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Chair's Ender's Game Video Game Series Put On Hold

After Undertow, Chair announced plans to make a series of games based on Ender's Game. These games will probably never see the light of day.

In 2008, Chair Entertainment announced plans to turn Orson Scott Card's sci-fi novel Ender's Game into a series of video games for all current consoles, handhelds, and even the PC. The project, which would have placed players in simulated combat situations within the fiction's futuristic "Battle Room," has since been put on indefinite hold by Chair. The purchase of the studio by Epic Games (a publisher with a taste for unique IP) is a big reason why we'll probably never see the series.

"We have and had an amazing design for the Ender's Game game," studio co-founder Donald Mustard told Joystiq, but "one of Epic's primary objectives is to create original and unique franchises. I don't know that Ender's Game fits into that strategic objective anymore." 

"So, probably not," Mustard said, speaking to this game's eventual release. "Not from us" at least, he said. 
 

Apparently this is a scene in the book. 

== TEASER ==I read a lot of sci-fi, but I've yet to check out Ender's Game, which makes it tough to talk about what Ender's Game: The Game could have been. Wikipedia's synopsis of the book tells me that we might have seen a game focused not only on the "Battle Room," but also the life of baby Space Marines.

"Most of the story focuses around the Battle School, a space station used as a military training complex for children. The IF tests all children on Earth and selects the brightest for the Battle School for military training. Students are organized into armies with 40 members and assigned to conduct simulated battles in zero gravity. Upon graduation, students move on to either Tactical School, Combat School, Pre-Command School or Command School with three years in Pre-Command. The Battle School forms in response to the need of highly skilled officers for the wars against the Formics, and most of the officers in the IF pass through the school at one time."


You know, I think I'm OK with this being placed on hold. Infinity Blade and Shadow Complex turned out to be pretty good.
 
[Image via egonSchiele's deviantart page.]
77 Comments
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Posted by Walreese55

Ender's Game was really amazing sci-fi, especially for a book that came out in 1977. I doubt the video game would (have) focused on the more philosophical debates of using the weapon (forgot its name) and the side story about his sister and brother and Ender's complete mental breakdown, although I would have been really interested to see their attempts to include those details in the video  game. I also suppose it would take some elements from Dead Space regarding the space setting and the zero-g elements. Eh, wishful thinking. 

Posted by Yorick

Anyone else find the article title complicated/confusing?
Posted by NeonBlackJack

I love learning about a new game and hearing about its demise in the same day...

Posted by Nictel
@TehFlan said:

" Bummer. I love Ender's Game. "

And for this reason I am kind of happy it will never turn in to a game. I don't think it would do the book justice.  
 
 "We have and had an amazing design for the Ender's Game game," studio co-founder Donald Mustardtold Joystiq, but "one of Epic's primary objectives is to create original and unique franchises. I don't know that Ender's Game fits into that strategic objective anymore."      
 
Ok can anyone explain to me how Ender's Game is not an original and unique franchise? Unless they were going to make it into a plain space shooter. 
Posted by CheckPointD

I read Ender's Game a few years ago and I didn't think it was as good as the people say it is.

Posted by LumpyTheCook
@ryanwho, @ArbitraryWater: 
Who said anything about being "politically correct" or "liberal"? Liberal and conservative don't necessarily apply here - what does apply is who, in this time of economic and political uncertainty, is deathly afraid, for whatever reason, of dudes marrying dudes. So which are you, hrm?
Posted by afrofools
@LumpyTheCook said:
" @ryanwho, @ArbitraryWater: Who said anything about being "politically correct" or "liberal"? Liberal and conservative don't necessarily apply here - what does apply is who, in this time of economic and political uncertainty, is deathly afraid, for whatever reason, of dudes marrying dudes. So which are you, hrm? "
I agree with you. Actually I was just having this very thought the other day. Why waste energy hating people for things that are harmless, even if we dissaprove of their choice. There is far more serious things to be concerned about, (like what game to buy /jk) like how to solve political, economic, scientific, and efficiency problems of our world.
Posted by Lind_L_Taylor
@nicklott said:
" I read Ender's Game a long time ago, it's a great book but the man is so repugnant I don't want to touch anything else he's involved in. I felt weird buying Shadow Complex but figured what I give to the organizations like the Human Rights Campaign should off-set that fraction of the 15 dollars he gets many times over.  "
Why is he "repugnant"??
 
