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:
- Patrice Desilets' Non-Compete Done, Starts Work on New THQ Game
- Double Fine Takes Psychonauts Publishing Rights Back
- Kaos Studio Closed, Avalanche Studios Creating New Studio in New York
- Duke Nukem Forever PR Group Canned After Nasty Tweet
- Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, F.3.A.R., Dungeon Siege III and Shadow of the Damned Next Week
Patrice Desilets' Non-Compete Done, Starts Work on New THQ Game
The name may or may not be recognized by everyone, but the man behind Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and more recently Assassin’s Creed and Assassin’s Creed II left Ubisoft last summer. He went on to join THQ, but was unable to work on anything until this week when the non-compete clause reached its end. The key reason I bring this up is because on previous Beyond Co-Ops I have talked about the battles that went on between Ubisoft and THQ where Ubisoft was saying THQ was sniping its talent after Desilets left. It will be interesting to see what new IP Desilets is working on and when it will come out.
Double Fine Takes Psychonauts Publishing Rights Back
Double Fine still owned the Psychonauts IP, but this week they also got the publishing rights from previous holder Majesco. Will there be a new Psychonauts game coming from them? One can only hope. It is certainly my belief that their honing in on multiple games in small groups has helped them immensely after the release of Brutal Legend.
Kaos Studio Closed, Avalanche Studios Creating New Studio in New York
On the sad side of THQ news this week, they closed down Kaos Studios in New York, the ones responsible for Homefront which supposedly sold over 2 million copies. Thing is the development was so long and costly for them that they probably decided they needed to close the studio and concentrate on their new Montreal location or something. Then a couple days later Avalanche Studios, best known for the Just Cause games, announced that they would be opening up a studio in New York later this year to work on a new IP, so it is believed this will not be the team working on the Mad Max related game.
Duke Nukem Forever PR Group Canned After Nasty Tweet
Not sure if I would term them a “group” since I only got e-mail from one person, but the Jim Redner PR group got into a bit of hot water this week thanks to the sub-par reviews Duke Nukem Forever was given. Mr. Redner put two tweets up. The first one said: “Too many went too far with their reviews...we are reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn't based on today's venom”. He then followed that up with another one: "Bad scores are fine. Venom filled reviews...that's completely different".
Obviously some of my colleagues in game journalism felt the first tweet meant that they could be blacklisted by 2K because of the reviews they’ve given the game. Well, 2K Games came out and said this in response: ”2K Games does not endorse the comments made by Jim Redner and we can confirm that The Redner Group no longer represents our products. We have always maintained a mutually-respectful working relationship with the press and do not condone his actions in any way.”
So, even though I don’t think Mr. Redner was attempting to make such a big deal out of it as he did, he probably lost his biggest client. I had always seen his name tied to DNF and really don’t remember his name being tied to anything else, so I’m not totally sure how new or old hat he was to the PR thing. He had a hard time with a game that got some very tepid previews from a Las Vegas preview a while ago and it was pretty much believed by the press that DNF was coming out to fulfill the deal Gearbox made to get the IP. The next Duke game that they will probably be working on will be the one to watch.
Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, F.3.A.R., Dungeon Siege III and Shadow of the Damned Next Week
This week is quite busy depending on what you like. The 3D version of one of the best games of all time (I’m still partial to Link to the Past though) comes out this week with Ocarina of Time 3D on the 3DS. Also out this week is F.3.A.R., finally coming out after a few push backs. Then there is Dungeon Siege III and Shadow of the Damned. Although there is no true standout except for Zelda, it could be a good week.