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E3: Konami's Briefing Reveals New  Castlevania ,  MGS  Arcade

E3: Konami's Briefing Reveals New Castlevania, MGS Arcade Exclusive

June 3, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

Madrid-based MercurySteam will be developing a next-gen Castlevania with production support from Kojima Productions, it was revealed today at Konami's E3 press briefing, attended by Gamasutra.

Since Kojima has already revealed two new Metal Gear titles -- Peacewalker for PSP and Rising for Xbox 360 -- it came as a surprise to attendees of Konami's E3 press briefing when the renowned director said he had four new games to announce, and the Castlevania title was the last one he revealed.

"As I have said before it's sad if E3 is not a big festival with big announcements," said Kojima. "I want this new E3 to be a big success. So even though it might be too early to show, I brought something very special for you," he said.

Titled Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, it has something of a Western look and feel, seems to have a dramatic storyline, and had few enough identifying features of the classic franchise that the audience was surprised at the trailer's end, when it turned out to be a Castlevania. It's positioned with the tagline "reborn" for a 2010 multiplatform launch.

"In order to be more [globally] appealing in the years to come... we thought that this project should be done this way," said Kojima. He called MercurySteam "top class in the world" as developers, and says his role is "to support them, help them to give birth to this Castlevania."

Nearly every Castlevania title in the past has been produced by the iconic Koji "IGA" Igarashi, who was conspicuously absent from the announcement. His name was not mentioned, so it appears he is not involved in Lords of Shadow.

Kojima also said Peacewalker -- the "true sequel" -- is being developed by Metal Gear Solid 4's core team. As he did during Sony's press briefing, he stressed that it specifically takes advantage of the PSP and has his full involvement on the writing and direction side.

As for Rising, Kojima said that it's a "test" of what he calls the Western development strategy of building technology first and game second, as he discussed wanting to try in his GDC keynote earlier this year.

Aside from the aforementioned two, already revealed during the briefings of Sony and Microsoft, respectively, Kojima unveiled a coin-op, online arcade game that apparently will use 3D goggles. Metal Gear Arcade is expected to launch in Japan this year, and then Konami hopes to launch it overseas, although it hasn't yet worked out how.

Kojima closed his portion of Konami's press briefing by explaining that the cloud and storm images that have been so prevalent on his pre-E3 teaser site are "representing what the current status nowadays [is] in our real lives."

"The entertainment business... [is] here to clear up this storm, and we need to work together," he said.

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