Martyn Brown has left Team 17 after 20 years at the helm.
If FADE's research is on the money, then it's glaringly apparent that not many of you are buying into the download dream just yet. When a title with as much universal critical acclaim as Limbo can reportedly sell a mere 128,000 worldwide, it makes you wonder how that breaks down per territory. If the US maybe accounts for 50 per cent of that, then that's just 64,000 for the whole of Europe. If the UK accounts for up to 30 per cent of that, then, what, 21,000-odd have bothered to buy it so far. It's hardly what you'd call stellar sales, is it?
And yet elsewhere, mighty indie powerhouse Halfbrick announced this week that it has sold two million units of its iOS title Fruit Ninja - a game we awarded a miserly 5/10 to, remember. Is it simply the case that when it comes to instant download accessibility, we're much more inclined to play them on our phones? Or is it that download games just aren't promoted well enough for people to bother to seek them out? Do tell.
Editor's note: Due to the immense volume of download releases, we've decided to expand and split the Download Games Roundup into two editions per week. Your regular Friday lunchtime roundup will continue, but, starting with this week's, it will focus exclusively on console, handheld and PC games.
Retro revamps can be a harrowing business. For every Pac-Man Championship Edition there's an Alien Syndrome, and a Golden Axe: Beast Rider, and a Final Fight: Streetwise, usually in those distressing proportions.
The problem is down to the approach. Developers often find themselves caught between two stools, on the one hand trying to retain the essence of what made the original so appealing, while also trying to update it to appeal to modern gamers. They routinely end up failing at both.
Team 17's long-overdue Alien Breed reboot initially takes a no-nonsense approach, avoiding the temptation to tinker too much with the old top-down shooter formula. This 'Evolution' lives up to its title, with most of its central gameplay principles retained, and a suitably lavish, atmospheric setting provided for the alien carnage.
Team 17's reincarnation of Alien Breed will be released on 16th December on Xbox Live Arcade. PC and PS3 owners must wait until next year for the game.
Aside from Duke Nukem Forever, there can't be a lot games that have endured as many false starts as Alien Breed Evolution. Initially envisaged as a PC RPG in the late nineties, the game crashed and burned after 18 months in development when publisher Microprose was swallowed up by the acquisitive Hasbro Interactive. Undeterred, Team17 then re-envisioned the game as a Snowblind engine-powered title on PS2, but met with frustrating indifference as a slew of publishers passed on backing it. Fortunately, times have changed. Boosted by the success of Worms on Xbox Live Arcade, the Wakefield-based studio has decided to self-publish Alien Breed Evolution, presumably waving two fingers in the direction of all the publishers who shot it down the first time around.
Alien Breed Evolution will be released in three parts, beginning around October, and features approximately 15 hours of gameplay according to Team17 boss Martyn Brown.
Team17 has pulled the curtain back on Alien Breed Evolution, a co-operative and download-only project first teased last September.
Three screenshots are up for your perusal, but otherwise details are scarce - no dates, no platforms. Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network are strong candidates, however, given the visuals on show.
Team17 promises more soon.
Team 17's retro revival revealed.