Though there are pretty much no details on the game itself (including its title), here's what Kotaku had to report:
Call it Project Mercury, and as of today, call it an EA game. The epic role-playing game that won't — confirmed! — be called The Adventures of Curt Schilling has a home and a whole lot of mystery around it.
Last week, top people involved in Project Mercury briefed Kotaku on the news being made official today that 38 Studios, the game company founded by former Boston Red Sox ace and avid gamer Curt Schilling, has signed a deal with Electronic Arts to have its mysterious, epic role-playing game published by EA's Partners label.
That's the same EA Partners program that has brought gamers projects from other non-EA development studios, including The Orange Box from Valve, Rock Band from MTV Games and Brutal Legend from Double Fine Productions.
But new details? Few were to be had.
As had already been reported, Schilling has partnered with comic book guru Todd McFarlane and best-selling fantasy author R.A. Salvatore to create a universe within which 38 Studios' Big Huge Games is creating a role-playing game. Heading the project at Big Huge Games is Ken Rolston, former lead designer of the Elder Scrolls games.
Kotaku joins gamers in wishing we knew anything more about the game. Referencing Rolston's resume, we theorized that this epic role-playing game might be similar to an Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. But 38 Studios CEO Jen MacLean said that supposing that "would do a disservice to Todd and R.A.'s involvement." Those two men and Schilling, she said, have envisioned a novel fantasy world.
We may be in the dark, but EA Partners dealmaker David DeMartini told Kotaku that two very good role-playing game experts, EA's own leaders of its RPG powerhouse studio Bioware, Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, were involved in vetting 38's game. "I would be a fool if I didn't tap into one of the best RPG developers in the world with Ray and Greg," he said. "They were involved in the collaboration and discussion of the project."
Schilling and company's game will be released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. No release timeframe was specified. The game won't be called Project Mercury when it comes out, and, as noted above, it won't be called The Adventures of Curt Schilling either. We threw that one out there. We asked. No chance.
Well, you can definitely color me intrigued. Though I've got the suspicion that this might be an MMO, in part because I stumbled over the following job application a while ago:
Would you like to become part of the team that includes the creative visionaries behind Drizzt Do’Urden and Spawn? 38 Studios is currently seeking a User Interface Engineer to join our Engineering department. This is a full-time position with competitive salary, full benefits and 401(k), and the chance to be part of online gaming history!
As a User Interface Engineer, you will be responsible for designing, implementing, and documenting features of an MMO User Interface while working closely with the UI team and other departments.
(More details at the link).
And yes, I strongly qualify for that position. But unfortunately it's in the US so haven't applied (yet).
But I can't help but wonder what they might be cooking up over there.
GamesIndustry.biz just posted the news as well. However, they're clearly calling it a single-player game:
EA Partners to publish 38 Studios RPG
EA Partners has sign up to publish 38 Studios' single-player role-playing game, codenamed Project Mercury.
The game is in development at the recently acquired Big Huge Games, under the leadership of Elder Scrolls lead designer Ken Rolston, and based on the fantasy world of RA Salvatore and comic book artist Todd McFarlane.
"From day one, 38 Studios has been focused on creating the next generation of entertainment experiences that embrace all mediums, including film, television, comics, novels, toys and, of course, games," commented Curt Schilling, founder of 38 Studios.
"We are creating an enormous world, with heroes and villains and a rich back story from the brilliant minds of RA, Todd and Ken at its heart, and I can think of no finer partner than the global powerhouse that is EA Partners. Being able to leverage the expertise of EA's publishing organisation to bring our first product to market is a dream come true for 38 Studios."
Project Mercury is due for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Salvatore has sold over 15 million books worldwide, and McFarlane is best known for his art on Marvel's Spider-Man and his own Image Comics creation Spawn.
"We are thrilled to be working with 38 Studios. The world of RPG gaming is so rich and it is a perfect complement to our partners and title portfolio in EAP," said David DeMartini, SVP of EA Partners.
"Project Mercury is bursting with first-rate talent, with passion that spans across the board, from Curt to RA to Todd and Ken. We look forward to collaborating with them to create an amazing game set in this incredible new world."
Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
After a couple more news items (like the press release at VG247 and the news item at GameSpot) it seems that 38 Studios is in fact working on two games (that we know of); an MMO codenamed "Copernicus" (for which the job listing is) and this single-player RPG codenamed "Project Mercury". EA has a publishing deal for the single-player RPG, not for the MMO.
Either way, it sounds like good times ahead for RPG fans.
[link] to news item at Kotaku.
[link] to job application at Gamasutra.
[link] to news item at GamesIndustry.biz.
[link] to press release at VG247.
[link] to news item at GameSpot.