NEWS - Tuesday, June 15, 2004

(RUMOR) - New Oddworld Game Gets Publisher?

’Stranger’ is the name of the latest Oddworld character action adventure, which stars a Clint Eastwood-inspired Llama-like character known as Steef. But while development has continued apace, the immediate future of the Xbox title was cast in doubt by Oddworld Inhabitants boss Lorne Lanning’s shock revelation at this year’s GDC that Microsoft would no longer be publishing the title. CVG can today exclusively reveal, however, that the game has now been signed by a major publisher and is to be shown to the world in July, with a formal announcement to be made in the next couple of weeks. This was confirmed to us today by an senior development source, who also revealed the massively anticipated title had "gone alpha". But while no official information regarding the identity of the new publisher is available, our source revealed to us that a deal has been inked with Electronic Arts, with an announcement imminent. The newly re-styled gameplay will be a major surpise to those who expected the same quirky and much loved puzzle-platform formula found in the classic ’Abe’ titles, though we’re certain the same magic will remain. According to our sources, Stranger will encompass a first-person shooter control and view style, with third-person melee combat - much like the up-and-coming Unreal Championship, though we’ve been told the dev team is big fans of Halo, so we’d wager that Bungie’s shooter will influence the controls in some way. Stranger has been in development for some time now, with Oddworld Inhabitants proud of the previous instalment starring Munch, though frustrated that it couldn’t create the game to the entirety of the team’s vision, due to understandable time constraints, the title being an Xbox launch title. Thankfully, the team has been given all it needs to build Stranger into a game that contains many of the ambitions it set out to achieve, with Oddworld President Lorne Lanning expressing to us in a previous conversation: "It’s the most excited I’ve ever been about a game project and I can’t wait till the world gets to see and know about it". In a further twist to the tale, Microsoft has also just aquired a 50 percent share in Oddworld Inhabitants, with Atari swapping its shares for publishing royalties. This seems odd - forgive the pun - considering the fact Microsoft declined the opportunity to publish the title. Electronic Arts firmly in the frame, we contacted the publisher for clarification earlier today, but a spokesperson refused to comment on the matter. However, if our sources are correct, expect the deal to be unveiled by the end of June. Remember where you heard it first, kids. Meanwhile, to satisfy your lust for all things Oddworld until the grand unveiling, you might want to check this marvellous piece of art-literature out. If that’s not enough, you can also wait for Oddworld’s Pixar-quality short, to be submitted for the SIGGRAPH festival in California this coming August. Frankly, we’re big fans of the series and can’t wait for the full unveiling. Keep it here for the official story as soon as it breaks.


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