Discovering that THQ and Crysis developer Crytek today announced a partnership wherein Crytek will hereby take over development duties on the next installment of the publisher's Homefront franchise might leave people with some mixed emotions. For some, cautious optimism may creep in, with the understanding that the original Homefront, while kind of a shoddy mess, did show occasional flashes of potential. For others, this is probably a little bit like learning that the Foo Fighters' next record will be a Limp Bizkit tribute album, or that Steven Spielberg is going to give the Twilight franchise a shot. Which is to say, a sort of bizarre, mildly fascinating situation that is, nonetheless, perhaps not the best use of the studio's time and creative efforts.
Regardless, here we are with a press release full of pre-approved niceties exchanged between THQ's EVP of Core Games (is that a real job?) Danny Bilson, and Cevat Yerli, Founder and CEO of Crytek. I'll save you the deluge of verbal bro-hugging contained in the release, and simply explain that Crytek's plan is to assign the sequel to its UK studio, the team formerly known as Free Radical Design. Crytek UK has long been rumored to be hard at work on a fourth Time Splitters game--even though Crytek has said previously the title was on indefinite hold. If that is actually the case, presumably this second Homefront title will be squeezed in somewhere in between that deal. The good news? They have plenty of time, as THQ doesn't expect the title to release until at least 2013.
At one point, THQ had pegged its own Montreal studio to take over the reins of the franchise after original developer Kaos Studios was shut down earlier this year. Evidently someone at THQ, sensing the potential behind the CryEngine (which will definitely be powering this latest sequel), scrapped that plan and opted to go with this deal instead. As for Crytek's motivations, we can all just go ahead and assume they were paid gobs and gobs of money. Seems reasonable, right?
Regardless of all of that, a Homefront sequel seemingly can't turn out any less interesting than the first game did, especially in the hands of Crytek and its mighty CryEngine. All I can think now when envisioning those dirty North Koreans savaging my hometown and murdering everyone I hold dear is how gorgeous it will all look.
Maybe it'll play better, too. That'd be great.