First Disney resurrected Lucasfilm Games. Now Bethesda is developing a new Indiana Jones game.
Today Bethesda announced a curveball: They're making a new Indiana Jones game, and it's being developed by Wolfenstein reboot studio MachineGames. The new project will have an all-original storyline that deviates from the movies, and Elder Scrolls/Fallout creative Todd Howard will be executive producer on the game. Specifics, platforms, and launch dates are unknown.
The standalone adventure starring the legendary archaeologist will tell a wholly original tale set at the height of the career of the famed adventurer.
While few details surrounding the Indy game have been revealed, @Bethesda released a cryptic teaser that may hold some clues.
"Todd is a lifelong Indy fan, and has been trying for over a decade to make this game," said Pete Hines, SVP of Global Marketing. "He's beyond excited to work with the award-winning MachineGames team, a perfect fit for Indy."
Based on what we know about Bethesda's and MachineGames' future projects, there's a few things we can extrapolate from this announcement. One is that Wolfenstein 3 is probably on the back burner. Two is that Disney is open to licensing Lucasfilm IPs to other studios besides EA (right now EA has exclusivity to make and publish Star Wars games). Three is that the Indy game could have multiplayer. And four, we're not sure whether or not the Indiana Jones project will be an Xbox/PC exclusive or not.
Back in October, before Microsoft bought Bethesda and ZeniMax for a huge $7.5 billion, MachineGames expressed interest in bring multiplayer to new games. We thought this meant Wolfenstein 3; Pete Hines confirmed a third sequel would happen some time ago.
But what if MachineGames was talking about the Indiana Jones project? Based on Microsoft's focus on online-driven live games, this makes sense. Disney also likes live games because they can help push microtransaction earnings. At the same time, Disney is fine with singleplayer games or games without mTX--look at Jedi Fallen Order or Star Wars Squadrons, for example.
Considering the game will have a new original storyline, there's lots of room to add in sidekicks and other characters for a multiplayer scope. This is all speculation, though, so keep that in mind.
Here's what MachineGames devs said about multiplayer:
Wolfenstein Youngblood was the first multiplayer title from the studio. What were some of the learnings you had in designing a multiplayer game vs a single-player experience, and is multiplayer something we're going to see more of from MachineGames?
Fredrik Ljungdahl, Gameplay Director:
"We love co-op games, so it was a great experience to bring co-op to the Wolfenstein universe with Youngblood. Designing for multiplayer is quite different compared to single-player games and it's also a lot harder to test. Especially as we also made the game a lot less linear compared to what we are used to. The specially crafted events that we've been known to use in previous games are often based on the player's location and progression and other sets of known "facts." These assumptions and frameworks don't necessarily work in the co-op, nonlinear approach.
"We learned a lot on Youngblood, and it would be fun to apply some of that knowledge to future games."
John Jennings, Production Director:
"Our first foray into multiplayer with Youngblood helped us learn a lot from both a gameplay and from a technical perspective. Understanding that doing the technical learning at the same time as doing the gameplay learning may be too much of a challenge is possibly one of our biggest takeaways, and it's one we won't need to go through a second time in multiplayer development."
Since Disney wants to maximize revenues, I don't see why the Indiana Jones game would be exclusive to Xbox platforms. The main goal is to sell as many games as possible to rake in as much as possible, and only releasing on Xbox will keep the game off of Sony's massive 113-million strong platform.