This is Jetsetter, Digital Trends’ weekly column combing through the nooks and crannies of the video game world outside of the United States. If there’s a studio in Bombay pumping out OUYA exclusives, Jetsetter is there to tell you about it. If a massive company like Ubisoft opens up a new studio in Vietnam, Jetsetter’s got you covered there too. No game or studio is too big or too small to escape our gallivanting eyes.
So what happened in the week that was here at the end of February 2013? Many things, big and small. A Japanese publisher closed its very productive Canadian studio. The world’s favorite first-person shooter got some squirrelly downloadable content in India. Poland’s hottest developer is making some fascinating changes to its big role-playing game. Finally, Ubisoft hires a new leader for the UK studio developing Watch Dogs.
* Activision’s partner warns Indian players not to download Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Revolution.
It ain’t easy being a PlayStation 3 owner in India. For starters, PlayStation 3 games are crazy expensive in the country. Part of the reason for this is that many PS3 games sold in India aren’t actually manufactured or packaged there, and some games aren’t optimized for the region. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, for example, is based on the American version of the game. That’s why Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Revolution, the new DLC for the game released in India on Thursday, won’t work with the game. Activision’s distributor in India warned players not to download the DLC from the PlayStation Network. Those players that are using full downloads of the game rather than a disc, though, can enjoy Revolution to their hearts’ content.
* Tecmo Koei closes its Canadian branch.
Tecmo Koei Canada, based out of Toronto, isn’t responsible for the publishers biggest games – Dynasty Warriors, Dead or Alive, and Ninja Gaiden are all developed back in the company’s homeland of Japan. The Canadian studio though, has developed some really interesting games over the years, particularly the futuristic racer Fatal Inertia for PS3 and Xbox 360. After twelve years of operation, though, Tecmo Koei shut down the studio. “It was definitely an interesting experience at Tecmo Koei Canada,” a former employee told The Financial Post, “We had a ton of talented people who put in their best efforts, and it’s unfortunate that things didn’t go as well as it could.” Indie gamers are quite familiar with at least one Tecmo Koei Canada alum: Superbrothers Sword & Sorcery designer Craig Adams got his first gig there.
* CD Projekt Red makes bold changes in The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt.
Not a week goes by that we don’t seem to talk about CD Projekt Red here in Jetsetter. The studio is just blowing up. Plus, we love The Witcher 2 quite a bit. The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is more than a year away but already it’s causing some serious excitement. In a big shift for the series and role-playing games in general, killing monsters and animals while wandering the game’s open world won’t level up lead character Geralt. Only completing quests will net him gain experience points, unlike games such as Skyrim where killing everything in sight builds your character’s armor, weapons, and life skills. It’s a fascinating way to recontextualize violence in a game. That’s surprising for a studio whose credits roll over images of vicious dismemberment in their last game.
* UK-based Ubisoft Reflections gets a new leader in Pauline Jacquey.
Pauline Jacquey’s first work with Ubisoft was as a producer on 1999’s Rayman 2: The Great Escape. She’s a company woman through and through, working on projects that made Ubisoft the international giant it is today like the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series. Now Jacquey is the head of Ubisoft Reflections, the British studio behind Just Dance and the upcoming Watch Dogs. “It’s a beautiful studio with a lot of legacy, 28 years, survived a lot of crises, was acquired, re-acquired, so I think the first thing that struck me was the adaptability,” Jacquey said, speaking about her new home with GamesIndustry International, ”They can succeed in any kind of condition in the studio, and I like this.”