edge franchise to suffer another round of poor sales and destroy all hopes of having the franchise continue. Also, let’s just face it: if it does poorly and there isn’t another Mirror’s Edge then all those people that picked up an Xbox One in hopes of continuing the Mirror’s Edge universe will be mad. Making Mirror’s Edge 2 a console exclusive on either system would be a way for EA to shoot itself in the foot, but making it a console exclusive on a console that isn’t exactly in the best light with the public right now is just making a poor business choice. I hope that EA hasn’t done anything brash, but there is no way to know until next week at E3. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed!
Images courtesy of gamefaqs.com