Think about this a public service announcement big enough for Flint, Gung-Ho, and Alpine to host: G.I. Joe, one of many United States’ longest-running comedian and cartoon collection, seems to lastly be on the verge of returning to console video video games in a significant approach.
Magic: The Gathering creators Wizards of the Coast are making a brand new sport within the franchise with ex-WB Video games builders—the primary undertaking for a brand new, as-yet-unnamed triple-A studio. As listed in a number of job posts on its career page, the corporate is seeking to fill positions on the growth home, at present referred to as “New Raleigh-Durham Studio,” for a multiplatform third-person motion sport set “within the G.I. Joe universe.”
Wizards, a division of Hasbro (which additionally owns the G.I. Joee model), states the developer is being headed by skilled ex-staffers from WB Video games and different main studios, although the listings counsel it is nonetheless recruiting for some senior positions, together with lead sport designer and artwork director.
Whereas not one of the listings will get too far into specifics, the lead-game-designer advert does point out that candidates want expertise with Unreal Engine, whereas—maybe extra apparently—the art-director web page mentions “the chance to assist redefine a beloved IP.”
One motive to have any optimism for this teased G.I. Joe sport comes from Wizards’ current efforts to department into the triple-An area with its personal properties. The corporate launched Dungeons & Dragons: Darkish Alliance earlier this yr, which was met with middling opinions however confirmed promise in its design and manufacturing worth chops somewhat than feeling like an inexpensive cellular port.
Hasbro introduced its intentions to develop digital video games for a variety of its properties at an investor event in February. This, mixed with opening a brand new triple-A studio scale, factors to the corporate taking the G.I. Joe identify extra significantly than it has been in a while—which needs to be a no brainer to fill gaming’s relative void of E-10-rated motion video games.
Actual American zero?
The G.I. Joe model might additionally use a reset given its newest media failures. This summer time’s theatrical spinoff Snake Eyes tanked on the pandemic-troubled field workplace. In the meantime, final yr’s third-person shooter G.I. Joe Operation Blackout, which sported a cel-shaded, Fortnite-esque look, did not fare significantly better. The beloved comedian and cartoon collection has been relegated largely to smartphone sport tie-ins over the previous decade, with Operation Blackout being the primary G.I. Joe console launch of any sort since 2009’s G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra movie tie-in. (Earlier than that, the final time the Joes had a lot of presence in video games in any respect was 1992, in a self-titled arcade sport from Konami and the NES’ G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Issue.)
Studying between the strains, Wizards bringing on former WB Video games builders to apparently head its Raleigh-Durham studio could supply some clues into the standing of the video games division at Warner Bros.
Questions have been circling Warner Bros.’ growth arm—which is at present engaged on video games like Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Harry Potter spin-off Hogwarts Legacy—since WarnerMedia (previously Time-Warner Inc.) was purchased by AT&T in 2018. The media agency was then hit with mass layoffs as a part of a corporate restructuring in August 2020, resulting in business hypothesis that Warner Bros. Interactive may be offered.
AT&T introduced in Could it will spin off WarnerMedia as a separate firm in a merger with Discovery. In the meantime, WB’s roster of big-budget triple-A video games was virtually totally lacking from the corporate’s E3 bulletins in June. As an alternative, the corporate solely provided an replace on the upcoming sport Back 4 Blood. (Mortal Kombat‘s NetherRealm and Shadow of Mordor‘s Monolith have been equally mum for a while.)
In an announcement throughout its restructuring, AT&T did say WB Interactive was staying within the household. However gleaning concrete info on the present standing of both its studios or tasks in-development has been tough since then. All of which is to say, this new studio highlighting former WB Video games heads as a part of its management might have bigger implications.