Jetsetter: Epic owns Poland’s People Can Fly, Canada’s Tribute makes Mercenary Kings

The United States smoked the competition in the 2012 London Olympics! 104 medals! What now, rest of the world? I kid. It was just an honor to participate in a magical, international contest of athletic mastery like the summer Olympiad. It’s a big ol’ world out there, full of athletes and games. Good thing there’s Jetsetter here to let you know about the video game business in those far off lands.

Welcome back again to Jetsetter, Digital Trends’ weekly look at the international video game scene. From Canada to Manila, if there are video games made and played, we take a look.

In the spirit of international goodwill, Jetsetter is intended as a dialogue, so write in the comments any comments, questions, or tips on what’s happening out there. Follow yours truly on Twitter at @ajohnagnello.

* Canadian designers behind Scott Pilgrim vs. The World open Kickstarter for Mercenary Kings.

Ubisoft Montreal’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World video game was actually better than the movie. It was a sweet brawler that called back to River City Ransom and sported delicious sprite graphics and music. The crew behind that game has opened a new studio in Montreal called Tribute. Its first game, Mercenary Kings, will share the succulent style of Pilgrim but focus on side-scrolling shooting rather than fisticuffs. It’s meant to played multiplayer though, with multiple people teaming up to take on missions and grow their characters. Tribute describes it as a cross between Phantasy Star Online and Metal Slug. That sounds excellent. Tribute is looking to raise $75,000 for the PC version through Kickstarter.

 epic buys people can fly

* Epic takes full ownership of Gears of War: Judgment studio People Can Fly.

Poland’s People Can Fly, the studio behind freewheeling shooters Bulletstorm and Painkiller, is now a fully owned subsidiary of Epic Games. Epic bought a majority share in the studio in 2007, but the Unreal Engine company announced on Monday that it bought up the remaining stake. The close relationship will no doubt help smooth the development process for Gears of War: Judgment, a collaboration between Epic and People Can Fly, but the acquisition came with bad news. Studio founder Andrian Chmielarz and two of People Can Fly’s chief artists left the company.

* Sony raises game prices in India.

Electronic Arts’ price hikes in India have been a hot topic here in Jetsetter over the past month. While EA’s distribution partners in the country backed off from the 80 percent price increases for the PS3 and PC versions of FIFA 13, Sony is now jacking up the prices of its own games. While newer titles like Twisted Metal have seen prices jacked from Rs 2,199 to Rs 2,299 ($39 to $41) other titles like Uncharted Trilogy Edition have been cranked up  Rs 2,999 to Rs 3,299 ($53 to $59). Price increases of $2 to $6 may seem like a small amount, but in a country where piracy is a constant threat, publishers need to be wary of damaging a growing legal business.

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