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Electronic Arts To Publish Double Fine's  Brutal Legend
Electronic Arts To Publish Double Fine's Brutal Legend
December 12, 2008 | By David Jenkins

December 12, 2008 | By David Jenkins
More: Console/PC

Electronic Arts has stepped in as the publisher of Double Fine Productions’ Brütal Legend, after the game was dropped by original publisher Vivendi Games following the company’s merger with Activision.

Brütal Legend is the next game from ex-LucasArts veteran Tim Schafer, whose first game as president and founder of Double Fine was the critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful Psychonauts.

The title is a rock music-themed third person action game, starring Jack Black in the role of roadie Eddie Riggs. The game is due for release in autumn 2009 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

"This is awesome news!" says Schafer. "The quality and creativity of the games EA Partners has been involved with make it a perfect home for our baby, Brütal Legend. Some people were starting to wonder if the saga of Eddie Riggs would ever see the light of day, but now I think it’s clear that this game, like Metal itself, cannot be killed!"

When asked about the game earlier this year, EA CEO John Riccitiello told Gamasutra that it is a very significant creative risk." This move on the part of EA seems to demonstrate that the company won't eliminate all titles it views as risky from its portfolio, even as it scales back titles from 2009's lineup to focus on hits and improve profitability.

Although Activision Blizzard chose to continue publishing Sierra-branded franchises such as Crash Bandicoot and The Legend of Spyro, it infamously dropped 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, Ghostbusters: The Game, Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena and Brütal Legend.

Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick later explained the decision by claiming that the franchises in question didn’t "have the potential to be exploited every year across every platform, with clear sequel potential that can meet our objectives of, over time, becoming $100 million-plus franchises".

The new 50 Cent game has subsequently been picked up by THQ, with Atari now due to publish both Ghostbusters and Chronicles of Riddick.

"Brütal Legend is shaping up to be a creative tour de force," says David DeMartini, senior vice president and general manager of EA Partners. "At EAP, we are deeply committed to giving the industry’s elite independent developers a platform to launch their creations to a worldwide audience."

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Andrew Hopper
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Good to know that this game is getting the chance that Schafer deserves, and that EA is still trying (even with it's most recent setbacks). Here's hoping the market agrees.

Tom Newman
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Great news! I was shocked to see Activision drop this - especially for the reasons they gave. I am even more surprised by EA picking this up, but good news none the less.

David Delanty
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Absolutely awesome! I'm so glad this game has found a home. I know that Schafer has had some bad luck with really great games not selling as well as they deserve to. EA has a great fulcrum to publicize its own games, though, and can do so in ways that benefit gamers. If this is anything like Full Throttle, and has an expansive hard rock soundtrack backing it, you bet it's going to be downloadable content on Rock Band. Valve may be able to give it suitable advertising on their Steam network.

Now, I also find this news a bit of a surprise. After the lacking sales of Mirror's Edge, I wasn't expecting EA to be so gun-ho about original IP. Glad my predictions were incorrect on that.

Jonas Wickerström
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Hopefully EA keeps their grubby hands off Double Fine and just give them an infinite supply of money.

I also hope that this game sells better than Psychonauts or Grim Fandango. Hard rock is hip right now thanks to Rock Band and Guitar Hero.

Ian Fisch
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OK I am a big Jack Black fan, but this game is gonna have to be more than interesting characters and fun dialogue to get my money. I want some good gameplay - mechanics, level design, etc.

This is what Psychonauts lacked and I think it was part of the reason it sold so poorly. Sorry Tim but if you're not gonna put an emphasis on the interactive portions, then I'd just assume watch a movie or TV show or read a book.

James Thorpe
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Are you sure it was Psychonauts you played?

Jan Kubiczek
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yeah... he is talking about the game with overcomplicated inventory... suckholes every here and there in the environment and loads of frustrating passages... ;)

THAT game with galaxy-mechanics would have been great... there are actually some parallels in level-design and mechanics anyway... :D