Piranha games announce that their giant robot simulation Mechwarrior Reboot is no more, but instead will become the free-2-play game Mechwarrior Online.
The Mechwarrior Reboot trailer video that appeared in 2009 sparked hopes in many Mechwarrior fans that the wait for another installment in the Battletech-based franchise might soon be over. The last game had been released way back in 2002, so it’d been a long wait between drinks. Mouths started watering, people started talking, and then…… nothing.
Then on October 23 Piranha Games, the developer responsible for the Mechwarrior Reboot Trailer, published a large blog detailing what happened to Mechwarrior Reboot. Apparently Microsoft, the owners of the rights to the Mechwarrior franchise, imposed the restriction on Piranha that they could not make a PS3 version, no doubt due to Microsoft not wanting to benefit their main console rival with a game based on their own Intellectual Property. It was this that caused Mechwarrior Reboot to be permanently shelved, according to Piranha Games’ Creative Director Bryan Ekman :
“We knew going in, there were two major risks. No PS3 version due to a Microsoft restriction, and the epic market collapse and major recession. In the end, it was mostly the lack of a PS3 option that did us in. The scope and budget required to develop a console reboot needed the support of a PS3 SKU and we just couldn’t convince publishers to take a risk. By late fall 2009, our dreams of making a MechWarrior game, began slowly drifting away.”
Yesterday it became official, with Piranha Games announcing that Mechwarrior Online will be published by Infinite Game Publishing in the second half of 2012. It will be a Free-2-Play game, however Piranha are adamant that it is not a “cynical cash-in” on a well-known and loved franchise and will not devolve into the “Pay-2-Win” game that fans are already starting to fear.
Those same fans will be waiting with their fingers crossed over the coming months.