Incognito Entertainment´s high profile PS3 title ´Warhawk´ appears to have been downgraded to a downloadable midi-game. There will only be four missions and online gaming may not be implemented, Bruce Kelly from Rumor Reporter claims to have learnt from someone directly involved in the game´s development.
The game was having trouble finding focus. Differences of opinion over its direction ultimately led to a few employees being let go (who, however disgruntled they may be, are not the only source of this story) with a new director being brought in from SCEA’s Santa Monica studio. (Not David Jaffe, who is still hard at work on Calling All Cars.)
Rather than spend even more money trying to make the game into something it was having trouble aspiring to, the decision was made to make the game smaller, more focused, and most controversial, available only on the PlayStation Network online store.
On the NeoGAF forums, SCEA´s David Jaffe failed to disband those rumours:
While I may not be able to give away the details, what I said is accurate. Killing titles is not something any company does lightly. Lightly killing a game from a studio as experienced as Incog? That's even more rare. I think you guys will be happy when you play the game in question tho. Very happy. (...)
Sony Network Store is not a dumping ground for the 'not good enough' titles of the world. That's like saying THE SOPRANO'S wanted to be a movie but had to settle for HBO. Not saying all the games reflect that level yet-and that is OUR job to prove to you that downloadable games are JUST as good as retail games, just different- but I hope when we do start continually putting out games of a high quality that this view will change. And I can tell you, in Santa Monica we approach EVERY downloadable title we make with the same passion, love, and dedication to the craft as we do every full 60 buck retail product.
In December, Sony already downgraded Gran Turismo HD the same way. This game had been as much a showcase title as ´Warhawk´, featuring heavily at last year´s E3.
This is the second highly anticipated first party title that is downgraded in that way. So is the PS3 software line-up dwindling? Among the canned PS3 titles are NBA Live 07, Killing Day, Endless Saga and two Japanese RPGs.
Also, a number of previously thought PS3 exclusives are now multi-platform, most notably GTA4 and ´Assassin´s Creed´ (with the Xbox360 version apparently even boasting superior artificial inteligence). Most importantly, Sony appears to have provoked losing those titles themselves. Unsurprsingly, other developers, like Koei, followed suit. There are also continuing rumours about Metal Gear Solid 4 becoming a cross-platform title.
So, yes, the list of PS3 games has gotten slightly shorter, as has the list of exclusive titles. Let us not forget, though, that there are still a number of great PS3 exclusives to be released this year: Lair, Devil May Cry 4 and Heavenly Sword are sure to become top-sellers on the platform.
Effectively, it is all down to hardware sales and tie-ratios influencing publishers to concentrate their efforts on one platform or another. With the development of a blockbuster title taking at least one and a half years, the changes publishers are implementing now will not show until mid-2008.
As far as hardware sales are concerned, I still believe that we will only start to see a winner emerging by the summer. And we won´t know for sure until after Christmas.
Sources: Rumor Reporter, Joystiq, NeoGAF forums
Thanks to: Joystiq, Joystiq, Simon Phoenix