Something has been catching my attention lately, and though the news itself may be a bit old, the dots are starting to connect, or at least look like they're connecting. And like Rorschach told Nite Owl II, if it looks like a field mouse and squeaks like a field mouse, well, get your mouth off my mask, you freak, I just have laryngitis. Anyway, today's topic comes from the confluence of two separate news items: one, the recently-launched star-studded Kickstarter
project known as Steam Bandits: Outpost, and the other, the recently established connection between DUST 514 and EVE Online.
You may already be familiar with Steam Bandits: Outpost, the product of Iocaine Studios, itself the product of several big-name game alums including World of Warcraft
and Fallout: New Vegas
. Now that's a pedigree to reckon with, says I, but the key takeaway here is that Steam Bandits: Outpost, when it's done, will essentially be three games in one. Part city builder, part action RPG and part flight sim, the combination will basically making Steam Bandits: Outpost a game that comes close to being all things for all gamers.
Meanwhile, the combination of DUST 514 and EVE Online gives that game a significant shot in the arm in terms of density, with the players of one game able to call in support from the players of a whole different game and both sides reaping reward.
And the ultimate question I got from these two chunks of news is, is this where we're going now? Are we reaching a point where games will almost separate into the casual and the ultra-complex? It's a bit early to tell, naturally--two games do not a pattern make, you know--but what it does do is provide a sufficient body of evidence to ask the ultimate question: What does this mean?
The ultimate answer, meanwhile, remains: It depends.
It depends on whether or not that Kickstarter actually hits its goal. It depends on how many people show up for DUST 514. It depends on how well these titles sell.
It will bear watching, over the course of the next couple years or so, if more games start intermingling freely, and bits of one canon start showing up in other bits. It could produce a lot of fun, and games with much better replayability stats. But only time will tell if we actually see this happen, so let's keep our collective eyes open and see where this goes.