#27: UbiSoft Will Hunt Down Crash Exploit Terrorists

TODAY: UbiSoft special forces will hunt down crash exploit terrorists — Digital Extremes may be the cock of the walk, but not only because of Warframe — New tactical FPS game in development by Alien Isolation team!

Top Story

Until Dawn successor Man of Medan will have up to 5-player multiplayer

Developer Supermassive Games, the creators of 2015’s PS4 exclusive horror adventure Until Dawn, are hard at work getting the multiplatform follow-up The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan ready for an August 30th release – and now Supermassive and Bandai Namco have revealed that The Dark Pictures series will have co-op multiplayer.

This will be first time this type of game – a cinematic adventure in the style of Until Dawn, Heavy Rain, The Walking Dead or Life is Strange – features synchronous multiplayer. There will be two multiplayer modes available: Two-player online or local co-op, and a 2-5 player ‘Movie Night’ mode where each player controls one of the game’s 5 main characters. There will be offline solo play too, of course.

Don’t Split Up

We got a chance to play the two-player co-op version, which Supermassive describes as ’shared stories’. You’ll be able to read our full impressions in Dailybits tomorrow, but here’s how it generally works: Players take control of two random characters (out of the 5 available) at a time, and can either talk to each other and solve problems together – or go off and do entirely your own thing, there will be consequences no matter what.

Man of Medan is the first game in The Dark Pictures anthology series. Each episode will feature a different cast and story, and will focus on a different horror trope – Man of Medan, for example, will be based on a ghost ship. Or a zombie curse, one or the other.

Axe-wielding slasher killers and an Asian schoolgirl ghost with long hair covering her face were teased as potential future Dark Pictures. It’s basically a videogame version of The Twilight Zone, right down to the Rod Serling-like ‘Curator’. Either way, we’ll know more on August 30th.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

How many games did Warframe developer Digital Extremes co-create with Fortnite studio Epic Games?

  • 3
  • 5
  • 7
  • 8

The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!

News Bits

There’s a Rainbow Six Siege ban wave coming today

You been naughty in Rainbow Six Siege? You better hope you haven’t used the chat symbol exploit to deliberately crash matches for other players, or you’re getting banned.

Ubisoft is rolling out a patch for this weird exploit, but in the meantime they will be banning players who used it for “varying lengths, depending on the frequency and severity of the exploit’s usage.” Don’t be a jerk in online games, folks.

Splinter Cell’s back… but it’s a VR game

Ever since 2013’s Blacklist, there have been hopes for and rumours about a new Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell game – but after split-jumping, neck-breaking star Sam Fisher appeared in a cute mobile game at Ubisoft’s E3 show and news of a new VR-exclusive Splinter Cell… not like this, Ubisoft. Not like this. Facebook has supposedly signed deals to get exclusive VR Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed games on Oculus, which is fine… but can we have a proper Splinter Cell now, Ubisoft?

Daily Fact

Warframe creators Digital Extremes are owned by… a chicken conglomerate?

We’re on a Warframe kick this week in honor of the annual TennoCon, a celebration of all things Warframe – complete with announcements of new cool features, like the upcoming mind-bending expansion The Duviri Paradox and the Battle of Endor-like joint space combat/ground combat team play.

But none of this is quite as interesting as the fact that Warframe developer Digital Extremes is owned by a chicken company.

Yes, back in 2015 Digital Extremes sold a large share to Leyou, a Hong Kong-based company that made its name in the poultry business. Faced with “an arduous task in respect of the poultry business”, Leyou did what any struggling chicken firm would, and diversified into videogame publishing – as you do. They became majority owners of Digital Extremes in 2016, picking up Dirty Bomb and Enemy Territory developer Splash Damage at the same time.

You will read more about Leyou elsewhere in this issue, as the company has just revealed this week that it’s making a Lord of the Rings MMO with Amazon. With considerable multiplayer and free-to-play experience under its belt, the poultry giant actually has a real shot at making a good game there. Still, they shouldn’t count their chickens before they hatch…

Daily News

Amazon is making a Lord of the Rings Prequel MMO

Despite The Lord of the Rings Online launching over a decade ago and still remaining popular, Amazon and Athlon Games are working on a new Middle-Earth MMO – and it’ll be a prequel to the events of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It will also be completely separate from the Middle-Earth TV show currently under development by Amazon. (Bet you forgot about that, right?)

