With everything going on in the world this week, it can be easy to be distracted from video game news. That’s why “Respawn Point” is here, to catch some of the news that might have been missed. But before we get to the news, we must celebrate a quick moment… one of our GotGame staff has rescued his princess.
A big congratulations to GotGame associate editor Adam Larck, who married the lovely Amy on Saturday, April 20. (Yes, they got married on 4/20. No, as far as I know they did not share a wedding blunt.)
“Ryan, that can’t possibly be the Bridal March as covered by Queen for the terribly bad 1980 superhero flick Flash Gordon, is it?” Only the best for our staffers, that’s what I say.
Congratulations to the happy couple, and may life give you many more years of joy and love.
Steelpool Still Around Despite THQ Tank
Speaking of more years of joy, one of the most unique IP franchises on the market will be able to provide a couple more at the least.
When THQ hit the bankrupt space on the Wheel of Fortune, some franchises, like the WWE series, quickly found refuge in new studios like 2K Games, and was basically undeterred by the shuttering of the long-time studio. Other games, like the whatever-happened-to title South Park: The Stick of Truth, have gone from “almost done” to almost dead. One of the franchises were most concerned about was the highly-touted crazier cousin to games like Grand Theft Auto, the Saints Row series.
“During this period of uncertainty, we were still working full speed ahead on Saints Row IV,” said Jim Boon, senior producer for Volition. “It’s fair to say there was a lot of distraction waiting to learn the results of the auction that was ultimately conducted to deal with THQ’s bankruptcy, but that was also fairly short lived. Deep Silver had the winning bid for Volition and they worked quickly to bring us in the fold.
“I’m happy to say that Deep Silver gets our special brand of craziness with Saints Row IV, and they have not asked for a single change to the game. So, while this was a fairly crazy process to go through, in the end it really did not have a significant effect on SR4.”
Boon credits Saints Row‘s crazy tone to sales success, claiming gamers right now “crave unique experiences” more than ever.
You mean Battlefield 20 isn’t unique enough?
A Heavy Chunk of Change
Speaking of unique gaming experiences equating to big sales, Quantic Dream’s 2010 smash hit Heavy Rain makes for a perfect example, as it brought in a lot of money.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Quantic Dream president Guillaume de Fondaumiere revealed that the interactive drama brought in over $100 million for Sony, making back double the initial investment from Sony and Quantic Dream. De Fondaumiere revealed that the initial output was only $40 million, including the $16.7 million it took for Quantic Dream to make the game.
De Fondaumiere’s formula for success is pretty simple: Gamers want innovation. “We should stop thinking that innovation rhymes with unprofitable,” he told Eurogamer, pointing to the success of Heavy Rain and Journey. “We need, as an industry, to be probably more creative, and probably stop creating, every year, the same games over again… Maybe create new IPs. We need publishers of course to take the risk to create new IPs. But we also need the audience to [vote with their wallets].
“It’s important that the entire ecosystem be more creative for this entire media to step up,” de Fondaumiere continued. “What I would like to see is publishers taking more risks and have a balanced approach between the sequels they are financing year after year, and the new projects that they are developing, and this balanced approach will make for a more appealing industry overall.
Though he concedes the point of a weak economy is taking its toll on the video game industry, de Fondaumiere points out that gamers are growing tired of the same old thing, whereas games like Heavy Rain were new, intriguing, innovative, while still providing gamers exceptional gameplay. This obviously bodes well for the upcoming Beyond: Two Souls, also made by Quantic Dream… and bodes poorly for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 83 – It’s Not Modern Anymore.
Bethseda Reveals The Evil Within
Speaking of new and unique IPs, Bethseda revealed a new one they had been teasing over the past week. On Friday they unveiled the game, titled The Evil Within, from new studio Tango Gameworks.
“We’re incredibly proud to announce The Evil Within,” said head of Tango Gameworks Shinji Mikami in a statement. “My team and I are committed to creating an exciting new franchise, providing fans the perfect blend of horror and action.”
Mikami formerly worked on several incarnations of Resident Evil. This game could be a contender to the title of Scariest Video Game Ever. Watch the trailer and try not to pee your pants, Mary Sue.
Trailer Trash Time!
Two trailers in one Respawn Point? Why the heck not! It’s for Adam and Amy, after all.
There’s no way we could not put this in the Trailer Trash this week. I’m still twitterpated over last week’s announcement.
This week’s Story That We DID Cover But Is So Important I’m Bringing It Up Again:
It was a great week to be a Nintendo fan, and an even better week to own a 3DS, as a Nintendo Direct special announced 3Dmakes of Donkey Kong Country, Yoshi’s Island, the launch of the Wii U’s own virtual console, and that Earthbound will finally be offered on it, and the glorious announcement that there will be a sequel to arguably one of the best game ever made for the Super Nintendo, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
Gamers from the most casual to the most hardcore took to their social network of choice and pressed the HOLY-SH*T-SHARE-IT-NOW button to laud the coming of the return of a Hyrule of yesteryear. This could be the game that locks in Nintendo’s dominance in the handheld gaming market for a very long time.
Ryan Bates is a native of Southern California currently in a love/hate relationship with Las Vegas, Nevada. (It's complicated.) Ryan is a Nintendiehard but does not discriminate against other consoles. He is also involved with the growing Gaymer movement.
When not gaming, Ryan enjoys boxing, trying out new foods, and theme parks, and has a sick yet totally radical fascination with '80s and '90s pop culture.