He’s got to look out for what’s over his hori­zon

EDGE - - NEWS -

As our mast­head makes clear, Edge is in the busi­ness of the fu­ture of in­ter­ac­tive en­ter­tain­ment. It’s a lofty goal – and, as this is­sue shows, an in­creas­ingly wide-rang­ing one. This month we head, for the se­cond time in as many is­sues, to China, where some of the big­gest pub­lish­ers in the west are try­ing to break into the most lu­cra­tive mar­ket on the planet, this time by set­ting up shop at Chi­naJoy, the na­tion’s equiv­a­lent of E3.

On the very next page, we hop half­way around the world to speak to Her Story cre­ator Sam Bar­low about his at­tempts to take in­ter­ac­tive sto­ry­telling to the next level. Later, EA’s cre­ative chief Pa­trick Söder­lund ex­plains how a pub­lisher known for an­nual mega-fran­chises such as FIFA and Mad­den is, be­hind the scenes, re­search­ing deep learn­ing and vir­tual hu­mans. And if you thought our fu­ture-gaz­ing mis­sion state­ment a lofty one, wait un­til you hear from the var­i­ous de­vel­op­ers whose games act as cau­tion­ary tales – some of them quiet, some more overt – about the loom­ing, un­avoid­able spec­tre of cli­mate change.

Af­ter that, you might be glad to hear that, else­where, it’s busi­ness as usual. There are an un­com­mon num­ber of se­quels in this is­sue: per­haps it’s sim­ply that time of year, or that point in a gen­er­a­tion, when we tend to hear about games with num­bers on the end of their ti­tles. Some evolve; oth­ers merely ex­pand. Oth­ers pretty much just do the same thing again, if we’re be­ing hon­est. We try to avoid cov­er­ing those, if we can.

Few, how­ever, seem quite so vi­tal to their mak­ers as Des­tiny 2. The mud­dled first game hooked us, and many oth­ers, de­spite our bet­ter judge­ment. But it left many cold, and as the first prod­uct of a fright­en­ingly ex­pen­sive 10-year deal, its pub­lisher Ac­tivi­sion ex­pected more from it. The se­quel has been a long time com­ing – it was first slated for 2016 – and be­gin­ning on p58 we ex­plore whether the wait has been worth it. The videogame busi­ness may be about gaz­ing into the fu­ture, but ‘fu­ture’ is a rel­a­tive con­cept. For Bungie, the next few months will be crit­i­cal.

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