The two Schaefer brothers, Max and Erich (no, not Tim) were the co-founders of Blizzard North and…well we all know what happened to the Diablo franchise.
That being said after leaving Blizzard North and founding Flagship Studios to have more creative freedom, they worked on their new baby which would end up having a very short life. Hellgate: London was a poor commercial success and also had very mixed reviews. Flagship Studios shut down last year and Max and Erich went on to found Runic Games.
Now we finally have two screenshots to see what they are working on. The game is a hack ‘n’ slash (surprise) with a more cartoony art style which may not please everyone but I personally like it. The one thing you may notice is that the color tint looks very VERY similar to some Diablo III screens we have seen.
Torchlight obviously has potential but it bears a heavy legacy. A lot hangs in the balance for the Schaefer brothers to show that they still have the magic touch.
Street Fighter IV to America This ‘Winter’
Yoshi Ono, producer of the game, as told G4′s X-Play that while he couldn’t be sure the game would come out in 2008, it would definitely be out before the end of the 2009 winter. Meaning we potentially have until March 2009 to wait.
He added playfully that he wanted to get it out asap so that the Japanese don’t have too much time to train and kick our asses online. Anyone who’s been into a Japanese arcade knows what he means.
Runaway 3 Revealed
Focus and Pendulo Studios released the first screen of the game that will tie the trilogy together. The game will be called Runaway: A Twist of Fate and will feature a more mature and urban ambiance.
On the technical side the game will now have HD backgrounds, new animations and expressions and a revamped inventory system.
Runaway: A Twist of Fate is set to come out fourth quarter 2009.
Hellgate: London Shuts Down January 31
After Flagship Studios went down in July it was only a matter of time but it’s now official. Namco Bandai will continue to operate the game free of charge through January 31.
Big Xbox 360 Bundle for $349
Since the price cut for the various versions of the 360 helped boost sales so much, Microsoft has decided to launch a new hefty bundle at Sam’s Club (Walmart wholeseller).
The bundle releasing mid-November, will include an Xbox 360 Pro 60G, Guitar Hero III with the guitar, Lego Indiana Jones and Kung Fu Panda. A pretty nice deal!
For those who don’t shop at Sam’s Club you can get the same bundle sans Guitar Hero III for $299.
Game of the Moment (for me)
I don’t know if this will be an ongoing thing but I wanted to speak it this time.
I wasn’t overly excited at first since I much prefer the FPS kind where you fight humans but now that I’m seeing reviews and such I am getting very excited. This feels like a very claustrophobic game not unlike the great Sci-Fi movies like Alien or Sunshine. The sound design sounds plain superb with the muffled deafness of space. The integrated menu which keeps you immersed is genius.
Bottom line this looks like….the Game of the Moment!
Check out the GameSpot review here.
Former Flagship Members Head to Turbine
Back in July when Flagship Studios shut down and a lot of people had to leave ship and went to create new studio Runic Games.
Today Turbine announced that they will open a new branch called Turbine West and that former Flagship Studios members Dave Brevik and Jeff Lind will be joining the West branch.
Specific details about the projects they will work on have not been announced.
Starcraft II Is a….Trilogy?
When Rob Pardo said that StarCraft II was going to be a big game he wasn’t kidding. It’s so big in fact that the game will be released in three parts, each focusing on one faction of the game and each having close to 30 missions.
The first game will focus on the Humans and be called Wings of Liberty. The second will focus on the Zerg and be called Heart of the Swarm and finally the last one will focus on the Protoss and be named Legacy of the Void.
Now let’s hope they don’t price each at $60 because that would be pushing it… just a bit.
FIFA 09 Is Rocking Europe
We all know soccer is much more appreciated in Europe but can’t deny the quality of this new EA game. FIFA 09 sold more than 1.2 million copies in just a week.
With Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 coming out we can expect some good times for soccer fans this year.
Star Trek Online Trailer Released
Following the release of several screenshots two weeks ago, Cryptic Studios finally showed some movement in the game’s first trailer. The final frontier is getting closer and hopefully we will get to see some gameplay footage soon.
LEGO Donkey Kong
No Traveller’s Tales isn’t making a game based on the franchise but this is pretty cool nonetheless. so enjoy!
Flagship Studios Becomes Runic Games
A short while ago I mentioned that Flagship Studios was on the verge of closing down. Well they did and some of their former employees went on to form Runic Games. At the head will be Max Schaefer who was part of Blizzard North and founded Flagship Studios, helping him is Travis Baldree who is spearheading the Mythos project, which seems to hint that the game is not dead and buried.
What confuses me is why they would shut down one studio to create another to make the exact same thing! I must be missing a business or financial (read tax) incentive.
Medal of Honor Heading to Afghanistan
Electronic Arts has announced that the next MoH is going to take place in 2002 as the Anaconda mission is taking place. The mission involves tracking the Talibans in the mountains North of the country but as their helicopter crashes you are sent to save any potential survivors.
I suppose the success of Call of Duty helped with the decision process.
Namco Tries to Reassure About Hellgate: London
In the past weeks Flagship Studios has had its share of issues. Even though several employees have been laid off, the studio hasn’t called it quits just yet. While the beta servers for Mythos have been closed,and Hellgate: London is not accepting new subscriptions (all current subscribers play for free), Namco Bandai tried to be reassuring saying that servers were up and that if anything were to happen players would be warned in advance.
Warning which seems to be imminent.
Crytek Buys Black Sea Studios
The German studio announced today that it acquired Black Sea Studios officially becoming Crytek Black Sea. The terms were not disclosed but the Bulgarian studio based in Sofia is currently working on the promising Worldshift and we’ll keep doing so as planned.
DC to Do Mirror’s Edge Comic
Electronic Arts signed today with DC Comics in order to produce a six-issue comic that will focus on Faith, the protagonist of the eagerly awaited game. The project will feature Rhianna Pratchett (Heavenly Sword, Overlord) as the writer and Matthew Dow Smith (Supernatural: Origins) as the artist.
The first issue is to be revealed at Comic-Con.
Sam Fisher the Slug
Ubisoft announced today that Splinter Cell: Conviction, the oft-delayed game, was….well, delayed again. It is now set o come out during fiscal year 2009-2010 which runs from April to March.