PAX 2013: Here's all the news that's worth your time
PAX Prime, the Comic-Con of the video game industry, occurred this past weekend in Seattle. This year’s event was a massive four-day undertaking that spanned the Labor Day weekend, with tens of thousands of fans crammed into the labyrinthine Washington State Convention Center.
For many, this was an opportunity to play the year's most anticipated games or lay hands on the upcoming Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles. If you were expecting any big news about the next generation of home consoles at PAX proper, however, Sony and Microsoft were happy to disappoint you.
Still, there were a few notable announcements scattered between the constant Titanfall hype and Twitch streamers. In the next few days (once we get some sleep) we’ll also have a rundown of some of the fantastic games—big and small—we saw in Seattle.
For now, here’s all the news you need to know from PAX 2013.
Mega Man's spiritual successor
On Saturday Keiji Inafune announced he’s working on a spiritual successor to the franchise that made him famous: the revered Mega Man.
Known as Mighty No. 9, this is a Mega Man game in everything but name: difficult platforming, 2D-esque art style, and quick combat. Punishing, in other words. The team over at developer Comcept features an “all-star team” of ex-Mega Man devs, so hopefully this will bring some of the magic back to Inafune’s robot-battling formula.
The team launched a Kickstarter for the game during Inafune's PAX panel on Saturday, August 31, and by the end of the long weekend the game had already blasted past its $900,000 funding goal.
Now if only Mighty No. 9 had an entire rock opera to its name.
Gearbox announces two new franchises
Gearbox, developer of Borderlands and…well, some other not-as-great-as-Borderlands games, revealed it’s currently developing two new franchises for upcoming consoles.
Let’s just hope they’re better than Aliens: Colonial Marines. Or at least Duke Nukem Forever.
Ryan Davis tribute
And while not strictly news, there were a number of events during PAX to commemorate fallen industry figure Ryan Davis of Giant Bomb, who passed away in July.
At the Giant Bomb panel on Saturday night, fans showed their support with a three-minute standing ovation at the start of the show. Then on Sunday night the Cards Against Humanity panel paid tribute to the man, with friends offering video and spoken memories of Davis. Highly recommended viewing if you followed Davis’s work in either the GameSpot or Giant Bomb days.
Ultimate Warrior is still Ultimate Warrior
Sitting in 2K’s booth, playing XCOM: Enemy Within behind closed doors, my eardrums suddenly rang with the sound of an overenthusiastic announcer shouting, “Ultimate Warrior is in the building!” (or something along those lines).
I turned to the developer talking me through XCOM. “…the real Ultimate Warrior?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said, looking bemused. Ultimate Warrior showed up at PAX just to hawk the latest wrestling game, WWE 2K14.
I’d offer you visual proof of this momentous occasion in gaming history, but the larger-than-life legend that is the Ultimate Warrior asked that we not take pictures and I reluctantly obliged.
Sony introduces Third Party Production team
On Friday Sony announced the formation of a new production team that will help developers bring their games to Playstation hardware. This Third Party Production team will work alongside the extant PlayStation Third Party Relations group to "bring [our partners'] beloved IPs to some new places," according to a Playstation Blog post from Third Party Production leader Gio Corsi.
It's a vague mission statement, to be sure, but it suggests that this team will help Sony deliver on their promise to make "nearly every" game developed for the Playstation 4 playable on the Playstation Vita. We already know that Third Party Production is working to port games from third-party developers like Gearbox across multiple Playstation platforms, as Sony confirmed that the team is already working on bringing Borderlands 2 to the Playstation Vita.
And…that’s the news from PAX. Light for sure, though we did get our hands on dozens of independent and not-so-independent games. We’ll have information on those in the coming days, so stick around.