ROGUE ON BRINGING WIPEOUT TO MOBILE
Some Words From Matt Casamassina, Rogue’s CEO
I just fired off some quotes for press around our recently announced mobile game, wipEout Rush, and figured it’d be good to provide a little more context about this partnership, what it means for Rogue, what it means for wipEout, and most important of all, what it means for players.
I’ll bench the press training for a bit and just straight stream of consciousness this bad boy. So here we go…
You might’ve heard the news, but if you haven’t: Rogue’s publishing an ambitious new wipEout game for iOS and Android.
Rush isn’t the wipEout you know. It’s an expanded universe title with wholly different mechanics. But we’ve tried to be respectful of the series we love so much and we’ve strived to pay tribute to the spectacular games which came before it whenever we could.
We announced this with the games media, which is a bit unorthodox because their audience doesn’t seem to particularly care for mobile games. Obviously plenty of “traditional” players like mobile, but plenty of them don’t—and frankly, that’s me putting it nicely. I see a lot of comments on these sites that would lead you to believe mobile games burned down their house and killed their dog.
I used to work for the mainstream games media, too and I remember that perspective. Summed up, it’s basically that mobile games aren’t real games, or are inherently inferior due to touch screens. And by the way, a very similar sentiment was leveled against Nintendo Wii. If you were around back then, you might remember gamers saying how terrible the Wii remote was for genres like first-person shooters, but actually it was pretty damned amazing for them.
After leaving the media I led Apple’s App Store games editorial team for almost a decade and my viewpoint changed as I basically lived and breathed mobile games, saw all of their flaws, but maybe surprising to some, all of their increasing strengths, too. That’s a separate blog post or perhaps a book one day, but all of this is to say that I play games on all platforms, mobile included, and some of my favorite games are built for mobile. (I also think some first-person shooters are awesome on mobile, by the way. Play TiMi’s Call of Duty or Shadowgun Legends, ya’ll.)
Anyway, so why announce with console-focused games media? The answer is because wipEout is one of my favorite franchises of all time, we’re all pretty proud of the super polished merge / idle mobile experience we’ve created with Rush, and we want the most skeptical die-hard fans to at least understand our intentions. I swear, they’re not evil. We’re just a bunch of wipEout nerds who had the opportunity to bring the franchise back into the limelight and we jumped on it.
Lemme tell you about Amuzo, this super talented UK-based developer comprised of industry vets. They love this franchise as much as I do if not more and they’ve been laboring over Rush for more than a year. Side note, we’re doing several more games with the company because they’re awesome. More details to be announced later but I’ve spent a career critiquing games from one side of the fence or the other and I’m impressed with their design and tech chops, which is why we continue to work with them.
WipEout purists,. Reddit. Reset Era. NeoGaf. Rush isn’t replacing console wipEout. This game hasn’t been made instead of a PlayStation game. Rogue didn’t swoop in and kill an in-development PS5 game so we could work on a F2P title instead. It’s complementary. Additive. Extra. If you want the visceral, immersive, lightning-paced, hair-trigger-accurate racing experience, my dudes, by all means turn on your PlayStation and have it. I hope you do. I’ll join you.
There’s a super punchy gameplay loop here in Rush and the merge, idle, and race mechanics come together into something that’s both immediately accessible but also has depth.
Meanwhile, our studio head believes with all of his heart that Rush is the prettiest mobile game ever created. He will fight you to the death on that point and I’ve got nothing but respect for that. But even if you don’t share the opinion, my hope is that you will be able to see the love we poured into the presentation. It’s pretty gorgeous all around and it runs at 60fps if you’ve got a capable phone or tablet. If you come to the experience with an open mind, I think you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised.
wipEout Rush represents Rogue’s current approach to mobile free-to-play. Only AAA efforts with the biggest brands. If you examined our portfolio a year and half ago, you’d have seen a very different approach, but we’ve transformed our business.
Brands are important to the future of our business and you will see us do more of them—none of which I can talk about here at this moment in time, unfortunately. I will say, though, that we’re interested in exploring very different takes on licenses and I think you will like the results of some of our endeavors when we can announce them.
At the same time, you will also see us going big on games with sword cars and werewolves and brawling metal cats and dancing kaiju plushies and cyberpunk mercenaries and futuristic gunslingers and every other dumb, amazing subject matter that we love as players.
We’re in this weird stage as a publisher where all these big, awesome things are happening behind the scenes, but we haven’t yet shown the gaming public most of them. We’re building trust now with our games, so we hope you’ll like wipEout Rush as much as we do. It’s different. It’s not what you’d expect. But we’re hoping there’s room for a little of that.