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