There’s a new Alien game coming to mobile devices later this month. It’s called Alien: Blackout and casts players as Amanda Ripley, daughter of Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley character, who must — unsurprisingly for an Alien game, I’m sure — stealthily move around a space station while avoiding the bloodthirsty alien. You can read a description of the game here and the press release announcing it here.
That’s not the news we’re really interested in, though. Rather, take a look at the last line of the press release, which states:
FoxNext Games’ studio, Cold Iron Studios, is also currently at work on a massively multiplayer online shooter set in the Alien cinematic universe for consoles and PC.
Now that sounds interesting. Cold Iron Studios was created in 2015 by veterans of Cryptic Studios, including former City of Heroes and Neverwinter Producer Craig Zinkievich. MassivelyOP interviewed Zinkievich two years ago, and while he wasn’t able to offer any details about what he was working on, he did offer up a slight redefinition of the term “MMO”:
Yes, we’ve got tons of MMO and online experience and we love what that brings to the player, but we don’t believe “MMO” describes a genre anymore. We think it describes a suite of connected experiences (those things I mentioned and more) — MMO is no longer synonymous with tab-targeting RPGs, you know? We’re making an online action game, but I think it’s fair to say our title is going to feature and rely on MMO-like systems. We are absolutely using our expertise in MMOs to make gameplay even cooler.
That leads one to think that the new Alien game won’t be an MMORPG, per se, but something more in the vein of a team-based “hunt the alien” kind of shooter — perhaps even with one player taking the role of the alien, a la Evolve.
Understandably, there’s no talk of the payment model for the game, but I’d give it at least 50/50 odds of being free-to-play, considering the dev team’s background. A game like Evolve might have worked with that model if it had adopted it from the start and could have done so without all the negative press that was attached at launch. Seeing as how the game has been in development for over three years, we might not have that long to wait to find out exactly what it’s about.