Weekend Short-Takes: 5/9/14

Dark Souls creator’s next game is PS4 exclusive Project Beast, suggests leak


Simon Wu: 

This could be good... I know there's an example somewhere out there but I honestly can't think of a developer who was formerly cross platform and then went exclusive. Usually it's the other way around, eg Kingdom Hearts and Metal Gear Solid. I know quite a few people, John notwithstanding, that played Dark Souls on the Xbox and PC, and they probably will not be too pleased that the next game from that developer will cut them out of the picture. Credit to Sony, however, for having the foresight that From Software was really on to something with Demon's Souls, and worked to secure that before it got big. 

Max Gruber: 

I've been reading up on this news article from the great and mighty EpicNameBro, and from what he speculated, this could be Demon's Souls 2. It's very interesting that this is being made by the same studio, but in a different area of development, as they recently put out Dark Souls 2. Another interesting thing about this, is that Hidetaka Miyazaki, the director of Demon's Souls and Dark Souls 1, was generally absent from the development of Dark Souls 2 and was working on a "secret project". Perhaps Project Beast was the secret project that he was working on. The final thing that intrigues me about this is that it's a PS4 exclusive. Originally, Sony was skeptical about the success of Demon's Souls in the Western market, so they opted out of releasing it in the West. But, now that they've seen how Demon's Souls and Dark Souls have become a major influence in the gaming industry, they see it as a worthwhile title that they can publish once again on their platform. 


Destiny is a $500 Million Gamble For Activision, Says Kotick


Simon Wu: 

Activision is most assuredly watching the ups and downs of Titanfall with great interest, and probably very torn about how to feel. On one hand, if Titanfall doesn't do as well as EA would like, that's great news for Activision because it's clear Call of Duty is king of the roost for a while longer, and EA will have once again failed to successfully challenge for the FPS crown. On the other, though, it might give them pause because they are in a similar situation to EA. A publisher, with a promising title for the next-gen consoles, a big-name developer (Respawn being the guys who originally made CoD great), and an intriguing new paradigm for gaming (persistent world for Destiny, all online for Titanfall). 

Max Gruber: 

$500 million is pretty massive and risky for a new IP. This takes what I said about "AAAA" titles to a whole new level. Given how well Activision has been doing (as much as I don't like them), it's understandable that they're doing everything in their power to make this the biggest new IP. And even if this doesn't take off, they have Call of Duty to skyrocket them from their loss, as that title rakes in billions of dollars from one year alone, where other studios can do that with 4-5 titles. Obviously, there's already an established fan base with Halo, so they'll probably be grabbing those people and bringing them into Destiny. But the big question is: will it be enough? That remains to be seen. 

Jonathan Tung: 

Activision is betting big on Destiny and wants to make sure it becomes the next big thing in First Person Shooters. However, when you spend $500 million on a big gamble like this, it feels as if you're going all in on a risky gamble. With the beta currently slated to drop this July (probably on Bungie Day, no doubt), the guys at Bungie need to make sure they have everything they need to produce a hit. Then again, since they already have a well-established fanbase built-in (no thanks to Halo), they should be able to take in some impressive sales, but none more than something like Grand Theft Auto V (mostly because people seem to take GTA super seriously for some odd reason, at least, from my perspective). 

Jackson Sinnenberg: 

And so, once again, another contender rises to challenge the MMO behemoth that is Blizzard's main IP World of Warcraft. While, as Mr. Gruber notes above, Activision has enough money so that they can absorb the downturn if this does not pan out. I have seen the gameplay trailer for Destiny and so can attest that the game looks gorgeous and has me itching to put the MMO syringe back in my arm. But I wonder if this first-person shooter, Halo-esque MMO can thrive in the WoW/EVE dominated world. As Yahtzee points out, there is something endearing to WoW's cartoon-y design and gameplay that makes it endearing. I give Activision a lot of credit for supreme chutzpah, but I also cannot help but feel that they are setting themselves up for a major faceplant. 


Destiny Beta Begins in July


Simon Wu: 

You might say that Bungie really started and then was responsible for the primary evolution of the multiplayer game beta as we currently know it. It started with Halo 3, and continued with Reach. Now they are preparing for a brand new adventure. Titanfall had a beta as well, and it did what it was supposed to: find game breaking problems that can only be caused by releasing it into the wild and having thousands stampede through the servers. However, it was exceptionally short, lasting not much more than a weekend, and came less than a month before the game formally launched. In contrast, the Halo 3 beta lasted for a good four weeks and started in late January, while the game launched in late September. Destiny's window of July and September is between those two extremes. 

Max Gruber: 

And so the time comes. It is our destiny to play the beta (pun intended). I do have to wonder how much the timing will impact the beta, since this is occurring in the dead of Summer, where it's a barren wasteland of zero titles. Then again, though, this could be a good thing, as nothing big is coming out during the Summer Drought, thus meaning no competition for Destiny. I do look forward to getting my "early access" on my PS4, since I was really lucky to get a code for the beta. 


Star Wars: Battlefront to be shown at E3 2014, EA says


Simon Wu: 

I've recently been playing Battlefront II on my PC which I got during the recent May 4 Steam sale for three dollars. I will honestly confess that I never realized the true potential Battlefront had. Now I do. Looking at the incredible work the community has put in and continues to put in as we near a decade after its launch, graphically and technically, is astounding. What is also incredible is the XL mode with 32 players on each side. The Battle of Geonosis suddenly felt right with dozens of clones charging at dozens of droids in front of me. DICE is no stranger to either graphical prowess or massive multiplayer with Battlefield, and I for one am salivating. 

Jackson Sinnenberg: 

Please excuse me while I scream hysterically...okay done. Since EA have been good at keeping most information about the game under wraps, I can only hope that my, and perhaps Mr. Wu's, wildest dreams about the game will be met. I will keep my hopes up that Battlefront will be worth the nine year wait since the release of Battlefront II in 2005. EA may be looking at quite the cozy profit this year.  

Solifluktion's picture

I've yet to see anything about Destiny that would get me to be interested in the game. Hopefully that will change when Games get their hands on it to show us what the game really is like (instead of those artificial scenes shown by Bungy).


Also hooray for Battlefront!

OmegaZero's picture

How in the HELL is Destiny a 'gamble'? I will retire from gaming for all eternity if that game isn't showered with awards and generally accepted to be a great game. I realize that it's a lot of cash to bank on one title, but with the gigantic (dwindling, but still gigantic) CoD player base, let's admit it, Acti is rolling in cash. It'll be good for them to diversify into new IP, which is exactly what they're doing with Destiny, regardless of whether or not it prints money like CoD. They have to (and are) swallowing the high development costs of a new game (ahemahem probably because CoD's yearly dev costs are about $300).


And, yeah, Star Wars. I think my reputation may proceed me on this one, so I'm not going to bother saying anything else.

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