Four More Infinity Ward Vets are Oscar Mike
Infinity Ward has been hemorrhaging staffers thick and fast these last few days, and the news of Respawn Studio's creation has led to four more devs quitting the Activision-run developer. Lead designers Steve Fukuda and Zied Reike have flown the coop (according to the latest report by Kotaku), both of whom have been a key part of Infinity Ward since its inception in 2002. Programmer Rayme Vinson and Lead Artist Chris Cherubini have also jumped ship.
Whilst Activision claim that they still retain a "deep bench of proven talent," this latest move demonstrates that their dirty tactics of withholding royalties simply isn't keeping their troubled studio in line. Turns out that developers work better when they're happy rather than slaving under a "climate of fear". Funny, that. [Gamesindustry.biz]
X-COM and Syndicate to Return
Anyone remember X-COM and Syndicate? These two classic strategy titles provided hard-as-nails strategy action nearly two decades ago, but have now been slated for a next-gen reboot.
2K Australia and 2K Marin will be shoehorning the X-COM universe into a first-person shooter. We half-expected Ken Levine's studio to be dealing with the remake (as rumours have been circulating for months), but it seems that Bioshock 2 has cemented 2K Marin's credibility as an FPS developer.
"With BioShock 2, the team at 2K Marin proved themselves as masters of first-person, suspenseful storytelling, and with XCOM they will re-imagine and expand the rich lore of this revered franchise. Players will explore the world of XCOM from an immersive new perspective and experience firsthand the fear and tension of this gripping narrative ride." - Christoph Hartmann, 2K President
Apparently, this FPS will combine new shooting mechanics and suspenseful storytelling with tactical strategy and planning. We'll bring you more as the story develops. [Kotaku]
In other news, EA-owned Starbreeze Studios has applied for three patents for Syndicate, the cyberpunk RTS/RPG hybrid that wowed gamers in the early 90s with brutal gameplay and impressive tactical scope. Details are still thin on the ground, but these patents almost certainly suggest that a remake's on the way. Whether or not Syndicate will be remodelled into an FPS remains to be seen. [VG247]
Street Fighter Community Fundraises for Homeless Gamer
I know this is a 'soft' story, but it's always great to see a community band together and help out one of its own. New York Street Fighter forum Shoryuken has been raising money for Chris Hu, a fellow SF fan who tragically lost his home, possessions and savings to a fire. Apparently they've raised over $1000 already.
We'd like to salute this group of kindhearted gamers and thank them for raising the profile of online communities everywhere. [via Joystiq]