Alpha Protocol removed from Steam by SEGA, rights to IP going to Obsidian?

[Edit: It seems that SEGA has updated and said that the reason Alpha Protocol was pulled from Steam was because in-game music license had expired.]

After a decade of SEGA doing nothing with the Alpha Protocol IP, it finally did something. They removed it from digital sales on Steam. Not the type of move I was hoping for and according to SEGA it was due to the ‘rights expiring’.

We don’t know much about what the IP rights for Alpha Protocol where, maybe SEGA had a contract that if they didn’t use the IP after a certain amount of years it reverts back to the developer? Did Microsoft (who now owns Obsidian Software) make a deal with SEGA for the IP? According to PC Gamer, they say that SEGA’s statement about the license expiring aren’t accurate and that SEGA still owns the IP. I thought the original Alpha Protocol was a buggy game, but it had potential to be a big franchise if they followed up the sequels with a more solid made product. Outside of rumors that Microsoft/Obsidian might have made a deal with SEGA for the IP rights, there is also a pattern that when ‘remakes’ of games come out, the publisher pulls the old version of the games from sale (Dark Souls Remake, Darksiders Warmastered).

I also don’t know how I feel about SEGA being so liberal with other publishers making games for their in-house IPs they own including Bayonetta 3, Streets of Rage 4, Panzer Dragoon remakes, Shenmue III, and so on. As much as I like seeing these franchises continue, its bittersweet that it isn’t under SEGA’s publishing arm/funding.

PtoPOnline Reveals Climax’s Prototype Footage of Unreleased Crazy Taxi Game

If you haven’t been following the YouTube channel PtoPOnline run by Andrew Borman, you’re missing out on a channel that shows games that were cancelled, in-development or purely conceptual. As is the case for a video recently uploaded showcasing Climax’s development of a Crazy Taxi game, Crazy Taxi Twenty Four – Seven. The purpose of the video isn’t fully known nor how far the deal between Climax and SEGA proceeded, however the video was likely a demonstration to be shown to SEGA that outlines the general workflow of the game’s development had they decided to proceed with the project. Climax, now known as Climax Studios who are into VR development these days, are more famous for titles such as Sudeki on the original Xbox as well as the developer behind Silent Hill titles such as Silent Hill: Origins and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.

Sonic Unleashed preview build released

bPcl

Sonic Unleashed is seen as one of the biggest 3D entries in the history of Sonic. Whether you like the werehog or not, it brought a massive overhaul to the game design philosophy of Sonic working in the third dimension. The beautiful environments based on real-life locations, fast gameplay and a unique lighting engine all housed under the “Hedgehog Engine” helped achieve a major milestone for fast-paced 3D platformers. Fast forward towards the end of the downer year that is 2016, it has brought us one thing that can shed some meaningful insight on the development of Sonic Unleashed; the release of an Xbox 360 preview build.

Creative Assembly is making Halo Wars 2

That’s right, SEGA is making a Halo game. Microsoft closed off their Gamescom briefing today by announcing Halo Wars 2, which is being developed by Creative Assembly in co-operation with 343 Industries. This sequel to the 2009 RTS will be coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 in fall of 2016. There are no other details about the game yet, though MS did release the teaser trailer you see above.

This is the fourth game that Creative Assembly is currently developing, the other games the studio is currently working on are Total War: Warhammer, Total War: Arena and Total War Battles: Kingdom.

Microsoft and 2K Sports to launch ‘Joe Montana NFL Football 16’ on Xbox One and Windows 10

JoeMontana16
According to the website Free on Smash, an ‘anonymous poster’ at Operation Sports confirmed that Microsoft would be working with 2K Sports to launch Joe Montana Football 16 this summer exclusively on Windows platforms and Xbox One. It seems that EA’s new license update with the NFL allowed for first party NFL games (Similar deal to how Sony has exclusive MLB games for first party and 2K can make their own MLB games on multiple consoles).

