InXile Entertainment — the Newport Beach, Calif. based studio founded by former Interplay leader Brian Fargo — uses the tagline “Nostalgia just had a baby with Awesome” to describe its high octane remake of the classic helicopter rescue game Choplifter. Having played the game ourselves at PAX and elsewhere, we have to agree. Choplifter HD is available for download as of today on Sony’s PSN, Steam and Xbox Live, and comes with leaderboards powered by GameSpy Technology’s Player Metrics & Rankings services.
The studio gained access to our services via our “GameSpy Open” initiative, which aims to make all of GameSpy Technology’s services more accessible to independent studios by making them more affordable and easier to integrate. A hearty congrats to our friends and partners at InXile on getting the game airborne!
Choplifter HD represents a first of sorts for InXile. The studio originally built on its Interplay founders’ deep AAA development experience, digging into the heritage of classic RPGs to revive classics like The Bard’s Tale (the studio’s first release) and creating new, Unreal-Engine -powered dungeon crawlers like Hunted: The Demon’s Forge. The studio also has a line of more casual, digital only titles, like the modern classic Line Rider. Choplifter HD finds the studio breaking new ground, joining a growing swell of independent studios releasing high quality games at moderate price points exclusively via digital distribution channels like Sony’s PSN.
The bet seems to be paying off — IGN.com has already rated the game a very solid 8/10, noting that its unique, ever-shifting style and challenges makes it, ” … an ace experience for bite-sized sessions and marathons alike.”
We’ll be totally frank: this award only means something to us because game developers themselves control the nominations and the voting for winners. We have spent the entirety of our decade-plus history working to meet the needs of developers big and small, AAA and independent. Literally thousands of developers have worked with us in some capacity or another to help amplify the fun in their games by connecting their players online in a variety of ways — whether through multiplayer matchmaking, sharing stats, or trading user generated content.
It was especially gratifying to have the Game Developer Magazine article announcing the award penned by Zach Lehman, the Executive Producer on Warm Gun, an iOS shooter from independent Canadian studio Emotional Robots. Zach and his team started working with our tech as part of our “GameSpy Open” initiative, which aims to make all of our services more accessible (in every way conceivable) to independent developers; we were blown away when we saw Emotional Robots’s work on Warm Gun and proud to be part of the title. To know that independent developers like Zach were responsible for the award validated our efforts over the past two years to support the rapidly growing independent development scene.
OK, enough about all of that. Thank you again to all of our friends and partners for the acknowledgement. We’ve taken it as a cue to re-double our efforts on your behalf (and maybe to go get a little sloshed this evening).
Happy 2012 — and a hearty congrats to all of the other Front Line winners and nominees!