Indulge the Spy for just a moment as we explore the wonderful world of videogame naming conventions. Actually, ‘conventions’ is a bit of a strong word. Films and novels have naming conventions. Videogame titles emanate from a place beyond structure or pattern, more like bursts of distant and impersonal cosmic energy than a meaningful attempt to communicate.
Sorry, sorry. This month SEGA is responsible for invoking this headspace with a discrete trademark filing for a new game: Re:volvers8. Not much is known about it, and the miracle of this title is that not much can be known. According to its heavily stylised logo, Re:volvers8 could also be called anything from Re:volverS8 to Re:vo 8 VerS. There isn’t a game called Re:volvers, so this isn’t the eighth one of those. ‘ Volvers’ isn’t the name of a game either, so this isn’t a rogue email subject line. Basically, nobody knows what this is or what it means, except that it exists. It’s simply a little bit of information added to existence, occupying space in the universe’s RAM. Thanks a lot, SEGA.
Elsewhere: the sudden closure of Telltale Games – and the redundancy without severance of over 200 employees – is a hard reminder of the conditions that this industry imposes on many of its most talented people. It is (and should be) taken seriously, so no jokes here: but the Spy thought you might be interested in the cancelled Stranger Things game that the studio was working on prior to the events of mid-September.
Telltale’s Stranger Things would have adopted a similar stylised visual design to the studio’s other games, but make use of a mix of a much tighter third-person perspective for exploration and puzzle-solving as well as – for the first time, as far as the Spy understands – firstperson for particular sequences in the eerie otherworld of the Upside Down. Leaked footage shows an attempt to flee, Amnesia- style, from the monster: including lots of spooky distortion and a lot of hiding under a bed. The game will not be released: all you can take with this is that developers at Telltale were starting to break away from the formula established in The Walking Dead by the time the studio’s management devastatingly let them down.
Devil in the details
Lighter things, then: Blizzard is working on a first-person co-op action game and possibly a new Diablo. Both projects were unearthed by a Blizzard forumite via the time-honoured tradition of poring over job listings. They’re hiring extensively for the Diablo series, including multiple references to something called ‘ Diablo World’. An expansion? Diablo IV? World of Diablo? Reader, the Spy simply do not know, because names do not mean anything, remember?
There’s no name for that first person co-op game, either, except that it’ll be action packed and they’re looking for people with co-op, tabletop and RPG experience in order to make it. Given Overwatch’s origins as the PvP mode for a Destiny- style MMO called Titan, the Spy reckons there’s still a lot of PvE expertise knocking around that team. Could that resolve itself into something like Overwatch meets Left 4 Dead? It’s very possible. Then they’d only need to make Overwatch Counter-Strike and Overwatch Ricochet and they’d finally have made off with all of Valve’s multiplayer shooters. Revenge for DotA at last. Spy out.
Telltale was starting to break away from the formula established in TWD
The Spy The Spy’s full name is Thesaurus Spyrovitz.