Just as they were last year, XMG Studios is on the floor of Macworld/iWorld 2013 in San Francisco. XMG has three new games to talk about that aren't playable just yet, but should be released this year.
XMG's Lydia Schaele told us about a big title called Evil Empire. It's darker and more stylistic than older XMG games like Cows vs. Aliens and last year's Ghostbusters title. Evil Empire is a military combat strategy game set in an alternate reality during the Cold War, in which the USSR is more powerful than it was at the time. In this wild, propaganda-filled setting, an alien creature lands on Earth. As the player, you must use various units and tactics to lead the rebels against a strong, alien military.
Evil Empire is still in the planning stages, and XMG is dong its homework. The company took a close look at the App Store, and determined that going with a more complex strategy-style game would land them in the right part of the market. Evil Empire is also expected to be a free-to-play title, with in-app purchases centered around customization and extra content.
The game is being designed according to XMG's new philosophy, which we were told targets four main pillars: Character, Choices, Collection and Community. Characters and story will play a big part in Evil Empire's narrative, while meaningful choices will keep player experiences very different each time through the game. Collecting will be a big part of replay value, and of course XMG has quite a bit of experience already with building up social features and communities, so Evil Empire should show off that talent as well.
Evil Empire sounds fascinating, but Schaele said that XMG plans to take its time with development. We should see more on this one before the end of the year.
Also in development is a game that's code-named Card Battle, which is very similar to the current hit Rage of Bahamut. It's due near the end of May, and will feature original, colorful card art. Card Battle is a card game that features an evolution mechanic and plenty of collection options. XMG wants to make a popular card game that's a little bit better quality than what's currently available, so that should be excellent.
And finally, we got to see some concept art of a game called Hero, which is another card game, though this time much more character and story driven. That game will have a rarity system, with various tiers of cards to go after and collect, though the mechanics haven't been defined.
Schaele also told us that XMG will attempt to beta test technique with this game. The studio may release it on Android for just a few devices, and let players try out the game on that smaller platform first, before eventually bringing it over to iOS. This isn't the first time we've heard this idea from developers -- right now, the traditional iOS beta test is to release the game in Canada before bringing it to other countries, but with cross-platform development easier than ever, a smaller Android release may become the testing method of choice.
We should see more about Hero in June or July of this year. XMG's lineup for 2013 looks pretty solid, and we'll stay tuned for any more news on these titles.