The rumor for the new NFL game started back in October of 2014 when Joe Montana tweeted a short video of him motion capturing a video game and said the following:

” So many things happening! Here is a teaser of what is coming. Stay tuned for more.

If you guys didn’t already know, Joe Montana Football debuted back in 1990 exclusively on the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive and NFL 2K franchise was created as a exclusive franchise for the SEGA Dreamcast back in 1999. Seems like someone over at Microsoft is a big fan of SEGA Sports back in the day. To read the message posted over at Operation Sports (with all the nice tidbits of information), hit the jump.

New Head of Xbox Phil Spencer says gamers want Microsoft to bring back Shenmue

Phil-Spencer

Following his recent appointment as Head of Xbox at Microsoft, Phil Spencer spoke with Polygon about his ideas for the future of the brand. Regarding his leadership, Spencer promised that “with me you’re going to get a focus on gaming first and a best platform to play games on.” When asked about what games he receives requests for, Spencer named the Shenmue franchise as the biggest request Xbox owners ask Microsoft for. Spencer jokingly referred to it as “the big Shenmue contingency.”

A new Shenmue isn’t on the horizon just yet, but it is good to know that people like Phil Spencer have the franchise on their minds thanks to the efforts of fan campaigns. Help out the #SaveShenmue campaign yourself by heading over to their site and spreading the word.

 

Microsoft didn’t aquire SEGA due to lack of ‘muscle’

Right now Microsoft is a big player in the game console race, but a decade ago they weren’t in the same position as they are now. Like a bad stereotype, before Microsoft entered the market with the Xbox, there were tons of rumors about them purchasing a gaming company, and one of those comapnies was SEGA.

So why didn’t Microsoft ever pick up SEGA? Well, according to then-CEO Bill Gates, he thought that the house of Sonic lacked the ‘muscle’ to compete with a company like Sony. This is what Joachim Kempin, who worked at Microsoft from 1983 to 2003, had to say:

“There were three companies at that point in time, I think this was [Sony,] Sega and Nintendo. There was always talk maybe we buy Sega or something like that; that never materialized, but we were actually able to license them what they call Windows CE, the younger brother of Windows, to run on their system and make that their platform. But for Bill [Gates] this wasn’t enough, he didn’t think that Sega had enough muscle to eventually stop Sony so we did our own Xbox thing.”

He did state that SEGA was “a very different bird” which we can all agree. But its not like they hated everything SEGA did, I mean, they did put the Xbox in the hands of Dreamcast era SEGA COO Peter Moore.

Microsoft unleashes Sonic Adventure 2’s product page before announcement


So Microsoft posted the product page for Sonic Adventure 2 earlier this morning, pretty much confirming that the game is almost going to be announced. From what it looks like, it seems that SEGA might have delayed the game a bit? Don’t be surprised if SEGA announces it soon.

Stuff that is now obviously confirmed include widescreen support, chaos being playable and 2 player offline. Click the jump to see all the leaked assets including in-game screenshots.

 

Microsoft talks whether Sonic is a core game or casual


I have to disagree with this statement. I think the whole gaming industry has lost face on what is ‘core’, ‘casual’ and ‘non-gamer’. I think that casual games can be a good thing. I mean Space Channel 5 was always meant to be a casual game, so was NiGHTS and Puyo Puyo. Non-gamer games are those workout games, aiming to people that don’t have interest in playing games.

“If you think about a game like Sonic the Hedgehog, in the old days, would you say Sonic was a core game or a casual game? It’s a mix between both. There isn’t some complicated set of controls to learn but it has all the gameplay skill and depth. If we’d never heard of Sonic the Hedgehog…and I’m like ‘we’ve got this awesome game, you’re this little blue hedgehog and you’re running around collecting golden rings’ you’d be like ‘that’s not a core game, where are the games for the core?’, and yet Sonic was a core game.”Kudo Tsunoda, Microsoft

Sonic and Mario were never core, they are designed with massive appeal and that is OK. Not every game has to be core. If it is designed to please hardcore and the casual gamers, that is fine. That still makes it casual.

[Source: Kombo]