Video games certainly have their fair share of dynamic duos. From Mario and Luigi to Ratchet and Clank, Jak & Daxter to Diddy and Donkey there’s seldom a series alive that couldn’t benefit from a plucky, plus-one pairing. Sadly, it seems like many studios are rather reluctant to copy their creations and co-operate in an industry otherwise predicated upon the hoarding of talent, trade tips and secrets.
In the case of uber-successful Kickstarter efforts Kingdom Come and Star Citizen that notion of partnering up is just one more frontier to explore. Having already secured ample funding for 50 titles, both entries are now poised to arrive – in newly expanded form – at some point in 2015. Whenever it is they do, they’ll be doing so as unofficial partners.
Despite some rather obvious differences in subject matter, style and genre, both Warhorse Studios and Cloud Imperium Games have struck up a gentleman’s agreement, to share hints, tricks and perhaps even fully-fledged mechanics between the two titles. The association, made possible by both game’s use of the Crytek CryEngine, was instigated by Star Citizen‘s lead designer Chris Roberts – veteran developer of the Wing Commander series and apparent fan of Warhorse’s early work.
Posting on Star Citizen‘s official website Roberts discussed the impetus behind the move, stating:
“The characters and outfits I saw working in-engine in the [Kingdom Come] trailer impressed me so much that I contacted the team to talk about what was going on under the hood […] Star Citizen doesn’t need peasants and knights… but it does need a robust character creation system for the persistent universe […] and that technology is exactly what Warhorse is building for the CryEngine.”
Kingdom Come creative director Dan Vavra later echoed Roberts’ compliments with a statement on the game’s Kickstarter page. Hailing Star Citizen‘s success story as the model by which Kingdom Come was also produced, the designer went on to comment:
“You learn from the best. So you can imagine how happy we were when Chris Roberts appeared on the list of our backers, and you can’t even imagine how it felt when we received an email from Chris himself. He was telling us that he likes our stuff and since his team is using CryEngine as well, they would like to cooperate with us and share some technology! Who would have thought about this 23 years ago when playing Wing Commander?”
In other Kingdom Come: Deliverance news the medieval RPG has now been approved for release on both the Xbox One and PS4 formats. While Warhorse Games remains confident it can self-publish digital copies of the game, the company is still unsure how to proceed with an eventual retail production.
It’s interesting to note that if this kind of inter-studio cooperation takes off, then indie-level developers may be able to produce significantly bolder titles, as other designers essentially provide a portion of the work, in return for a slice of the original studio’s code. Might we see the likes of DayZ trading mechanics with RUST, or a racing title lending code to a less-well equipped sandbox effort? We can certainly dream.
Should more studios be adopting unofficial partnerships? Would widespread co-operation create standardized or superior titles? Which game has the better chance of achieving mainstream success? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to keep up with all of the latest gaming news, right here on Game Rant.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is slated for release in Q4 of 2015. The game is being developed for PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms, with the latter two systems likely to receive a later release date.
Star Citizen is also aiming for a 2015 release, and is currently PC-exclusive.
Follow Sam on Twitter @GamingGoo.