This morning, Bandai Namco announced a new IP called Blue Protocol, an action role-playing for PC set in an online world. Being developed by a joint team of Bandai Namco Online and Bandai Namco Studios, it's looking like a pretty big endeavor.
The announcement (via Gematsu) says the world will have overwhelming graphics "along the lines of anime movies," and will have multiplayer action that takes advantage of being online. Given that and the lead image, it appears partying and teaming up against larger threats will be important. If this can somehow combine the social co-op of games like Destiny with an anime aesthetic, I'm already fairly interested.
Most notably, Blue Protocol uses Unreal Engine 4. This is the same engine switch the Tales series made for its upcoming Tales of Arise, which was announced at E3 2019. As series producer Yusuke Tomizawa told me in an interview at E3, UE4 was introduced as the base system and then their own shaders were applied on top to retain a Tales look while updating the aesthetic, to give it more global appeal.
"I think one of the core new features that can appeal to Western users is the graphics," says Tomizawa. And it looks like Blue Protocol is utilizing a similar approach. You can see similar shading and style choices between Tales of Arise and the announcement image for Blue Protocol, so anything's possible.
Could this be a bid for more Western audience share, especially aiming for online PC players? We don't have a release window or any other information yet, so time will tell.