When Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto V and Max Payne 3 hit store shelves, both presumably (and hopefully) later this year, the company will have developed their sixth and seventh full fledged titles for the current console generation (going all the way back to 2006's Table Tennis!). But no matter how wild the ride might have been, it's inevitable that they - along with every other developer - will be shifting their focus towards the crop of looming next generation consoles.
According to a vacancy listing on the company's website, that process might already be underway. An application from Rockstar North petitioning to "environment artists" appears to use an interesting choice of words when describing the job at hand. Here's what it says:
We'd like to hear from the industry's most talented environment artists.
You will be designing, building and texturing the world, have the technical knowledge to achieve great looking results and the skill to get the most from next-gen consoles.
Advanced skills in one or more of the standard industry 3D packages essential. Knowledge of 3DS Max an advantage.
Titillating stuff. Before we go anywhere with it though, it's important to understand that the term "next-gen" is tossed around profusely in development circles and can often be used to reference a new physics engine, a creative gameplay mechanic, or because somebody damn well feels like it. Battlefield 3 developer DICE, for example, touted their Frosbite 2.0 engine as "a next-generation engine for current-generation platforms” when hyping the game back in February of 2011.
Where the Rockstar posting stand out however, is in the phrasing of "next-gen consoles." This eliminates quite a few of those ambiguities and also rules out the possibility of a standalone Wii U project since the word "consoles" was taken in the plural. Either Rockstar is still calling the current generation of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii "next-gen" our they are indeed planning for the next phase in gaming.
What that means for gamers is where it gets fun to speculate. Grand Theft Auto V has the possibility of releasing in 2013, and if popular belief holds true that the "Xbox 720" will debut at 2012's E3, Rockstar might opt to develop the game across both generations. We also know that a Red Dead Redemption sequel is essentially a certainty, and that Take Two Interactive, Rockstar's parent company, has put the franchise tag on L.A. Noire. But of course, we can't forget Rockstar's uncanny ability to develop a brand new IP that blindsides us at a time Cole Phelps wouldn't even see coming.
Ranters, what do you think is going on at Rockstar? Is the company already working on next gen projects or are they still in more of an exploratory phase right now?
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Source: Rockstar Games