Bioware: Complacent Studios "Will Get Left Behind"
Bioware, the legendary RPG developers behind the Baldur's Gate, Mass Effect and Dragon Age games, has warned Japanese studios that their failure to innovate will cause their market to collapse. Speaking with Industrygamers, Bioware's Greg Zeschuk has thrown down the gauntlet: stating that Japan's reluctance to stray from the tried-and-tested JRPG formula was responsible for opening the RPG genre up to western developers in the first place...and we'll soon witness the evolution of the typical cliched Japanese RPG experience.
“I think what happened is they got very complacent for a very long time. They kept making the same thing... and, in a sense, almost provided an opening for all of us to jump in with our style of games. I think the other thing, too, is that the Japanese market has gotten quite a bit weaker and weaker. I think the traditional, very structured, old-school structure RPG wasn’t selling anymore; so now, I think we’re going to see some changes.”
“Any group, not referring to any particular one, [but] any studio or group, or any country that has certain development aesthetics, you know, from past times, that doesn’t continue to innovate will get left behind.”
That's a serious truth bomb from the Canadian masters of the linear RPG... but it's also a little hypocritical. Dragon Age was as generic as fantasy games can possibly get (seriously, there's a poetry-spouting Ent in there), and Bioware has produced practically identical games since the Infinity Engine days.
A small group of quirky, characterful heroes against a horde-based apocalypse? With slightly weak combat that's made up for by intensely powerful characterisation and stat building? That's every Bioware game ever (just with a different coat of paint each time around). With all due respect to one of my all-time favourite developers: they've got a good point, but I think they need to stop calling the kettle black. [IndustryGamers via VG247]
New Red Faction Trades Sandbox for Tight Tunnels
GameTrailers has granted us the first look at THQ's latest iteration of the Red Faction Series: Red Faction Armageddon. Considering Guerrilla's surprise success, you'd expect that they'd follow in it's footsteps- but nothing could be further from the truth.
Instead of expanding on Guerrilla's semi-freeroaming sandbox mechanics, Armageddon's trailer takes place in claustrophobic mine shafts, with players fighting off what appear to be a swarm of deadly aliens. Whilst there's plenty of time for Armageddon to impress us, it's a little worrying that Volition have potentially swapped their trademark Geomod environmental destruction for Dead Space-style horror. We'll be keeping a close eye on this one. [Gametrailers]
New Deus Ex 3 Trailer: They Can't Stop the Awesome
Square Enix has expanded on its frustratingly short teaser trailer with three solid minutes of epic CGI. The new trailer features cyborgs, mechs, riots and more gravelly-voiced generic badasses than you can shake Sam Fisher at.
Don't get me wrong: there's not a shred of actual gameplay here... but it's a great window into the Deus Ex 3's bleak future and tone. For my money, Square seem to have taken their cues from Shirow Masamune's Ghost In The Shell franchise- with a greater emphasis on overt cyborg augmentation and built-in weaponry (built-in minigun arms, anyone?). Oh, and some guy punches through a concrete wall to snap a guard's neck. Worth the price of admission alone.
So there's no gameplay and it's cheesy as hell... but if you're even a little excited for Deus Ex 3, you'll probably be foaming at the mouth in three minutes' time. Hit it!