Next year the classic strategy series X-COM will make a comeback. However, the new game - XCOM - is a first-person shooter. In a new interview, 2K president Christoph Hartmann explained why the series changed genres.
“The ‘90s generation of gamers all love X-Com and we own the IP, so we thought OK, what do we do with it? Every studio we had wanted to do it and each one had its own spin on it," Hartmann told MCV. "But the problem was that turn-based strategy games were no longer the hottest thing on planet Earth. But this is not just a commercial thing – strategy games are just not contemporary."
At this point, you're probably saying, "Wait a minute, 'strategy games aren't contemporary'? That doesn't make any sense. He should use a tortured music reference to explain his point." Hartmann complies:
“I use the example of music artists. Look at someone old school like Ray Charles, if he would make music today it would still be Ray Charles but he would probably do it more in the style of Kanye West. Bringing Ray Charles back is all fine and good, but it just needs to move on, although the core essence will still be the same."
See, Kanye West? You kids love Kanye West! Way more than that Ray Charles guy. That movie was way too long.
“That’s what we are trying to do," Hartmann added. "To renew Xcom but in line with what this generation of gamers want. The team behind it is asking themselves every day: ‘Is it true to the values of the franchise?’ It’s not a case of cashing in on the name. We just need to renew it because times are changing.”
Some will take issue with his assertion that strategy games "aren't contemporary." It's definitely a weird statement from a guy whose company owns the Civilization series. What's more troubling to me about the quote, though, is that it's not offering a lot of hope that X-COM will ever return to its strategy roots.