Let’s talk Wired Direct
Updated: Mar 29, 2021
If you're looking for an after the fact event recap, you'll find it here.
First off if you haven’t heard of Wired Productions they are a video game publisher based in Watford, UK. Founded Back in 2008 they have helped release so many wonderful including the likes of Grip: Combat Racing, Deliver Us The Moon and most recently The Falconeer which was nominated for a BAFTA at the British Academy Games Awards. Wired has also been shortlisted previously by MCV for Indie Publish of the Year 2018 and 2019.
So now you’re caught up let’s shift our focus to Wired Direct.
Wired Direct is their showcase event in which they’ll be giving us a peek into their roadmap of upcoming projects for both 2021 and beyond whilst celebrating some of the greatest indie storytellers. It’s going to be hosted by Julia Hardy and you can catch it over on their official YouTube channel.
What to expect?
Well as you can guess they are keeping their secrets close to their chest and it sounds like behind the scenes gearing up for something very special. What we do know so far:
- A game from a team that brought you Fable!
- Two sequels to existing Wired games
- The squishiest hero ever to exist in a video game
- A game about games, within a game
- A heart-breaking game about boxes
- More news about the upcoming thriller ‘Martha Is Dead’
- An update from The Falconeer
- Along with trailers, developer interviews and so much more!
Of course, they are teasing a bunch of things over on their official Twitter too
On Twitter I find myself reading between the lines and looking back over previous tweets seeing alignments and hints. As such here's a round-up of what's caught my eye over the past few weeks:
- There's a connection to VR, possibly seeing a VR update for an existing game similar to how they released a VR update for Grip: Combat Racing. If It’s an existing title I’m hoping to see it be either Deliver Us The Moon or Those Who Remain. I think It’s also likely that this VR edition will be releasing on Oculus Quest given it being linked to a giveaway for the product.
Updated: I'm now expecting not just one but a few VR updates and/or titles to be announced alongside 'The Last Worker'.
- They are using a collection of GIFs to promote the countdown to the event, these are round with pulsing waves coming off them giving a sense of music. Given both the music and circular vinyl or speaker style could we see more news from their rhythm-action game AVICII Invector possibly a special collectors edition or an edition for another artist?
- Further to this at the start of March their twitter header looked a lot like a ship reminding me of the style used in AVICII Invector, this has now gone on to be used in the logo for Wired Direct but it still has me wondering.
- They’ve also mentioned that there will be a reveal of a whole new collectable, which does add fuel to the idea of an existing title getting a Collector's Edition. Could this be an Anniversary Edition for The Town Of Light (Celebrating its 5th Anniversary), a Collector's Edition for AVICII Invector or maybe a special collection that includes multiple of their titles? We'll have to wait and see but it's got me excited that's for sure.
- They have recently tweeted a few times about ‘the loot you will drop if you’re defeated’ feels like it could be a reference to Action RPGs? Could we see the return of Victor Vran? Released back in 2017 you were the hero on a quest to liberate the cursed city of Zagoravia. They also mentioned Doug Cockle in the small print of their promotional image (“Cough Doug Cockle Cough”), he of course voiced the English Version of Victor Vran.
- Directly getting Doug Cockle involved, he's confirmed as being a part of Wired Direct.
- They’ve mentioned a few times the 'Protagonist' which could be nothing but given they also mentioned VR a bunch of times before sneakily teasing that there is VR news it makes me wonder if indeed we could see a new Action-adventure game which is often lead by a leading character although feels like It may just be another reference to Victor Vran. However they’ve been known to release a number of these over the years such as Deliver Us The Moon, Those Who Remain and Close To The Sun so a new one to add to the fold wouldn't be too surprising.
- Jörg Tittel has been seen to reference an unveiling but it’ll be a while until we hear more. Hinting possibly at something upcoming for 2022? Although he may be helping on an existing known Wired project it makes me think it may be something new giving he's one of the directors/writers at Oiffy who are a production company known for making film, television, theatre, games and comic books. Noting that they aim to create 'heartfelt, intense and original stories' leads me to believe it's the teased 'heart-breaking game about boxes'.
- A whole host of teasers about Vostok Inc. point to news of a sort-of sequel.
- The Falconeer news looks to be a new DLC given the developer of the game Tomas Sala tweeting out about unvisited, unexplored places beyond the current map.
- More to come in Wired Direct, but a few things are on the way.
- Tomas makes reference to the VR games being announced and says "count me in", he calls it 'not a tease' but that wink at the end of the tweet makes me think differently or certainly that it's being considered.
- Likely just a honest reference to the time change, but as a massive Back To The Future fan I hope this is a tense to them producing a game. The Last BTTF game was released in 2010 by Telltale Games and I think every fan agrees we are due something new.
- Another possible long shot but oddly between their promotion and teasing of the event they dropped a casual question about fused games with an interesting choice of emojis. Once again this may be nothing but it gave me a real sense of Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn or certainly some form of Beat 'em up.
