Game Ranter Banter: 38 Layoffs, Gears of War Judgement, and E3 2012
Most of the Game Rant writers agree - that Dishonored trailer looks awesome, and we're looking forward to (hopefully) playing the game at E3 next week. But we know what you're really looking forward to - the Game Ranter Banter. Oh, and all those game announcements, I guess.
This week, five of our writers discuss the 38 Studios layoffs, the newly announced Gears of War: Judgment, Dead Space 3 coop, Ubisoft's E3 press conference and why one writer can't wait for next generation.
Curt Schilling’s Day of Reckoning (By Brian Sipple)
Curt Schilling is no stranger to adversity. On a blustery Bronx night in October of 2004, he pitched seven innings against the New York Yankees on a badly injured, bleeding right ankle to carry his Boston Red Sox to a must-win victory in Game 6 of the ALCS. They’d go on to win the World Series that year — and one of Schilling’s “bloody socks” (he’d open up the wound again pitching in the World Series) now rests in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
It’s sad, then, that his 38 Studios doesn’t seem bound for the same glory. Unlike the frailties of the human body, the developer’s downfall could have been avoided — but 38 became way too ambitious way too fast. Instead of testing the waters as a new developer, Schilling forged a $75 million dollar loan on the mirage of instant success. He put all his eggs in one basket, named it Kingdoms of Amalur, and hoped that it would sell 3 million copies in the face of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim just so the company could break even and not have to lay off their entire staff in lieu of bankruptcy. Only then could the MMO Project Copernicus be funded — likely with another loan.
Could it have worked? Maybe. But I’m pretty sure I’ve seen smarter business plans orchestrated on The Celebrity Apprentice. And while I’d bet Schilling feels terrible about it, his recklessness can’t be understated: This time, the consequences go beyond winners of and losers of a game. This time, he’s not the only one bleeding.
Have No Fears, Because Here's More Gears (By Riley Little)
Gears of War: Judgment is out of the bag, thanks to Game Informer featuring the title on the cover of their July issue, and now we just have to sit and wait for the first trailer. Damon Baird and Augustus Cole will be making a return in what many speculate is a prequel to the original Gears of War, and we'll finally get to see what the two were doing prior to the events in the main trilogy.
Cole and Baird are two of the most entertaining characters from the series, so it's fitting that they'll be getting their own game. Since Marcus and Dom didn't know the duo prior to Gears 1, it's possible the game may not include them, at least not together. Still, with the aid of Bulletstorm's People Can Fly, I'm anxious to see more on the E3's show floor next week.
It's a Household Name, Regardless of Pronunciation (By Andrew Dyce)
Going into yet another E3, I can't help but feel most excited for the Ubisoft press conference, which surprises me for more than a few reasons. Once thought of as a French/Canadian company that produced largely military titles and platformers, there's no question that they've now come into their own.
With Far Cry 3 set to impress based largely on open-ended gameplay and compelling characters, and Assassin's Creed 3 bringing new levels of maturity and national politics to the games medium, Ubisoft might just be the most grown up developer in LA this week. And with Rayman: Legends and a possible Splinter Cell 6 showing as well, a nice dose of nostalgia is also on the way. If Beyond Good & Evil 2 and what might be a new Prince of Persia are also announced, the studio could, and should, win E3 2012.
Even if they don't the next few years look very good for a studio that continues to raise the bar.
I usually have no problem with developers trying to make their games more "accessible," even with franchises I love. But I have my breaking point, and the Dead Space 3 coop rumors are doing nothing but make me worried.
Not every game needs a coop element. Developers seem to think every game needs to have multiplayer and coop these days, leaving us gamers with the same wave-based survival mode and 5v5 multiplayer. From the leaked Dead Space 3 screenshots, it looks like Visceral's next game is going to have a coop campaign. Great, I've already played a bunch of coop campaigns, I don't need to do it again in Dead Space.
Demon's Souls took the familiar coop mode and put a twist on it, creating one of the most innovative multiplayer experiences this generation. Dead Space 2 added an unbalanced 5v5 multiplayer mode. Dead Space 3 is probably going to add a generic coop campaign. If you want to add coop, do something different. Sure, the coop may surprise us - and I'm hoping it does - but there isn't much of a precedent so support that.
That's all for this week's Game Ranter Banter.
As always, let us know what you think of this week's news in the comments, or on Twitter @GameRant and Facebook.com/GameRant and if you have specific topics you'd like any of the team to cover, don't hesitate to ask!