After becoming one of our favorite titles at E3 2011, the XCOM first person shooter reboot from 2K Marin appeared to have been abducted right off the 2012 release schedule (and delayed into early 2013) - without any substantial info since a new XCOM trailer and screenshots appeared back in June 2011.
Recently, speculation that the title had been cancelled was stoked further by the announcement that 2K Games and Firaxis Games was making a new strategy-based XCOM title as well, XCOM: Enemy Unknown for release in 2012. As a result, it shouldn't come as too big of a surprise to hear that the XCOM first person shooter property has been delayed deep into the fourth quarter of 2013.
Especially passionate strategy XCOM fans are no doubt likely to take this news as an indication that 2K has come to their senses and banished the shooter concept into development hell; though, it's much more likely that the publisher intends to use XCOM: Enemy Unknown to help get the XCOM name back into the mix - before launching their expensive FPS reboot.
The two games will likely appeal to different audiences, evidenced by the enormous backlash to the original XCOM announcement, which resulted in a lot of frustrated strategy gamers who felt as though 2K Games's new shooter title wasn't representative of the XCOM brand and could have compromised the series' legacy.
There's no doubt that the XCOM FPS title was a major departure, and a somewhat baffling marketing move (since XCOM isn't, as of now, a particularly notable brand for shooter players); however, that doesn't mean that the title isn't deserving of a release. As mentioned, the game was one of the most intriguing projects at E3 2011 - offering players an immersive 1960's setting as well as plenty of interesting alien and period human tech.
It's easy to see why die hard XCOM loyalists would have been frustrated by the game's branding but, with a new XCOM strategy title on the way, industry enthusiasts appear to be shoving aside the XCOM FPS as though it has a contagious soul-sucking disease. Hopefully Firaxis' new strategy title allows 2K Marin even more room to develop a game that not only offers a great FPS experience but also does justice to the source series (and the fans, even if some still won't play it).
We're not ready to give up on the XCOM FPS possibilities just yet. To hear why - check out our XCOM impressions from E3 2011.
XCOM has been delayed until Q4 2013.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is scheduled for a 2012 release.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates.
Source: Game Informer [via IGN]