Monolith has confirmed it's working on F.E.A.R. sequels for PC and "next-generation consoles", but for one reason or another they won't be called F.E.A.R. No release date or publisher info has been released yet.
Last year's PC FPS, published by Vivendi, was a big critical success - largely thanks to some wonderful technical accomplishments, slow-motion work and brilliant enemy AI - so it's good news we'll be getting some more, but what's going on with the name?
Well, as you may remember, Monolith was swallowed up by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment some time ago, and although that didn't affect its deal with Vivendi for F.E.A.R., the question of follow-ups is obviously a different matter - and Vivendi owns the name.
Fortunately, according to WBIE president Samantha Ryan, that's not going to have an effect on the game's content. Speaking to GameSpot, Ryan said that "IP ownership rests with Monolith and Warner Bros." and that fans can expect the sequels to "be set in the universes they know and love".
The whole thing's slightly reminiscent of the situation that UK developer Sports Interactive found itself in when it split from Eidos, who owned the Championship Manager brand under which SI's football titles had been released for a decade or so previously.
In that instance, SI came up with a different name for their game - Football Manager - and enjoyed renewed success with publisher SEGA. Monolith and WBIE will presumably be hoping that F.E.A.R. fans show the same awareness in transferring their attentions to the Monolith-made sequels - whatever they end up being called.
It may also be something of an omen for Vivendi's plans - after all, Eidos went on to exploit the Championship Manager name with its own products developed elsewhere. It's possible, then, that Monolith could deliver F.E.A.R. sequels-in-all-but-name to compete against F.E.A.R. sequels-in-all-but-game from Vivendi.
As to the content of Monolith's titles - Ryan told GameSpot that the firms believe "PC needs to be a focus". "We believe that next-gen will also be awesome, but again, it has some differences and this is the approach that we're going to try." In other words, the PC version will be the flagship - similar, perhaps, to the way Activision developed separate versions of Call of Duty 2 for current and next-generation formats.
We'll let you know more about It's-not-called-F.E.A.R. as soon as we do.