When we were visiting Oxford-based developer Rebellion last week, we were surprised to hear CEO and creative director Jason Kingsley mock complaining his company was nominated for an award as the best European handheld developer by Develop magazine. Some people are never satisfied!
"It's weird because we're down for this Develop award for being best handheld studio, but we're not a handheld developer. We're a developer who's happened to made a lot of PSP games, which is something we didn't really plan on doing. It's just happened," Kingsley explained.
We can see his point. Rebellion is working on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC and current gen consoles as well, so it doesn't want to be pigeonholed. But discussing the situation further, it became clear just how much handheld work, to date all for PSP, Rebellion has done.
"We've done something like a dozen titles, and people keep coming to us with more. We're having to turn a lot of it down," Kingsley told us.
Trying to work out exactly what those games were has proved to be an interesting task.
Obvious ones include Dead to Rights: Reckoning, James Bond: From Russia with Love, Miami Vice, GUN Showdown, Free Running and the currently in development Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron, but that's only six. Reading between the lines, there also seem to be two other PSP titles, which have been announced as in development for PSP as part of large multi-console contracts, but not specifically naming Rebellion in the works. As for the other PSP games, we'll have to do some more detective work.
One significant point following on from this is why Rebellion hasn't done any DS games. After all, in the past, it did make a couple of GBA games.
Kingsley said the reason is part technical, part commercial. "DS has been difficult because our engine is floating point and DS is a fixed point platform. Also, we've not been commissioned to do a DS game yet. That's not to say we won't ever make DS games, but there would be some cost and risk involved in porting the technology."
Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron is Rebellion's next scheduled PSP game, which is due for release in the autumn. The winner of the Develop awards for best handheld studio will be announced on July 25th. We're wishing Rebellion the best of luck, whatever Mr K. says!