Let's try and piece this all together alongside those official teases
A game from a team that brought you Fable!
Bullfrog Productions is where we begin, after the departure of Peter Molyneux to go and found Lionhead Studios alongside Mark Webley, Tim Rance, and Steven Jackson in 1997. In the aftermath of this several new game companies sprang up, one such being Big Blue Box founded by Dene Carter, Simon Carter and Ian Lovett. Whilst still retaining ties with Peter Molyneux and his new studio Lionhead Studios (so much so that they were originally working out of a room in Peter's mansion) the team began work. Having access to Peter Molyneux and Steven Jackson to aid in the development of their projects helped them to secure a publishing deal with Activision. This deal was ended up being terminated but their debut title Wishworld was later picked up by Microsoft. The game was later renamed to project 'Ego' and eventually, after Microsoft taking more and more interest it was titled Fable. Big Blue Box then merged together with Lionhead Studios. In 2011 Dene Carter and Simon Carter left Lionhead Studios to form a new studio Another Place Productions which formally launched in 2012. Another Place focuses on creating Mobile and tablet games. Mark Webley took over as head when Peter Molyneux left in 2012, then in 2016 Lionhead Studios was closed by now owners Microsoft. Later in 2016 Mark Webley went on to found a studio called Two Point Studios with Gary Carr. Two Point Studios known for Two Point Hospital have a publishing partnership with Sega so seems unlikely that a game by them would be published by Wired Productions. Peter Molyneux upon leaving Lionhead Studios did found 22cans Ltd who is a British video game developer, they haven't released a new game since 2016 but are due to in the future release Legacy although they did suffer some layoffs earlier this year.
Now we've had that history lesson it's a tough one to call to who they are making reference to with this teaser although one very interesting thing to note is that Dene Carter is thought to be working on a mystery project called 'Wardenclyffe'. Wardenclyffe tower is also known as the Tesla tower built by Nikola Tesla in the early 1900s. Wardenclyffe is also the fictional company headed up by Tesla who own and managed the Helios, the world's largest ship and setting of Close to the Sun which was published by Wired Productions.
Two sequels to existing Wired games
The squishiest hero ever to exist in a video game
I don't think we've had a hint of much along the lines of this one, likely to be a new indie game on the horizon which is yet to be announced.
A game about games, within a game
Interestingly this sounds like some form of sandbox game or collection of mini-games, I don't think we've had a hint of much along the lines of this one but look forward to learning more.
A heart-breaking game about boxes, The Last Worker
Updated: Confirmed as 'The Last Worker'.
Image Credit: Sam Swain, @ga5p0d3
You'll be tasked with 'Making special deliveries in a stealth-led dystopian satire'. As noted in EDGE Magazine (E357), 'Wolf & Wood's first person narrative adventure The Last Worker'.
Quoting Jörg Tittel who notes "our game also very much arrives a [similar] handmade feel throughout." and that it'll take advantage of each platform's strengths to deliver "the most physically immersive and emotionally involving game regardless of the screen or headset"
You'll be playing as the lone human employee of a megacorporation, doing package pick up and deliveries. During your shifts you'll choose to engage in some clandestine activism.
Platforms it'll be releasing on are PC, Switch, new-gen consoles and VR.
More news about upcoming thriller ‘Martha Is Dead’
It's expected that we'll learn much more about this upcoming title due out in 2021, hoping to see a more in-depth preview and possibility a release date which I'm expecting to be in November.
Updated: A new trailer was release at the Future Games Show. It's still expected that we'll see more information announced at Wired Direct.
An update from The Falconeer
It's clear that Tomas has an incredible passion for his game and is not done expanding it yet, this looks to point to a future expansion that will take us to unvisited, unexplored places beyond the current map.
Along with trailers, developer interviews and so much more!
I think of course this is to leave the door open to so last minute announcements. It's also the section in which I think we can include some of the other teases from their Twitter such as:
- Some form of VR update or game, likely an updated to an existing title and given the sequels seem to align better with Vostok Inc. and Victor Vran makes sense that this could be the Deliver Us The Moon news that had its tweet quickly deleted.
- The mention of a 'whole new collectable' I believe to be relating to an Anniversary Edition, Collector's Edition or Edition featuring multiple titles. I do however feel like we could see a vinyl figure of sorts possibly for The Falconeer.
- I still feel there are a few hints out there that could point to AVICII Invector news, a possible Collector's Edition maybe even seeing it releasing in VR. It's not the craziest thought given the success of games like Beat Saber in the VR rhythm music space.
Of course, the only people that really know what's in store are those working on the projects and the event, one thing is for sure Wired Productions continue to publish an incredible array of titles so whatever they have up their sleeves is going to be worth turning in for.
Once again if you're looking for an after the fact event recap, you'll find it here.
Originally Written on 25th March 2021 Updated: 29th March 2021, 1pm