Athlon Games is the publishing label owned by the Hong Kong-based Leyou, who also own Digital Extremes and Splash Damage and are, er, big in the chicken business. Amazon Game Studios is actually developing the title, which was previously described as being set “at a time long before the events of the Lord of the Rings, exploring lands, people and creatures never seen before by fans of the Tolkien universe” – which is pretty much the pitch for the TV show too, but apparently the game does not tie into it.

One does not simply develop a LOTR MMO

The new Lord of the Rings MMO will be a free-to-play title (much like the other MMO), based on the books rather than the TV series or the Peter Jackson movies. It will be released on consoles and PC, although there is still no release date so it might be aiming for the next generation of consoles – PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett.

Amazon currently have another MMO in development, New World, and the team behind that will be helping make this Middle-Earth game. The team is composed of veterans from such major online games as World of Warcraft, Everquest, Destiny, and Planetside, so there’s no lack of expertise and experience. Of course, the big question is whether Warner Bros has any say in it – since they currently own the movie license and develop games like Middle-Earth: Shadow of War based on it. Probably not, is the answer.

Despite being owned by Microsoft, Wasteland 3 on Switch is “not impossible”

If you’re not aware of the Wasteland series, maybe you’re more familiar with its more famous knock-off – Fallout. Yes, Wasteland 1 was released before the first Fallout and many of the same people worked on it. In fact, the only reason it wasn’t called Wasteland 2 was that Interplay couldn’t secure the rights to the name! In 2014, Fallout and Wasteland co-creator Brian Fargo (along with his studio InXile) released Wasteland 2 – and it was a fun RPG-strategy homage to the early Fallout games.

Just last year, after the announcement of Wasteland 3, InXile released Wasteland 2 on Nintendo Switch to considerable acclaim. However, the developer had also just been purchased by Microsoft, so a release of Wasteland 3 on Switch suddenly seemed unlikely. Fortunately, Brian Fargo says that it’s “not impossible” for Wasteland 3 to come to Switch in a new interview.

Porting Never Changes

In an interview with Wccftech, Brian Fargo talks about Wasteland 3 – including how multiplayer will work, the role of vehicles, and how they compare notes with other studios owned by Microsoft. At the end of the interview, Fargo is asked about a Nintendo Switch version of Wasteland 3. While there are some challenges, getting Microsoft’s approval is apparently not one of them – so Fargo is hopeful.

”I’m not sure if it can be done on the Switch. But we haven’t thought about it. We’re just hyper-focused on just getting this one done. We didn’t plan to do the Nintendo Switch release of Wasteland 2 until much later. So maybe later. But yeah, maybe it’s not impossible.”

Wasteland 2 released on Switch 3 years after the PC version, so while technically it might not be possible, there’s certainly hope. Fargo also adds that InXile are “hoping to work on this franchise for the next decade”, so maybe that’ll include a Wasteland 3 Switch release?

News Bits

The new shooter from the Alien Isolation team will have multiple heroes

Did you know the Creative Assembly team who crafted the fantastic first-person hide-a-thon Alien Isolation are working on a new game? It’s an original tactical FPS, and thanks to a recent job posting for a ‘Lead Hero Designer’ we now know that it’ll have multiple playable characters – and may well be a hero shooter like Blizzard’s Overwatch, perhaps influenced by the more tactical Rainbow Six Siege? Can’t be long before it’s revealed…

Come to Daddy: Reviving the Daughter Raising Simulator

Indonesian developer Studio Namaapa, along with publisher PQube, have announced Ciel Fledge and the revival of a long-forgotten genre: the daughter-raising sim, which hasn’t really made many waves since Gainax’s ancient Princess Maker series. After aliens invade the planet, you’re forced to raise a young girl called Ciel – and despite the whole alien invasion part, she’s still got to go to school and you need a job so you can feed her and put a roof over her head! It’ll be out on Switch in Autumn.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

How many games did Warframe developer Digital Extremes co-create with Fortnite studio Epic Games?

Answer: 8 Games!

Long before either Warframe or Fortnite, Digital Extremes and Epic Games worked together for over ten years (1993-2004) on a range of successful games – including their first big hit, the Unreal series (which Epic’s game engine is named after). They worked together on five Unreal games: Unreal, Unreal Championship, and three Unreal Tournament games.

While those are the only official Digital Extremes/Epic Games collaborations (and so we won’t judge you if you only answered 5), the studio was founded by James Schmalz in 1993, and he made three games with Epic – Solar Winds, Epic Pinball, and Silverball. As he continued the partnership with Epic and founded Digital Extremes specifically to make bigger games with them, we’re counting his three titles in the total! Wikipedia does, certainly…

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