Video games are different around the world. Don’t think that just because a massive international corporate machine like Ubisoft produces its games like Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon for an international audience that it doesn’t make changes as the title makes it’s way slowly around the globe. Think about what happens to the game when pirates re-release it. If you need proof, just look at what PlayStation 2 games look like in Syria. Maybe when Syrian rebels finally unseat president Bashar Al-Assad they’ll get to enjoy some of those. But you get the point, extreme as it may be. This is why Jetsetter is here.
Jetsetter is Digital Trends’ weekly column looking at the world of video games outside the United States. The video game industry generates about $50 billion per year around the world, $18 billion of which comes from the US. It’s sometimes hard to strip the American perspective away fromgaming. That’s where Jetsetter comes in.
This week: We’re talking next-gen.
* PlayStation 4 won’t come to Europe until 2014.
Sony set the internet ablaze with the mad flames of speculation on Friday when it announced it would hold a press conference at the end of February to discuss the “future” of PlayStation. Sources came out of the woodwork to tell everyone from the smallest blog to the Wall Street Journal that this event would be the PlayStation 4’s coming out party. An unnamed developer told Britain’s Edge Magazine that the WSJ’s source is right in one regard: The PlayStation 4 will be out in 2013. According to the source, it will only be available in the US and Japan, and the PlayStation 4 won’t cross the Atlantic until 2014.
In other PlayStation 4 news, Sony’s deceased UK studio Sony Liverpool was rumored to be working on a handful of next-gen projects when it got closed down back in August. While Sony Liverpool’s vision of next-gen Wipeout racing may remain amystery forever, concept art for the group’s crime stealth game leaked to the web almost simultaneously with Sony’s announcement of a press conference. Sony Liverpool hadn’t made a non-racing game since the 1990s when the company was called Psygnosis. It’s a crime one of the best British studios around didn’t get to spread its wings before getting the axe.
Finland’s Rovio has had trouble making new games that don’t involve its signature red birds and green pigs since the Angry Birds phenomenon began in 2009. It tried by releasing Amazing Alex, an acquired property, in August of last year but despite some early sales success, Alex wasn’t so amazing after all. No matter! The Finnish mobile masters—a title Nokia has lost forever—are going to start publishing the work of outside developers. The first game Rovio will release that it doesn’t wholly own is Tiny Thief, a puzzle game from Spanish developer 5 Ants.
* Japan’s Grasshopper Manufacture sells out!
It’s not totally fair to say that Grasshopper sold out, but since Goichi Suda’s studio motto was “Punk’s not dead!” the fact that it’s now part of a corporate publisher whose bread and butter is Korean MMOs is pretty indicting. One of Japan’s most infamous and independent developers, Grasshopper Manufacture is now only infamous. It was acquired by GungHo Online Entertainment on Wednesday, the publisher best known for the Ragnarok series of beat ‘em up MMOs. Killer is Dead, a continuation of Suda’s “assassin series” that includes No More Heroes and Killer 7, will be its first game under GungHo. Fingers crossed that going corporate doesn’t but the kibosh on Suda’s creativity.