No, not Rare – Microsoft is likely to never give them up after the massive investment that purchased the studio back in 2002. The developer of the new Killer Instinct title released on Microsoft’s Xbox One Double Helix has been acquired by Amazon and is a part of their push to “build innovative games for customers.”
The acquisition, unsurprisingly, does not affect Microsoft’s Killer Instinct property which remains theirs; the software giant has also announced that their internal KI team is unaffected and remains dedicated to supporting the game. Microsoft will be working with a new partner going forward to support the Xbox One launch title and any additional entries in the franchise. As a dedicated KI fan, this is the good news. While I was thoroughly pleased with the latest entry in the franchise and commended Double Helix for resurrecting it, I have faith that Microsoft will do well by the fans in curating this fan favorite franchise.
Amazon’s move to acquire a game developer is not terribly surprising given rumors that the online retailer is working on a game console of their own. At this point, it’s unclear if Double Helix will work on more major releases or “full” games or will be restructured to focus on casual games for Amazon’s Kindle Fire line of tablets.
Amazon’s attempt to continue the story of Zombieland as a series has failed. Zombieland: The Series will not be picked up, likely due to all the negative reactions surrounding the pilot. I wasn’t a fan and was actually preparing a review of the first and only episode of Zombieland: The Series, but decided to stop after realizing that the only sentence I wrote (“Zombieland: The Series is a soulless disappointment, but it’s free.”) completely sums up the series and would hardly be worthy of a post. You can see the failed experiment yourself for free on Amazon.
While it’s disappointing that we may never get that much desired sequel to 2009’s fantastic horror comedy Zombieland, we can be further disappointed by Amazon’s attempts to continue the adventures of our survivors in their serialized continuation: Zombieland: The Series. The first episode is currently available on Amazon for free, but it looks terrible. I can’t speak certainly whether it actually is or not, since I haven’t taken advantage of the free video, but the trailer below doesn’t really make me feel comforted that the property is in able hands. The cast of characters is the same, supposedly, as those in the films, but the new actors portraying them seem to have lost a lot of what gave those characters their appeal, if this trailer is representative of the final product.