Weekend Short-Takes: 3/7/14

Batman: Arkham Knight revealed in Game Informer issue

 

Simon Wu: 

Arkham Origins was met with mediocre reviews, generally because it failed to improve upon Arkham City as that title did with the franchise leader, Arkman Asylum. It was also criticized for forgetting the plot, as well as being bigger simply for the sake of being bigger. Now, Arkham Knight promises us exploration of the entirety of Gotham City, on a map which is expected to be five times larger than Arkham City's environment. The premise is very climactic; in the largest scale environment possible for the Batman universe, with all of Batman's nemeses united against him, I can't envision an even larger scale or more evil group of enemies, so this looks like it. Another note is that Rocksteady, the developers who worked on the original titles, is taking the developing helm back from Warner Bros. Montreal, so all indications are positive right now. 

Max Gruber: 

What I'm more worried about this bit of news is that they've now found their cash cow—their one title that will drive their annual sales. It wasn't a year ago when we reported that Arkham Origins was announced, and now there's a new one already in the works. As Simon wrote, it was a mediocre title at best, given the studio change, but now it's Rocksteady's turn to make another Batman game. It's more troublesome that they could very well make this an annual franchise, given the precedent of the studio who worked on Arkham Origins. 

gamingeverything.com 

GTA V Listed For PS4 By Portuguese Online Retailer

 

Simon Wu: 

I'm not sure whether Rockstar has planned a full reskin and refit to take advantage of the next generation processing power a la Tomb Raider, or if it's just planning to relaunch on the new consoles to extend GTA V's lifespan some more. While it would dishearten me to see the former come true, the next-gen consoles still seriously lack a good title catalog, and this would be a substantial addition. That is, of course, assuming that everyone who has a next-gen console doesn't already also own a last-gen console and GTA V. I bet that is a pretty substantial overlap. 

Jonathan Tung: 

No surprise that a next-gen port of GTA V in incoming, though given the rumors coming from Destination PlayStation earlier last week, this could be the surprise announcement Rockstar was saving for the show. However, since Rockstar Games is known to showcase their titles at major trade shows (including E3 and GamesCom, no doubt), I remain skeptical that a next-gen port is currently in the works. Until we get an official confirmation from Take 2, I'm going to let this one slide as a rumor for now. 

ign.com 

Sony Is Making The Last of Us Movie

 

Simon Wu: 

The Last of Us was already cinematic and atmospheric enough that avid players have been editing their carefully done runs into pseudo-movies already. Max makes an excellent point that Sony happens to have a giant movie studio business which they can immediately leverage to make a movie out of to continue the excellent run of form The Last of Us has been having. To my knowledge, this will be among the first if not the first movie to be made from a brand new IP. All video game movies of the past have been built on extremely large and well-known franchises such as Prince of Persia, Resident Evil, or Tomb Raider. That in itself stands testament to The Last of Us' achievement in video game storytelling. But will it go the way of so many other promising video game movies? 

Max Gruber: 

I find this really clever by Sony for two reasons: One, unlike other movie adaptations of video games, where the studio responsible for making the game gives very little to fund the movie, Sony has their own movie division, meaning that they can take liberty in finding the right directors, actors, studio, etc. to fund the movie. In addition, they're not some unknown company that is taking a gamble in making a movie based on the game. Secondly, they see this as an advantage for them, as this would, in turn, get people converging onto their PlayStation brand to experience the other portion of The Last of Us' story, meaning that they'll be raking in a huge amount of money. Since Microsoft doesn't have their own movie studio, Sony will take absolute advantage in bringing in more followers of the PlayStation. 

Jonathan Tung:

Even though The Last of Us was critically acclaimed by critics last year for being what could perhaps be the PS3's swan song, I didn't expect Sony to go as far as to announce a feature length movie adaptation of the game. Even though they already have a ton of other projects in the pipeline (including two Ubisoft collaborations, aka Watch_Dogs and Rabbids), there is a chance that the film will probaly end up in development hell, much like what happened with Uncharted. Still, with Naughty Dog altogether on board with this project, there is a chance this film might turn out well (unless, of course it ends up bombing in the box office due to being released on the same day as the latest Disney animated flick). 

Sony Computer Entertainment of America CEO Jack Tretton Steps Down

 

Simon Wu: 

Steps down, huh? Wow. He's been with the Playstation division since its inception, and was notable during this release cycle for deliberately targeting every single problem with the Xbox One during his E3 keynote presentation. While we'll never know how much that presentation has precisely to do with the sales figures we're seeing right now from both consoles, we do know that he was able to effectively parlay the PS4's inherent strengths of a more pure gaming focus and cheaper price into far more units moved. Mr. Tretton is most certainly quitting while he's ahead. 

Max Gruber: 

This was unexpected, seeing as he was the one who made the PlayStation the most popular gaming device in the U.S. What is much more interesting is not why he's resigning from his position, but where he'll go afterwards. Who will bring him on board? What role will he take on? For the moment, these answers will have to remain unknown, but it is certain that wherever he lands next, it will leave behind a really large crater. 

operationrainfall.com

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