It ain’t easy being a video game studio in the United States in 2013. Just look at Big Huge Games. The company was busy making its very own action RPG a few years ago before it got gobbled up by Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios. Then it’s game got turned into Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Schilling bankrupted the company, and the studio got shut down. Then Unreal Engine mavens Epic Games hire the whole staff to found Impossible Studios who are going to work on Infinity Blade: Dungeons. Then Epic closes the studio within six months.
Like Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound and F. Scott Fitzgerals, it’s time to expatriate! The world is vast and wonderful so it’s time to look abroad for opportunity in game making. That’s why there’s Jetsetter, Digital Trends weekly look at the international world of video games. Wacky imports, unusual bootlegs, and the best, biggest designers from around the globe. Come along for the ride this week as we visit Poland’s most prestigious role-playing series, check in on the Wii U in the UK, look at when the PlayStation 4 will land in India, and speak with one of Poland’s up and coming PS Vita developers.
Just 34,000 Wii U games sold in the UK during the month of January.
Reports out of Britain at the end of January already painted a nasty portrait of the post-launch life of Nintendo’s Wii U. Research firm Chart-Track found that over 50 percent of total UK Wii U sales to through the end of January came from the launch weekend, meaning that just 80,000 consoles were sold in the country. In the past week, Nintendo lost two major exclusives, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and Rayman Legends. Now leaked data posted to NeoGAF claims that Nintendo sold only 34,000 games in the UK over the first month of the year, including all NintendoLand bundles. With not a single Wii U game in the UK Top 40 during the last week of the month, the data seems accurate. At least NintendoLand is the top 26th selling game in Germany? Yikes.
Poland’s BlooBer on making free-to-play games for PS Vita.
PS Vita shooter A-Men—try Googling that one without some specific modifiers—didn’t receive the warmest critical reception when it came out last spring, but it was nonetheless promising, and an original title on a machine desperate for them. We spoke with its creator, Polish studio BlooBer, about working on the system and its plans for more free-to-play games on the platfrom. “Development for dedicated consoles is definitely a greater challenge than in the case of universal mobile platforms but it also entails higher standards,” says BlooBer’s Michał Bochenek, “You can create basically anything for Android or iOS but most of these apps are simply not downloaded at all. We did create games for mobile devices but this is not the audience we’re trying to attract. We want to create skill-based titles for hardcore gamers, not casual ones, hence why we went with PS3 and Vita.”
“Sony’s support for developers is tremendous, they’re really doing their best to help,” continues Bochenek, “It feels really great to be in the big leagues, developing and releasing games for this console.”
CD Projekt Red announces The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt.
How important is The Witcher series of games and novels to Polish culture? Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk gave a copy of The Witcher 2 game to US President Barack Obama when he visited the country in 2011. It’s a big deal there. So when CD Projekt Red announced The Witcher 3 for next-gen consoles and PCs, it was important for not just the studio but the country itself. The game will bring more than just a graphical upgrade. Rather than the small environments of the previous series, The Witcher 3 will be a full open world, “thrilling to explore, full of daring adventures, momentous quests, memorable characters, and unique monsters.” Why not make a game where Geralt has realistic luck with women?
PlayStation 4 delayed into 2014 in India.
Last week in Jetsetter, we reported that even though all signs point to a 2013 release for the PlayStation 3 in the United States and Japan, the console will likely be pushed into 2014 across Europe. According to MCV India, this will lead to a delay in that country as well. Indian PlayStation diehards can be happy about one thing at least: The PlayStation 2 is still readily available in stores across the country!