Hey, have you forgotten that there's a new Mad Max game on the way? Cory Barlog hasn't. He's still hard at work on a secretive action game based on the upcoming flick Mad Max 4: Fury Road. If you're keeping score, this is one of Barlog's first projects after having served as a director and writer for another slightly popular game, God of War II.
But while Barlog hasn't been shy about saying he's got a lot to do with the ongoing creation of this Max Max game alongside film series' writer and director George Miller, he hasn't said what studio will be spearheading its development. New Twitter evidence, though, points to Avalanche Studios, the Swedish development house that built the Just Cause franchise, as that studio.
Follow me. Back in July, Avalanche founder Christofer Sundberg suspiciously re-tweeted a message from Barlog lamenting the fact that even though Mad Max 4 was delayed, he won't get more time on the project. "The delay of the film (Mad Max) was 'announced' yesterday," Barlog wrote on his Twitter account. "I wish that meant I got more time [on the project], but, alas… no."
== TEASER ==It's an odd re-tweet that, to be fair, could just be Sundberg's digital nod to an industry friend showing that he can commiserate with woes about time constraints. In general, time often becomes one of a developer's nastiest hurdles as publisher requirements need to be met and games ultimately need to be shipped.
But this pairing makes sense on a much deeper level. Mad Max as a film series, first of all, isn't romantic comedy. It's a franchise packed with bullets, dirt, broken-ankle-dragging, crazy action, and explosions. The latter two bits just happen to be Avalanche's forte. Just Cause 2 in particular is notorious for its over-the-top, high-octane ridiculousness. Hijacking a jet plane, taking it above the highest mountains, and then bailing from it just to get into a vicious freefall is relatively tame in comparison to the rest of the ludicrous hijinks you can pull off.
However, the best reason as to why Sundberg's re-tweet sounds like a hint lies in what we know about Avalanche's next project. The developer will release a game based on a "major Hollywood license" in 2012.
“We have also secured a major Hollywood license which we develop in co-operation with a major media group,” says an overview written for Sweden's Invest ICT conference revealed earlier in May, via Connected Consoles. “This project is co-funded by our licensing partner and we are currently evaluating different options for this project. The project will be developed alongside an upcoming 2012 movie.”
A release for Mad Max 4 hasn't been pegged, though the movie has started filming, according to the Mad Max Wikipedia page. This fourth film in the series has been an on-and-off-again affair, mostly due to financial difficulties.
But what kind of title will this movie game, presumably based on Mad Max 4, be? Details are, of course, light--this is why we're speculating as to what the game could be in the first place--but it's definitely an action title. And the kicker is that Avalanche is damn excited about it.
"I can't talk much about our next project but it's definitively within the action genre," Sundberg tells CVG in a June interview. "But we have made a move towards the more controlled experience to better convey a strong storyline."
"We'll never leave our big game worlds and spectacular explosive action, though. After working on original IPs for seven years we wanted to try a license, but there's only been a few that we've felt was 100-percent right for the studio."
"This one is perfect," he added.
We've contacted Barlog and Avalanche respectively for confirmation, but we don't expect a straight answer. If the game isn't slated to hit until 2012, there's a good chance we won't hear a word of this possible union between these two until later next year.
It'd be good to note that Mad Max has been turned into a videogame before. Mindscape created a top-down driving game based on the first movie (pictured extensively in this article) called, simply, Mad Max. Its two modes of play, arena and Road War, encouraged the same thing: killing bandits. In that one regard, we don't expect this next-gen title to be any different.
UPDATE: Barlog also handled the creative direction for God of War: Chains of Olympus and "God of War: Betrayal," according to his LinkedIn profile.
UPDATE 2: When asked about any connection with Avalanche and his Mad Max game, Barlog playfully replied to me via Twitter: "Hmmm, not sure. Maaaaaaybe." An Avalanche rep, on the other hand, has told me "We cannot comment on any unannounced projects."