Back at this year's E3 THQ announced that they would be releasing companion games on Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network to further promote their big brands. With this promotion Red Faction and Saints Row are going to be receiving smaller downloadable games three to four months before the release of the next entries in the franchises. Enter Red Faction: Battlegrounds.
With a recent domain name registration of redfactionbattlegrounds.com by THQ last week, and the confirmation by THQ Digital's Creative Director Don Whiteford earlier today at GDC Europe, we now know what to expect with the Red Faction companion game.
"Red Faction: Battlegrounds is a fast-paced multiplayer-focused vehicular combat game in which fast-attack vehicles, heavy tanks and combat walkers wreak havoc above ground and beneath the surface of Mars. Staying true to the Red Faction universe, players can demolish anything that stands in their way, from military compounds to enemy vehicles, using advance Martian artillery and explosives."
Developed by THQ Digital Studios UK and executive produced by Volition, Battlegrounds will pit four players locally or online in a variety of game modes, which include Survival, Annihilate and Flag Frenzy. The game will also unlock content in the upcoming Red Faction: Armageddon, which is the main entry in the series set for release next year.
“The pick-up-and-play multiplayer action of Red Faction: Battlegrounds adds a completely new perspective to the acclaimed Red Faction franchise," ... "Just as in other Red Faction games, you can pretty much blow up everything. Only this time, you do it with your friends using hulking mechs, armored tanks and combat walkers."
THQ's decision to further promote their brands by introducing companion games to their big name franchises seems to be a popular trend in the industry. Capcom has Case: Zero coming to Xbox Live before Dead Rising 2, and EA's Dead Space: Ignition is set to come out before Dead Space 2. THQ executive vice president of core games Danny Bilson told CVG his thoughts on what these companion games can do for THQ's big franchises:
"What's interesting is that we will sell it to the fans, it will have content you can download that is TV show-related, it will build up to the new game and also we can use it to drive pre-orders, too; we can give codes and aspects of it, we can give the whole thing away."
Obviously THQ views Red Faction: Battlegrounds as a marketing tool to get gamers more excited about the brand and Armageddon. Along with Battlegrounds, they are releasing a comic book and a television series on SyFy. Red Faction fans, what are your thoughts on this? Are you looking forward to these downloadable games? Or are you weary of how these are being viewed as tools to increase pre-orders and brand awareness?
Red Faction: Battlegrounds is set for release on Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network in 2011. Keep an eye on Game Rant for more details about the game when they become available.