Welcome to Beyond Co-Op, a weekly piece that talks about industry stories that may or may not be related to co-op gaming.
The stories for this week:
- XCOM Coming Back...as an FPS (and Sans Dash)
- South Korea Rocked With StarCraft Gambling Scandal
- Former Infinity Ward Heads Startup Respawn Entertainment w/EA as Publishing Partner
- Blizzard Makes at Least $3.5 Million Selling Celestial Steed on WoW
- No Games to Speak of This Week
XCOM Coming Back...as an FPS (and Sans Dash)
2K Games, and specifically 2K Marin, are working on an updated XCOM game exclusively for the 360 and PC. It won’t be an RTS though; instead it will be an FPS. 2K Games also announced that 2K Marin and 2K Australia have combined into 2K Marin and together are working on this game much like they did the recently released BioShock 2.
Of course the internet is up in arms because the beloved franchise is moving into the FPS arena. I’m not too excited either, but honestly RTS games as a category are far more niche on consoles than on PCs. You play an FBI agent tasked with eliminating the growing global threat from aliens. Will be at least interesting to see, however is anyone else wondering exactly what Irrational Games (formerly 2K Boston in BioShock days) is working on now?
Source: Colony of Gamers
South Korea Rocked With StarCraft Gambling Scandal
StarCraft, released in 1998 here, is a juggernaut in South Korea. There are television shows that show people playing the game and top players are treated like rock stars. Then news came down this week that there was an illegal gambling scandal that could engulf many of those top players. It seems some of them threw games in tournaments in order to get in on illegal gambling proceeds. Please click on the story link for more because the South Korean press likens this to the 1919 White Sox (or Black Sox if you want to call it that) World Series scandal here in the West.
Former Infinity Ward Heads Startup Respawn Entertainment w/EA as Publishing Partner
Not a huge surprise here since Activision has said they thought that Jason West and Vince Zampella were having ongoing conversations with EA about joining them while under contract with Activision. The irony here is that they originally left EA after the release of Medal of Honor: Allied Assault in order to create Infinity Ward and then allowed the company to be purchased wholly by Activision. Now everything has come full circle with the boys starting up Respawn Entertainment, partnering with EA and getting seed money from EA to start the company up. The key thing here is that they keep any IP they create and EA will have no say over it.
No word on where Respawn will set up camp or what their plans are for a future game. There have been other resignations at Infinity Ward, but the boys can’t outwardly ask people at IW to join their team, but now that job opportunities are open IW people can probably start applying for positions. This is the exact opposite thing that happened with Glen Scholfield in his jump from Visceral (EA) to Sledgehammer Games (Activision). Same sort of rules applied with contacting Visceral employees, but once job applications came up a lot of Visceral people applied and a number were hired.
Source: Colony of Gamers
Blizzard Makes at Least $3.5 Million Selling Celestial Steed on WoW
At last count with roughly 140,000 people in the queue to purchase the new Celestial Steed in World of Warcraft, Blizzard has effectively made at least $3.5 million in one day. Remember when we used to bitch about having to buy Horse Armor for Oblivion at $2.50 a pop? Well, times that amount by a factor of ten and that is the price for the Celestial Steed. I don’t play WoW or really any MMO out of beta, but from my understanding this steed really has nothing special tied to it other than it looks cool with its body made up of stars instead of bones.
I also want to note there was another item put up for sale, so the 140,000 in the queue reported in the post below may also contain people trying to download that $10 WoW pet, Lil’ XT.
No Games to Speak of This Week
Spend your time playing some old games because there’s nothing new this week. After having a busy first few months, things have really died down in April. May should see a ramp up in releases again.