Monday, August 16, 2010

Red Faction Enters a Battleground

At GDC Europe today, THQ Digital creative director Don Whiteford unveiled his development company's companion title to the Red Faction series: Red Faction: Battlegrounds

Red Faction: Battlegrounds takes a new look at the franchise; whereas Volition is bringing the series into a darker, alien-infested warzone with its upcoming Red Faction: Armageddon, THQ Digital is taking the vehicular action from the first game and turning it into an action-packed car battle title for XBLA and PSN. The levels are unique, Martian locales filled with obstacles, man-made or otherwise, and players can choose between cars, mechs, and hover tanks with which they can create carnage. The game will allow up to four players to battle each other on a single screen, online or offline.

Whiteford made the announcement during a discussion about how large companies can evolve by taking larger, retail-based methodologies and establish new smaller, digital-distribution venues. His company, prior to its current position, was known for the Juiced series, and the company had been working on two large-scale projects, including a unique racer (Split Shift Racing) and an air combat title (Stormbirds), before THQ shifted the company's goals to that of a smaller developer.

The game's unveiling was Whiteford's method to boost digital distribution sales: by attaching established, larger IP to smaller games, the loyal fanbase will be more likely to notice and purchase the title. To further his point, Whiteford explained that the game's core team is four developers; if games of this scope can do just as well as large titles, then companies big and small will surely see great profit in smaller, experimental digital products.

THQ Digital Warrington is working on two more titles, one connecting to an established IP and the other, an original IP, itself. No information on those titles was provided.

Red Faction is an established franchise from THQ that saw a rebirth with Red Faction: Guerrilla, which released in 2009. Its sequel, Red Faction: Armageddon, is releasing in 2011, and Battlegrounds will most likely see its release before then. THQ is also making a television series with SyFy to continue to push the franchise toward the mainstream audience.



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