Frontier Developments, the makers of Elite Dangerous and Jurassic World Evolution, have big news. The news is so big they can't tell us how big it is. Frontier have, they proudly announced today, "signed a major global IP licence to develop and publish a future game." That's right: a major, global, intellectual property licence. Which one? Oh don't worry about that. To make what game? Please, think bigger, you can't see the forest for the trees. A major global IP licence. Just think...! I have some pretty good ideas what it might be.
The announcement, which is so vague and pointless I cannot imagine why they had their marketing folks e-mail me about it, does not even hint at what the licence or game might be. They say it'll probably launch in 2021, be on PC and console, and may get DLC, and that's it. Sterling work.
"We are delighted to confirm that one of our future releases will benefit from a major global IP licence," Frontier CEO David Braben said in today's announcement. "We are excited about our existing franchises and our future portfolio. We will continue to love, support and enhance our existing game franchises as we build new ones."
Right you are.
Let's think about this. I know Frontier for three types of game: management; spaceships; and petting virtual animals. I'd be surprised if they are making something different.
Which licences are going ga-ga for gaming? Jurassic World has cropped up in several games, though Frontier are already on it and would likely have said. Frontier have already put Knight Rider, Back to the Future, and the Munsters into Planet Coaster DLC too. Rocket League has courted many licenses, including some of these as well as DC Comics superheroes, Fast & Furious, and Hot Wheels - one picked up by Forza recently too. Plus there's always Games Workshop giving everyone a Warhammer 40,000 licence these days.
SO! I can say with absolute certainty that Elite are making one of the following games:
Fallen on hard times, Batman opens his Batcave to the public as a tourist attraction. Arrange his trophies (the giant penny, a robot dinosaur, the costumes of them kids what died because he's a terrible foster parent etc.), Batgadgets, and Batvehicles in a way to maximise visitors and souvenir sales. Don't underestimate the entertainment value of elaborate hidden entrances with waterfalls, bats, and holographic cave walls.
What if Elite didn't have all that 'space business' stuff? And the combat? And if we didn't jump to other systems through warpspace but rather a series of gnarly loop-de-loops, corkscrews, turbochargers, and rings of fire? And if we just did hot stunts in warpholes rather than any of that other stuff?
Warhammer 40,000: Golden Throneland
Build and manage a theme park to attract psykers from across the Imperium of Man so they can be sacrificed to the Emperor. Will your triple-corkscrew rollercoaster Warp, Squig bumper cars, wandering Space Marine Primarch mascots, and talking tyranid bins draw a big enough crowd to sustain His withered corpse and keep the Astronomicon beacon lit? Or will humanity be split up and lost to Chaos?
Warhammer 40,000: Kinectinids
Befriend, play with, and stroke a range of adorable baby tyranids in this virtuapet game which comes bundled with a Kinect sensor after Frontier scooped a load for a quid each down CEX.