On January 5th, Alien Anthology, the official Fox-Alien Instagram and Twitter accounts started teasing upcoming announcements regarding the continuing story of Amanda Ripley and teased the tagline #ReadPlayWatch.
— Alien (@AlienAnthology) January 7, 2019
With this being Alien’s 40th Anniversary there are high hopes that Fox will provide a good year for Xenomorph fans.
“That’s The Thing. You Were Out There For Fifty Seven Years”
It is interesting that Fox has revealed that this new campaign will centre around Amanda Ripley.
Amanda appeared in the Aliens Special Edition (1986) when Burke explained to Ripley that she had been in a 57-year long stasis sleep and her daughter had lived her life and died without her mother.
It was not until Fox gave Sega and Creative Assembly (Total War Franchise) the licence to make a new game in the Alien universe that they developed this story. That game was Alien Isolation released 2014 on PC/Xbox and PlayStation.
The game abandoned the shooter Aliens v Predators type games and the squad-based cash in/rip off, of Gearbox’s 2013 Alien: Colonial Marines.
Creative Assembly recreated the original Alien perfectly in the themes and environment and told the story of Amanda’s search for her mother and to uncover the truth of the fate of the USCSS Nostromo.
Fox had the passion for the game, they reunited the majority of the original’s cast to take part.
The game was brilliant, one of the top games of this generation.
Unfortunately, the mostly positive reception and fan response was not enough for Fox and perceived poor sales led them to award the gaming licence elsewhere and Creative Assembly’s end of game teaser of a sequel was, thanks but no thanks, from Fox.
#ReadPlayWatch With MU-TH-UR 6000
Now back to Fox’s recent hints of #ReadPlayWatch.
Fox’s tease campaign now acknowledges Amanda Ripley as canon in the Alien story.
The Read part was unveiled with the announcement of a four-issue comic book series by Dark Horse Comics called Alien: Resistance which follows on from Isolation and Amanda’s investigation into the mystery of the Nostromo and the shady corporation Weyland Yutani.
This comic series will start on 23 January 2019.
The Play part was announced as Alien: Blackout developed by FoxNext Games, D3 Go!, and Rival Games and is mobile only.
It continues the story of Amanda Ripley (mobile only). The gameplay shows Amanda trying to help crew mates navigate and escape from a spaceship/base while avoiding the Xenomorph, using CCTV to help them and solve puzzles.
With initial negative response to the game, Fox was quick to announce that the game does not include microtransactions.
“Game Over Man, Game Over!”
Rightfully, the tease over the weekend, the involvement of Amanda Ripley, built anticipation in the Alien: Isolation fan base that a sequel could be likely. With the announcement of Blackout, the fan forums, Twitter and Instagram responses became hostile environments for Fox.
Should be tweeting an apology, and a promise to give fans what they want, not this.
— e-chef (@e_chef_music) January 8, 2019
This was not the news fans wanted.
This was later clarified by TQ Jefferson, vice president of external development at FoxNext who stated that Isolation 2 is not in development.
I don’t know who Fox use to measure Alien fandom but they dropped the ball with this, Alien: Isolation is a masterpiece and was a better story than both Prometheus and Covenant combined.
Hopefully, the uproar and publicity this announcement has raised will make someone at Fox sit up and take notice. I would suggest that they get on the phone to Creative Assembly as soon as possible and see if they have space in their schedule.
What Next Fox? “Unclouded By Conscience, Remorse, Or Delusions Of Morality”
There is still the Watch part of the tease to be revealed, although it has been confirmed that it is not a game or film.
Could be the rumoured TV series?
There is also another Alien game in development for release on PC/Xbox/PlayStation. Cold Iron Studios are developing an MMO shooter in the vain of Destiny.
So again not a story-driven Alien game but an online experience in the universe. Unfortunately for Fox this was probably in development before the negatively received Fallout 76 where another studio moved away from something that worked to try something new.
Will the backlash of Fallout impact on the prospect of the new Alien shooter?