38 Studios has just announced a publishing and distribution partnership with Electronic Arts Partners (EAP) to publish its first title. The game, codenamed "Project Mercury" in 38 Studios' typically tight-lipped fashion, is the first title to be published by Big Huge Games - the Maryland-based studios responsible for the Rise of Nations series and Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, plus a number of XBLA games including Catan - since its acquisition by 38 Studios.
EA to publish first 38 Studios game.
"Project Mercury" was also the name of NASA's first manned spaceflight program, and the allusion is appropriate since this title will be an RPG introduction to the new fantasy universe co-created by bestselling fantasy author R.A. Salvatore and renowned modeler Todd McFarlane. This is the same universe that will be featured in the upcoming MMORPG, codenamed "Copernicus," from 38 Studios. To add to the all-star cast, Project Mercury's producer is Ken Rolston, 27-year industry veteran and lead designer on Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Details are scarce regarding Project Mercury, but Ten Ton Hammer was able to confirm with 38 Studios' Jen MacLean that the game will be available on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. As to the question of whether or not 38 Studios and Big Huge Games retain absolute creative control of the game as a result of the deal, MacLean noted that EA has a proven track record with RPG titles, that specifically they've "led the way with downloadable content and social networking tools," and 38 Studios "would be foolish not to take EA's advice." But MacLean cited the combined creative talent of Salvatore, McFarlane, and Rolston, intimating that "no one wants to stand in their way."
No further details regarding "Project Mercury" or "Copernicus" are expected from GDC 2010 this week.
Click here to read the official press release for more details.
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