Criterion’s “Beyond Cars” Project Cancelled

Last year at E3, Criterion Games showed off a new IP in the early creative stages. Promising to move “beyond cars” with this title, footage was shown of a variety of vehicles from snowmobiles to helicopters. Just last month I predicted that EA would give this project a full reveal during their E3 press conference. After a no show at E3, we learned today that … Continue reading Criterion’s “Beyond Cars” Project Cancelled

EA Publishing Unravel Sequel?

Last year at their E3 press conference, EA surprised the industry by announcing a partnership with Coldwater Interactive to publish a smaller title that would typically be an indie venture. That game was Unravel, the tale of a small figure named Yarny made of – you guessed it – yarn.

At least in part due to the sheer unexpectedness of its announcement, Unravel immediately captured the adoration of many in the gaming press. Its beautiful art style and musical score were apparent in the initial trailer and many believed EA had a sleeper hit on their hands. Well, it turns out Unravel did pretty well. At least we can infer some level of success based on yesterday’s news…

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EA and Star Wars: What Comes Next?

Tomorrow marks three years since Disney and EA announced their multi-year partnership, allowing EA to exclusively produce Star Wars games. Since the announcement, EA has released Star Wars Battlefront for PS4/XB1/PC and Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes for Mobile and they have continued to support Star Wars The Old Republic through expansions. Each of these come with their own set of caveats, though. Battlefront lacks a story driven single player component, Galaxy of Heroes is a free-to-play mobile title with microtransactions, and The Old Republic requires a subscription fee to access its new expansions.

I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t the kind of output fans were hoping for when the partnership was originally announced. Star Wars is the kind of endless universe that allows for an incredible amount of creativity in story telling. Developers could use creative license to expose a new conflict between the Jedi and the Sith, explore the life of an ordinary citizen thrust into an extraordinary situation, or even put us in the shoes of a bounty hunter looking to make a name for him or herself.

Luckily, the list of upcoming Star Wars projects at EA is only growing. Unluckily, the details surrounding these projects are scarce…

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GameTrust: Preparing for the Death of Physical Games

About three months ago, Insomniac Games revealed it’s newest game: Song of the Deep. A smaller, lower budget project than some of Insomniac’s other offerings, the most interesting thing about Song of the Deep wasn’t it’s beautiful aesthetic or it’s reveal trailer. What surprised people most about the titled was that it is to be published by GameStop. The retail chain.

Today, GameStop doubled down on this initiative by announcing GameTrust, a division of the company focused on publishing 5-10 independent games in the next year. In addition to Insomniac, GameTrust has announced it will fund upcoming projects from Ready at Dawn, Tequila Works, and Frozenbyte. As it is currently outlined, GameTrust’s strategy will be focused on the funding and distribution of these games rather than on the creative side of the development process. What does it mean, then, when a games retail giant like GameStop is looking towards the other side of the industry for growth?

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