It’s not really that alarming. Actually it’s not alarming at all. It’s just a bunch of pre-E3 news, and an opportunity to use the word “confluence.”
Bioshock 3 Probably Gets New Developer
1UP reports that Bioshock 3, which hasn’t been announced but which is totally coming, is probably going to be handed off to yet another developer, given that Irrational Games’ red-headed stepchild 2K Marin is switching gears to support Irrational Games’ other red-headed stepchild 2K Australia in development of XCOM. Who will the new developer be? That’s anybody’s guess, though given the fact that Bioshock 2 had something like 251,006,060 developers working on it concurrently (now there are three of us who used that word correctly, though I toyed with saying “confluently” as a neat tie-in for the title), it’s not impossible that one of those studios will get lead privileges. Arx Fatalis and Dark Messiah of Might & Magic developer Arkane, perhaps? I’ve always felt the French studio has potential it has not yet quite lived up to, and a big blockbuster like this would be a great opportunity for them. Right now nobody knows.
Steerpike is not Wise or Prescient
Actually Steerpike is a dumbass, since he predicted that we’d see Half Life 2: Episode Three late 2008 and Half Life 3 in 2011-ish. Well, it’s 2010 with no sign of Episode Three, and some doubt as to whether there’ll be one at all or whether Valve will just go straight to the third installment. The Big Surprise the company will be unveiling at E3 is not Episode Three, unless Valve is pulling a fast one on us; the new wisdom suggests that it will be the announcement of Source 2, a long-overdue update to the company’s proprietary Source Engine. So the only reason Steerpike is wise and prescient is because I said that the Source Engine was outdated and would be retired at some point.
I’d Rather Have Episode Three
In other Valve news, it transpires that Portal 2 has been delayed until 2011. For some strange reason I’m a lot less excited about Portal 2 than I ought to be; I have a feeling that, like Left 4 Dead, the magic will be gone with this installment. The original Portal was such an important game, so unique and so crucial, while the sequel – as good as I’m sure it will be, for all of Valve’s work is good – just seems like… a game. Valve is now in charge of several major IPs – Half Life, Team Fortress, Counterstrike, Left 4 Dead, and Portal – which is a lot to juggle for a developer that, despite its riches, is fairly modest in size. I don’t think they want to grow to Blizzard proportions, so the fact is we will just have to resign ourselves to long waits if we’re excited about specific franchise updates and the studio is working on other ones.
So it will be Broken but Really Well-Written
Finally, and oddly, news emerges that Obsidian Entertainment, makers of Alpha Protocol, KOTOR 2, and some other stuff, will be making Dungeon Siege 3, with “input” from original creator Gas Powered Games. This is presumably the big secret new project that Obsidian was working on, though I’d been led to believe it was an entirely new IP. Obsidian’s not big enough – I don’t think – to be juggling three major RPG development projects at one time, and with Fallout: New Vegas and now Dungeon Siege 3 in the oven I can’t imagine there’s a third, as yet unknown iron in the fire.
Yes, folks, it’s E3 season all right, with news coming fast and furious. The big party in LA hasn’t even started yet, but as everyone tries to get the jump on everyone else, announcements are coming earlier and earlier. Lord knows what we’ll hear once E3 actually starts. The Playstation 8? The Nintendo Poo? Only time will tell!
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