It’s time to play catch-up on a few key games that are releasing this year and next, and share a few details you may have missed. LucasArts is no more, but the source code for two of the greatest Star Wars games lives on in the community. The nextÂ Killzone is further along than we first thought;Â Minecraft hit another two milestones;Â Battlefield 4 is going pro and there’s hope for theÂ Darksiders franchise to return. Suda51 has a new and unique game coming next year andÂ The Elder Scrolls Online is baking on the franchise reputation to compete in the crowded fantasy MMO market.
Read on for the details.
Killzone: Shadow Fall
Possibly the bestÂ looking game we saw at Sony’s PlayStation 4 unveiling in New York on February 20th was that ofÂ Killzone: Shadow Fall. Viewers at home streaming online didn’t get a fair look at the graphical fidelity in high framerate, but it looked great. Trust us. What we didn’t expect afterwards was to find out that its main campaign is already complete! SaysÂ game director Steven ter Heide a few weeks ago:
“Quiet Saturday morning in the office. Starting my [Killzone: Shadow Fall] campaign playthrough…Has been for a couple of months. Had [a] couple [of] playtests already. Getting better every time.”
Now they must be working on polishing and the multiplayer features. Will it feature co-op likeÂ Killzone 3?
Source: Push Square
Minecraft Still Selling Strong
The most basic in appearance, but most creative indie game ever is still earning big buck$. At the end of March 4J Studios, developer of the Xbox 360 version ofÂ Minecraft announced that their version had sold over 6 million units. The bigger, better PC version however, just crossed the 10 million mark last week. It sold 10,000 more in the last 24 hours. When they add mountable horses to the game – and they will – expect millions more to be sold! That will happen regardless.
Source: Minecraft Stats
Battlefield 4 eSports
Call of Duty is one of the most popular games in pro gaming, celebrating its $1 million championship tournament forÂ Black Ops 2Â this week (congrats to Fariko Impact for the win!). That’s not the case forÂ Battelfield 3 however and developer DICE wants to change that for its successor. Says DICEÂ general manager Karl-Magnus Troedsson:
“â€¦yes, we’re very interested in this area, and weâ€™re definitely going to see what we can do there. I canâ€™t talk about the specifics because weâ€™re not announcing them, but I can say that e-sports is an area that we are very interested in.”
For PC gamers, the ones playing the legit version ofÂ Battlefield 3 currently, AMD is promising to bundle their upcoming graphics cards withÂ BF4. SaysÂ Roy Taylor, corporate vice president of global channel sales for AMD:
“[Partnership between AMD and EA DICE on theÂ Battlefield 4] was presented at the Game Developer Conference, and the AMD Gaming Evolved logo already appeared online in the context of the game. You can expect thatÂ Battlefield 4Â will be part of [future] Never Settle bundles.”
We’re all still saddened by the news that Disney is closing LucasArts and canceling all of their in-development games and so are developers at Raven Software – who worked on theÂ Jedi Knight games a decade ago – and so they’ve released the source codes for theirÂ Star Wars titles for the community.
â€œRaven is sad to hear about the closing of LucasArts today, we respected them and enjoyed working with them over the years,â€ said the studio, in a statement sent to Kotaku Australia. â€œWe wish the best for all the talented people who were let go and hope they find good work in studios in the industry.
â€œWe loved and appreciated the experience of getting to make Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy for LucasArts. As a gift to the persistently loyal fanbase for our Jedi games and in memory of LucasArts, we are releasing the source code for both games for people to enjoy and play with.
There is no official support for the source code and, according to Raven, itâ€™ll most likely take some work to get it running with retail assets, but thatâ€™s for the modders to figure out!”
Modders and programmers can downloadÂ Â Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast source codeÂ hereÂ and the Jedi Academy source codeÂ here.
Darksiders Will Return!
CrytekÂ CEO David Adams tweeted over a week ago that he was going to bid on one of the key remaining THQ assets after the company’s bankruptcy, and fans ofÂ Darksiders hoping a third game in the series may just get it.
Going to bid on Darksiders IP. Put 7 years of heart and soul into that franchise, and I think it belongs at home with its creators.— David Adams (@DadamsDavid) March 27, 2013
The Elder Scrolls Online
Have you signed up for the beta of the first multiplayerÂ Elder Scrolls game? If you haven’t, you should. Beta invites have already started to go out in waves. While we still await word on whether or notÂ TESO will feature an oldschool paid subscription model or free-to-play one supported with microtransactions and premium services, the bigger question is how the title will compete with such a large amount of competitors. SaysÂ game director Matt Firor:
“It is a crowded space, but this is Elder Scrolls. One of things of having a huge IP like Elder Scrolls is it cuts through the noise. It’s safe to say – looking at the lines for people to play – that everyone knows about it. That is the first step to getting a lot of people into the game. Part of the crowded landscape is it’s hard to get your message out there. When you say ‘Elder Scrolls’, we don’t have a problem getting the message out, which helps us immensely.”
“Elder Scrolls is definitely a quality target, but everything it brings with it intrinsically is almost perfectly suited for an MMO. Giant open world, lots of cool classes, lots of history and depth, the cool combat system that you just experienced. That came from Elder Scrolls. That by far outweighs the expectations of the crowd who hear Elder Scrolls and want to come in. We want to make it meet their expectations.”
Source:Â GamesIndustry International
Suda51′s Next Game
Goichi Suda’s next game byÂ Grasshopper Manufacture releasing in 2014 and it’ll feature new, unique online features.
“This is going to be an action game obviously but the gameplay style is going to differ very much â€“ itâ€™ll be unique. This is a title that GungHo Japan and Grasshopper Manufacture is working on together collaboratively so there will be an online feature, because thatâ€™s their forte and what they specialise in. On the simplest level it will be social, but the word social is used and misinterpreted a lot these days. GungHo has over ten years of experience in providing online gaming services so that is their strength.”
Will be available on current or next-gen platforms?
“Weâ€™re considering both. Naturally we are interested in developing games for the next-gen platforms. We are investigating the specs and all that right now.”
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyesÂ for more video game news!