Shit, now that OSC is off of their games, I gotta say,
their own "unique IP" to save a few bucks will probably
be the Chair's sirens call.  So fuck'em.
 
They should sell the OSC IP to Cryptic.  We'd be better
off.  At least none of this namby-pamby "we don't do 
great IPs" bullshit.
Posted by rab13

:)
Edited by NickLott
@Lind_L_Taylor said:

" @nicklott said:

" I read Ender's Game a long time ago, it's a great book but the man is so repugnant I don't want to touch anything else he's involved in. I felt weird buying Shadow Complex but figured what I give to the organizations like the Human Rights Campaign should off-set that fraction of the 15 dollars he gets many times over.  "
Why is he "repugnant"??  Shit, now that OSC is off of their games, I gotta say, their own "unique IP" to save a few bucks will probably be the Chair's sirens call.  So fuck'em.  They should sell the OSC IP to Cryptic.  We'd be better off.  At least none of this namby-pamby "we don't do  great IPs" bullshit. "
I find him repugnant because of his incredibly bigoted statements on homosexuals. People certainly have a right to their opinions but his views are uncomfortably close to hate speech.
Posted by wrathofconn

I'm glad one of my favorite books isn't going to be shat on after all.

Posted by wrathofconn
@ArbitraryWater
Regardless of what Orson Scott Card's views are (are they really relevant to this article, or do you just like showing how politically correct you are?), I don't think he's a good author, and I don't think Ender's Game is very good source material.
Dang dude, you're making fun of the contrarian posts by being an entirely different kind of troll. Edgy!
Posted by ryanwho
@LumpyTheCook said:
" @ryanwho, @ArbitraryWater: Who said anything about being "politically correct" or "liberal"? Liberal and conservative don't necessarily apply here - what does apply is who, in this time of economic and political uncertainty, is deathly afraid, for whatever reason, of dudes marrying dudes. So which are you, hrm? "
How does this apply to the article? It doesn't. The comments page is full of people who know this man from a well publicized statement instead of his award winning novel because they're a generation of illiterates addicted to tabloid. I wonder how many of these people ban Jackie Chan movies because of his stance on racial casting. Probably not many, because they're actually familiar with his body of work and can separate the two. But if you're just some fucking clueless kid, you see any thread related even vicariously to Card and talk about some shit not at all relevant.
Edited by HerbieBug

The battle school thing is something you'd have to put a lot of time and a lot of money into getting right.  To date, no one has pulled off zero-g movement to any effective or accurate degree.  Dead Space tried, but really all they did there was have you jump from wall to wall in a straight line.  
 
Also, regarding Card, the fact that he's a jackass should in no way deter you from reading his books, especially the ones from early in his career.  Being a jackass doesn't make him any less a fantastic author. 

Posted by KarateKid
@wrathofconn said:
" I'm glad one of my favorite books isn't going to be shat on after all. "
I would have to agree with you,. 
And to anyone who enjoys sci-fi or just books in general, you really need to read this one. 
It is put simply a very good book!
Online
Posted by wrathofconn
@ryanwho said:
" @LumpyTheCook said:
" @ryanwho, @ArbitraryWater: Who said anything about being "politically correct" or "liberal"? Liberal and conservative don't necessarily apply here - what does apply is who, in this time of economic and political uncertainty, is deathly afraid, for whatever reason, of dudes marrying dudes. So which are you, hrm? "
How does this apply to the article? It doesn't. The comments page is full of people who know this man from a well publicized statement instead of his award winning novel because they're a generation of illiterates addicted to tabloid. I wonder how many of these people ban Jackie Chan movies because of his stance on racial casting. Probably not many, because they're actually familiar with his body of work and can separate the two. But if you're just some fucking clueless kid, you see any thread related even vicariously to Card and talk about some shit not at all relevant. "
Indeed!
Posted by Jazz
@Deathpooky said:
" @knightlyknave said:
" @patbaer said:
" While the book means alot to me, I hope a game never comes out. Any money in the pocket of OSC could get used to further his homophobic agenda. Fuck Orson Scott Card. "
Wow, I had no idea about that. How can anyone who writes sci-fi be so closed minded? "
It's quite sad.  I never knew he was that much of a nutjob until later, and while I still love Ender's Game and have some affinity for the rest of the series, I'll never purchase another of his books again. I was worried about Shadow Complex, though Chair successfully removed any political overtones from the story that OSC wrote.  Keep your politics out of my video games. "
oh god, after reading those two empire books, especially the second one, i really began to worry about OSCs mental state...and that's not even considering his views on other things.
Posted by ryanwho

