Creative Assembly’s ‘Alien’ emerges, showing that Sega will hold onto the troubled franchise

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When the sky fell on Sega at the end of fiscal 2012, the future of the legendary publisher was bleak. After reporting an “extraordinary loss,” Sega began cancelling in development projects left and right as well as closing studios and offices around the world. The plan was to find safety in a much smaller operation, with fewer ongoing game series to sustain it. At the time, it singled out four series that it would continue developing going forward with hopes that they would cement the publisher’s rocky foundation. Among them was the Aliens franchise, which Sega has held the rights to for seven years now. In the wake of Aliens: Colonial Marines’ scandalous release in February, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Fox decide to take the license elsewhere, but that is apparently not the case. 

CAWhile any potential sequels to Colonial Marines are likely dead, at least one Aliens game is still in development at Sega. The publisher’s European studio Creative Assembly, makers of Total War and now Sega’s Warhammer titles, is hard at work on an Aliens game for PlayStation 4 and the next Xbox. While neither Sega nor Creative Assembly have publicly discussed the title in over a year, fansite AvP Galaxy spotted a screenshot (seen on the right) for the game on the studio’s homepage. The same image appeared on its Twitter page. Creative Assembly has since removed the image, which shows a crash test dummy adorned with the distinct Nostromo logo from the original Alien film.

When last we heard about Creative Assembly’s Aliens title, it was still hiring for the game, looking for a mulitplayer/gameplay designer in May 2012. It was that job posting that hinted at the game’s future on PS4 and the Xbox 720. The posting said candidates would work on a “AAA multi-platform title on current and future generation consoles set in the Alien universe.” This came one year after the studio finished its initial demo of the game that led Sega to greenlight the project.

At this point, Sega needs to see some kind of return on its investment in the franchise. The Rebellion-developed Aliens vs. Predator released in 2010 was reportedly cheap to produce and sold reasonably well, but Sega’s other Aliens projects haven’t fared as well. It canceled Obsidian’s Aliens RPG when the game was nearly complete, and Aliens: Colonial Marines is reportedly losing money.

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