Another weekend has arrived and not only does it bring with it the opportunity to enjoy some co-op gaming, but a chance to catch up on all the other news from the past week. Presented here for your reading pleasure is Beyond Co-Op, our weekly feature highlighting some of the non co-op related news that's been going on. This week we'll be looking at news of Irrational Games' closing down, the Xbox One getting a system update, a documentary covering the development and production of The Last of Us, and Atlus' future is secured.
- Ken Levine Changing Irrational to Focus on Different Endeavors
- Beta Invites for Xbox One System Update Sent Out on Thursday
- Documentary on The Last of Us Available on Amazon Video
- Atlus USA Safe After Purchase by Sega
Ken Levine Changing Irrational to Focus on Different Endeavors
In an announcement that shocked many, Ken Levine, creative directer and co-founder of Irrational Games, announced via the site's news page that the studio would be "winding down" to a smaller group of employees that would focus on "smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavors at Take-Two [Irrational Games' publisher and owner]." The news arrives on the heels of the final piece of DLC for BioShock Infinite, Burial at Sea - Episode 2, being released. This has lead many to speculate about what this means for the industry when a developer that releases a big AAA title that was critically acclaimed and sold well is, seemingly, shuttering its doors, or what lead to these events occurring. Regardless, we here at Co-Optimus wish everyone at Irrational Games affected by this development all the best and look forward to whatever's next for them and Irrational.
Source: Irrational Games' website
Beta Invites for Xbox One System Update Sent Out on Thursday
The next-gen Xbox had a pretty big system update a couple weeks back that added, amongst other things, the ability to see your controller's batter life and the ability to manage storage space on the system. However, Microsoft has more in store for overall system improvements for the March update, but you have to be special enough to get to see it early. With hints of "new features" and improvements to the party system, Microsoft announced on Thursday that they'd be inviting select Xbox Live members to a kind of beta test of the updates. This isn't all that different from a couple years back when they beta tested the "Metro dashboard" for the 360 before its big debut. No real word just yet on what all the system update will contain or change other than the news post last week about changes to the multiplayer/party systems.
If you've been invited to participate in the beta, just log into Xbox Live and see if you've received a message with a "golden ticket" [Note: not actually a ticket, or golden].
Source: Xbox Wire
Documentary on The Last of Us Available on Amazon Video
I remember the days when the most I would learn about a game's development would be carefully worded articles in gaming mags that were actually disguised sales pitches. As time has gone on, gaming has become more main stream and the gaming community itself has become more interested in how its favorite games actually get made. "Behind the scenes" and "making of" featurettes have become part of certain special edition versions of the game. One of last year's top games, The Last of Us, is getting a documentary of its own entitled "Grounded: The Making of The Last of Us." Made by the creative team at Area 5, the former 1-Up video crew behind a handful of other documentaries, this film looks at how the team at Naughty Dog crafted this unique and touching story.
The documentary is available for free on Amazon Instant Video and, in case it needs to be said, contains some spoilers.
Atlus USA Safe After Purchase by Sega
Back in September of 2013, Sega bought up developer/published Atlus, maker of the excellent Shin Megami Tensei series of games (notably Persona 4), Etrian Odyssey, and more. This came after Atlus' parent company, Index Corporation, fell under investigation for some rather shady dealings and then declared bankruptcy. At the time, it was uncertain what would become of Atlus and even more so after Sega acquired them. However, it seems any fears are unwarranted as Sega has assured fans that Atlus will continue operations as normal. This includes an upcoming sequel to the Persona 4 Arena brawler, a dungeon-crawling game called Persona Q, and an all new entry in the Persona series, Persona 5, due out some time later this year.