And you loved the Hangover, and residuals from that go to convicted rapist Mike Tyson. You live in a world of arbitrary double standards, its fine dude. Nobody takes you seriously anyway.

Posted by LumpyTheCook
@ryanwho: I can tell you're getting pretty heated up about this, so I'll make it short, okay? 
 
OSC's beliefs are very relevant to this discussion, because he's a board member of the "National Organization for Marriage", a group specifically founded to fight against gay rights. Whether you want to admit it or not, when you buy any of his books, or give him money in any way, you are funneling money into an organization that thrives by dividing people based on sexual orientation and promoting such discrimination. 
 
I'll admit, I bought Shadow Complex before realizing OSC was involved. I felt a $50 donation to the ACLU might have helped offset some of that, however.
Posted by sheldipez

looks like giantbomb is being hit by some mighty spam... hopefully comments below mine are gone soon enough.. the crew probably want to take a look into that if haven't already.. Eurogamer comments been hit by the exact same spam (i.e. cheap clothing) last few weeks too..
Posted by ape_dosmil

I have never read any of Orson Scott Card's novels and have no real interest in them. I did buy Shadow Complex though. People are able to separate an artist and his work, I'm not going to stop listening to Wagner because he was a horrible anti-semite, he still wrote great music. James Brown and Ike Turner still recorded great music which I am perfectly able to enjoy despite the fact they would beat their wives. I'm a liberal, pro gay rights and pro gay marriage, but I am still able to appreciate Jamaican reggae and dancehall by some deeply homophobic artists. If you want to boycott Orson Scott Card then fine, but it doesn't mean those who do buy his books are necessarily supporting homophobia. Besides you can always buy his books on ebay if you really want, putting no money in his pocket.

Posted by The_Boots

I love Ender's Game, but I think it would be a.really niche game. So much of the stuff there is about spatial disorientation (The enemy's gate is down) that without the physical cues of motion, it would be even harder to keep track of orientation. At the same time, as a physics sandbox for people to experiment, I think the potential for people to come up with their own clever solutions to the scenarios thrown at Ender is really intriguing. I mean if people can jump Warthogs...

Posted by blacklab

Huh...EG is a great book and could have been a great game...but they probably would have just fucked it up.

Posted by AlmightyTooth

I thought Shadow Complex was one of those games.

Posted by redjacked
@HerbieBug said:

" The battle school thing is something you'd have to put a lot of time and a lot of money into getting right.  To date, no one has pulled off zero-g movement to any effective or accurate degree.

Give Shattered Horizon a look - the whole conceit of the game is zero-g (fps) movement and combat and they did a fairly decent job with it 
Posted by LongMasterWolf

Loved this book as a kid, however I don't see the battleroom being a good vidya game,

Posted by doctorzizmore

Yeah agreed. I'd much rather see a Shadow Complex 2 than Ender's Game. Unless Ender's Game was going to be a side-scrolling Metroid-vania style shooter. In which case I would take either of those.  
 
Or better yet just make a new IP and cut Card out of the loop. I love Shadow Complex probably more than the next guy (It's my only S rank) but the story was laughably bare-bones. I don't see why Chair couldn't just make up some nonsense story on their own. And they'd definitely get a lot less flak.