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Capcom turns to Western developer for  Lost Planet 3
Capcom turns to Western developer for Lost Planet 3
April 10, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

April 10, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Capcom has announced Lost Planet 3, a new entry for its third-person shooter, which is under development for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows at California-based Spark Unlimited.

This will be the first Lost Planet game built outside of Capcom and by a Western studio, though Spark Unlimited is collaborating with the Japanese publisher for the project. It's also the first to use Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 instead of Capcom's own MT Framework engine, according to Forbes.

Capcom has worked with a number of Western developers to help create new games for its major franchises lately, as was the case with Slant Six Games for Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, and Blue Castle for Dead Rising 2.

Its move to try something different with the Lost Planet series comes after the last internally developed title, Lost Planet 2 (pictured), was a substantial disappointment for the company sales-wise, despite shipping 1.5 million copies worldwide.

Founded in 2002, Spark Unlimited is an employee-owned, independent developer best known for releasing Xbox 360/PS3/Windows first-person shooters like Legendary and Turning Point: Fall of Liberty. Spark Unlimited expects to ship Lost Planet 3 in early 2013.

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Maurício Gomes
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Seriously, I really loved Lost Planet 1, with all the Japanese style robot battles, where I could slide around super fast and shoot and see things exploding awesomely...

Lost Planet 2... :(

Now I am harrowing that Lost Planet 3 will be another game that ends as "Gears of Lost Planet", probably with cover mechanics even on the robot fight.

Joe McGinn
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Just so. Yet another Capcom franchise chasing COD's tale. This is the lowest point in Capcom history. They have lost all confidence in their own abilities ... the very abilities that put them on the map in the first place.

Eric Geer
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I'm a little bit worried about this. I haven't played the 1st but I really enjoyed the 2nd even though I got to it late in the game. It was a super fun co-op game that even now still has a pretty active community(on the PS3 at least) It was extremely refreshing and even had me relearning controls as it wasn't a traditional set up(this is welcomed IMO)

But not sure why they are doing this through a 3rd party dev, a Western Dev, that doesn't have a respectable track record. I am a bit worried as Mauricio has said. And they are using Unreal and not Capcoms MT framework. eek.

---Gears of Lost Planet is not something I would look forward to.

Ujn Hunter
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:sad face:

Camilo R
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This could be interesting. One of my favorite games (Metroid Prime) came about with something like this.

Joe Zachery
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Nintendo still had full control of the game, and even supervised it's creation. Capcom is saying here we don't want to make this so do what you want. This game is dead on arrival.

brandon sheffield
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Legendary and Turning Point both have 50 or below metacritic ratings. an interesting choice here, to be sure.

Their highest rated game is Call of Duty: Finest Hour, at 76, which was released in 2004. maybe they'll bring back some of that 2004 magic for this game............

Christopher Braithwaite
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I loved Lost Planet though it was deeply flawed and HATED Lost Planet 2, so this is a step in the right direction. However I question the choice of developer. Clearly the Japanese Lost Planet team failed to understand what appealed to players about Lost Planet but that doesn't mean any random western developer will; especially if Capcom intends for this to be a blockbuster game.

I think it's safe to say Spark Unlimited was not Capcom's first choice, more accomplished teams were probably too expensive or not interested in a licensed property. One wonders whether there isn't a better way to go about this though. Rather than going for any western team they can afford, what about choosing a particularly talented designer and entrusting them to build a team specifically for making this game, like how it works in film? I think the videogame industry is ripe for this development model.

BTW Lost Planet is already Gears of Lost Planet.

Joe McGinn
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Very good point Chris ... would be interesting to pair a great designer with a Japanese development team, see if you can get over the culture gap and get the best of both worlds (that would be particularly challenging to do in Japan, but it would be an interesting challenge to be sure).

Gerald Antoine
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Giving an entirely educated opinion on this topic is not possible for me as it would require me to play through and research Legendary, Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, and Call of Duty: Finest Hour. It would also require me to do in depth research on Spark Unlimited itself and compare the personnel that participated in each title. Since I am already neck deep in other endeavors neither of those two things are possible. What follows is my slightly less educated opinion of this matter:

In regards to Lost Planet (LP) and Lost Planet 2 (LP2):
I played through both of these games. I thought LP was a good game and that LP2 was an amazing game. I still do not understand why people thought LP2 was a bad game. Anyone can feel free to share their thoughts on that matter as I would love to hear them.

In regards to Lost Planet 3 (LP3):
I am excited to hear about this because I really like the setting, but I am waiting now with baited breath. I thought that the leaked trailer (which I encourage all of you to go watch because I personally believe it is amazing) made it VERY clear that this game will be nothing like its predecessors because there is so much western influence in it. I may just be counting my chickens before they have hatched, though.

In regards to Spark Unlimited and their involvement in the project:
I had never heard of this company prior to today and having never played any of their previous titles I have nothing to go in terms of what kind of expectations to have from them. I cannot say that I have expectations for games from a specific company to be good or bad (except for Bungie, who can do no wrong in my eyes), so I am hopeful that I will enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Joseph Caddell
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This sounds very interesting. Im sure Capcom has its reasons for turning to Spark. I am certain they will keep true to the style of gameplay art wise i'm not sure about, will be fasinating to see what comes up.