Here’s a fun, ridiculous, and undoubtedly dubious rumour: murmurings suggest that Blizzard’s secret project might be a new Redneck Rampage game.
The story comes from IncGamers, who report that Blizzard have recently bought the rights to the Redneck trademarks, and extrapolate from this. And as unlikely as it seems, they do go on to point out that an original Redneck Rampage developer now work for Blizzard. Hmmmmm.
The Redneck games were developed by Xatrix Entertainment, possibly most famous for the game that polished them off, Kingpin. They were then reborn as Grey Matter Interactive, making the utterly superb Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, and working with id to make Return To Castle Wolfenstein. Bought by Activision in 2002, they last worked on one of the last good PS2 shooters, Call of Duty: Big Red One, after which they were eventually consumed into co-developers Treyarch. Now Activision and Blizzard have been crudely grafted together, the resulting behemoth beast containing all sorts of remnant IPs.
According to IncGamers, the trademarks for three Redneck Rampage games have just been bought by Blizzard, having previously been snatched up by Vivendi in 2004. Vivendi/Sierra of course are all part of the Activision-Blizzard family, although I’d pity anyone who tried to draw that family tree. The main man behind Redneck Rampage, Drew Markham, was Chief Creative Officer at Sierra pre-merge, and then went on to other ventures. My cursory searches haven’t pinned down where he’s currently working. However, as Inc points out, Redneck’s lead level designer Alex Mayberry is now a senior producer working on World of Warcraft.
It’s all extraordinarily spurious, and really, do we need another Redneck Rampage game? They were pretty average, built using Duke Nukem’s Build Engine, with not much to them beyond mocking poor Americans. But rumours will persist, and with Blizzard announcing they’re making a fifth, unnamed game, and buying the trademarks, of course people are going to talk. A redneck MMO? Trailer park management sim? Hicks In Space strategy?
Here’s what we must hearken back to: