By Nathan Grayson on April 16th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.
Quietly – ever so quietly – XCOM: The Game Of The Other, Very Different Game has poofed into Duke-Nukem-scented vapors. It’s touched down and carved crop circles into the fields of our imaginations a couple times, but not without 2K Marin knocking it out of its bicycle basket and dragging it back into the deepest reaches of some underground testing facility. Matters, I imagine, were only complicated when XCOM: Enemy Unknown defied 2K’s expectations by being incredibly well-received, leaving the idea of an XCOM shooter in an even fuzzier limbo. That in mind, it’s not entirely surprising to see the repeatedly revamped reboot suddenly vanish without a trace – especially when another revamp may well be the culprit.
First up, the big, obvious bits: XCOM’s website and all traces of video footage on 2K’s official YouTube channel have suddenly disappeared. It’s apparently not just some momentary fluke either, as 2K’s refusing to discuss it. Eurogamer tried to get some clarification, only to be met by a good old-fashioned “no comment.”
Big, obvious, barely obscured neon signs, however, point to a potential rebranding. Kotaku recently uncovered a squirmy mess of 2K trademarks for something called The Bureau, which were linked to domains for whathappenedin62.com and whathappenedin62.net. Marin’s XCOM, meanwhile, takes place in 1962. You can probably do the math.
If true, I can’t really knock the decision. Enemy Unknown is the modern successor X-Com needed, and its trigger-happy cousin never really fit in at any of the family gatherings. Removing XCOM from the equation entirely, then, could allow Marin to really embrace what is, on its own, actually a pretty cool setting. Slicing and dicing it to better fit the XCOM mold just wasn’t working, and it showed in an increasingly generic-looking squad-based to-do. So hopefully, this ends up being for the best.
And if not, well, at least we got Jake Solomon out of the deal. Oh, and Enemy Unknown. That was good too, I guess.