Starbreeze Studios, makers of the Riddick FPS and owners of Payday devs Overkill, have announced a new co-op FPS based on Smilegate's F2P mega-hit CrossFire (pictured above). How big a hit? Up to six million players online at once big. I'm familiar with South Korean developers making free-to-play versions of western FPS--and still fascinated by Counter-Strike Nexon Zombies--but can't think of many times it's gone the other way. Fingers crossed their CrossFire embraces the original's weirdness.
I've no idea what sort of game Starbreeze will be making. CrossFire started as a riff on Counter-Strike (I'm being generous here), but its various modes now include ninjas with swords fighting mutants, co-op wave survival modes with zombies, supersoldiers, and all sorts of zany things. I've no idea what's going on with its character lineup. But that's the CrossFire I'm more interested in. We have so many straightforward modern combat FPSs where terrorists and militarymen run around dusty cities. What I most enjoyed in CS Nexon Zombies was poking around at oddities, like discovering it has a mode making CS a (pretty fun!) survival game with hours-long rounds and base-building. A few mutants and ninjas in CrossFire would be okay with me.
Today's announcement doesn't say much, mostly that "Starbreeze will develop an all new premium first-person-shooter (FPS) co-op game for PC based on Smilegate's CrossFire franchise, aimed to attract western gamers in particular."
Starbreeze will focus on the boring militaryman side, won't they? Boo.
This is part of a larger deal where Smilegate are investing $40 million into Starbreeze. It'll also see Starbreeze releasing Overkill's Payday 2 and The Walking Dead to Asian markets through Smilegate's platform.
No word of a release date yet. I bet Starbreeze won't even have pop stars in trailers.