Vampires and alien stocks may have to be re-sourced after Valve and Troika announced delays this week, but that hasn't stopped French developer Arkane Studios licensing the Source Engine for an unspecified PC project.
Arkane, probably best known for its debut PC/Xbox RPG Arx Fatalis, hasn't revealed any details of its plans, but CEO Raphael Colantonio said the Source Engine had made development "very comfortable" thanks to its "stunning features and capabilities."
"Source is solid, performant [sic] and extremely complete in terms of the amount of innovative features. But more importantly, it is also open and flexible enough to allow us to build creatively upon without having to bare the technological risks."
The press release announcing the Arkane deal claims that Source's strengths are that it gives developer the ability to create expressive digital actors and physically simulated worlds, with advanced rendering capabilities and convincing artificial intelligence, and while Colantonio didn't relate to that specifically, fellow licensees Troika certainly hold that view. "The thing that drew us to the Source engine was the facial animation system. We really wanted to let people talk to NPCs face to face," a representative told us when we first saw Bloodlines.
However we'd also say that after a relatively low-key introduction with Arx Fatalis, Arkane Studios will be most pleased with one of the Source Engine's biggest and oddly unwritten features - the volume of free publicity it guarantees. Arkane is bound to be at E3, and, with a Source-based game, is guaranteed more attention than a lot of the other small-time developers. Publishers like the smell of Source, too. Just watch.
Expect to hear more on Arkane's latest project in the coming months.