The beloved but dormant X-COM series, the strategy game franchise created by Mythos and Microprose, is getting a revival in the form of a first-person shooter next year, offending the sensibilities of old-school PC gamers. Why would 2K Games do such a thing?
Christoph Harmann, president at 2K Games, explains to MCV that - sorry, fans of more strategic alien invasion battles - tastes have changed. Strategy games are old news.
"Every studio we had wanted to do it and each one had its own spin on it," Hartmann says of the revival of the XCOM brand. "But the problem was that turn-based strategy games were no longer the hottest thing on planet Earth. But this is not just a commercial thing – strategy games are just not contemporary." So, it became a first-person affair, even if 2K seems somewhat hesitant to label it a first-person shooter.
Hartmann says the team at 2K Marin are trying to "renew Xcom but in line with what this generation of gamers want".
"The team behind it is asking themselves every day: ‘Is it true to the values of the franchise?' It's not a case of cashing in on the name. We just need to renew it because times are changing."
Fortunately, based on our eyes-on time with XCOM at this year's E3 expo, the 2012 game appears to be more than just a run-and-gun shoot 'em up, with tactical considerations and player decisions that have noticeable impact on game events.