|Quantic Dream's Infraworld, Xbox Music and More Assorted Scoopery, Vol. 1 [Superannuation's Assorted|
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Editor's Note: Superannuation knows things, including how to use the Internet and put two and two together. Superannuation pays attention and surmises many things about video games. Superannuation is not a Kotaku staffer, but Superannuation now writes a column for us. We hope you are intrigued.
Among the credits in the biography of French actress and TV presenter of Priscilla Liaud is a Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain, Indigo Prophecy/Farenheit) project due for release in 2013. Rumors circulated earlier this week that one of the two games currently in development at the studio will be announced at Sony's conference next week.
A February 2011 new hire update on the company's LinkedIn page mentioned the titles "Fiv5" and "Infraworld"-both of which have trademark registrations from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. It is worth noting that Quantic Dream cancelled a game called Infraworld in 2006 because they couldn't find a publisher, and Infraworld made a brief cameo in Heavy Rain.
Interestingly, the United States Patent and Trademark Office required that Sony specify one of the categories for the trademark-"On-line gaming services"-because it was too "indefinite or vague." Sony revised the classification to "Providing on-line computer games; providing game services for enabling temporary use of non-downloadable game programs transmitted by accessing networks and to play repeatedly until power supply disconnection of consumer video game consoles for use with an external display screen or monitor." Could this indicate some online capability for Infraworld?
While Quantic Dream's next game is almost certainly for the PS3, the last opening on the firm's French recruitment page mentions that they are looking for Environment Artists to create "high-quality designs" for both "current and future generations" of consoles.
A number of recent online listings would appear to lend credence to recent reports of a Spotify-esque Xbox-branded music service, pegged for a reveal at Microsoft's E3 press conference next week.
In the past several weeks, a handful of openings for a Paris-based "Team Xbox Live Music" have gone up on the company's job listing portal. Also referred to as "Xbox Live Paris," the listings (in French) explain the team's purview lies in "building a massive catalog of music content from multiple vendors and development of innovative user interfaces for music consumption on Xbox, Windows, mobile phones and the web."
That same description showed up in a March job listing for Microsoft's Parisian Musiwave subsidiary, so it does not seem a stretch to infer that Xbox Live Music/Xbox Live Paris is merely a rebranding of Musiwave. Acquired by Microsoft in late 2007, Musiwave specialized in mobile-oriented music services that allowed for mobile carriers to sell song and ringtone downloads wirelessly; however, Microsoft ceased the operation of Musiwave's service in 2009, and reoriented the firm's focus to the Zune Marketplace.
A couple batches of curious domain registrations have recently turned up on the servers of famed MMO developer Turbine. injusticegame.com was moved to Turbine's servers on May 10th, and injustice.com appeared last Tuesday. One day after the transfer of the latter "Injustice" domain, guardiansofmiddleearthgame.com and guardiansofmiddleearth.com were relocated to the Turbine servers.
Although companies register various domains all the time that aren't necessarily indicative of things that are coming to market, the handful of domains moved to Turbine's servers in the past year or so have a pretty strong track record of signaling an announcement not too far away. Domains for Gotham City Impostors, DDO's Forgotten Realms expansion, WB Montreal's F2P Looney Tunes MMO popped up on the Turbine servers weeks before their announcements. However, Gotham City Impostors and Cartoon Universe are multiplayer-oriented titles wherein Turbine assists in providing the online infrastructure-and Turbine is the actual developer of DDO.
That said, a number of Turbine developers contributed to the net code and web presence for Arkham City, so it may be premature to discount the possibility that these are also single-player titles. WB already has one multiplayer-oriented Tolkien title in The Lord of the Rings Online, and there might not be much room in the multiplayer space for the IP without potentially cannibalizing LOTRO. Could this be WB's Hobbit tie-in? The entertainment giant also apparently has a non-LEGO Batman mystery DC Comics game due this year, and there is an Injustice League in the DC canon.
Whatever Injustice and Guardians of Middle-Earth may be, it seems plausible we'll be hearing about them in the near future. [UPDATE: And now we have... GoM-E is a DoTA-style Lord of the Rings game.]
Last week, Disney acquired the imagineeringthegame.com and disneyimagineeringgame.com domains. Disney Imagineering is, of course, the division of the Disney tasked with designing and managing the company's theme park properties. The most optimistic scenario would probably be a proper Rollercoaster Tycoon-esque management sim for iOS built around Disneyland or Disneyworld, but it is more likely that this is a free-to-play Facebook or iOS social game.
Finally, a LinkedIn profile of a former Beenox level designer mentions that the studio has a 2013 project in development, in addition to next month's Amazing Spider-Man tie-in game. Presumably this is the next project from the team that did Shattered Dimensions and Edge of Time.
superannuation is a self-described "internet extraordinaire" residing somewhere in the Pacific Time Zone. He tweets, and can be reached at heyheymayday AT gmail DOT com.
(Top photo via Shutterstock)
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