In a panel at the just-kicked-off GDC Europe conference in Germany, THQ Digital creative director Don Whiteford revealed his studio's first major title, Red Faction: Battlegrounds, being built by a core team of just four people. As reported by Gamasutra, THQ Digital Warrington – formerly known as Juice Games – is working on the companion game, due for release on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network before next year's March retail release of Red Faction: Armageddon. THQ's Danny Bilson previously said it would be available "three or four months" before Armageddon, putting the downloadable title's launch somewhere around December of this year.
Gamasutra reported that Battlegrounds is a "topdown car, mech and rover combat title [...] with up to four players on the same screen" and offers the ability to "unlock unique elements in Red Faction: Armageddon." As for why a downloadable Red Faction game comes so close to a major retail release, Whiteford said that while " margins were looking very healthy in this space," a key part of the strategy is "building awareness and loyalty for the company's core brand products." And it seems to be working. This is our fourth post mentioning the game and it's only just been announced!
[Update: THQ has dropped the press release – found after the break – and it's got some additional details. First, it's due for release in 2011 so, keeping with Bilson's earlier comments, we imagine an early 2011 launch. The game features destructible environments, just like its console cousins, and supports four-player local and online "pick-up-and-play multiplayer." The game is described as "a fast-paced multiplayer-focused vehicular combat game in which fast-attack vehicles, heavy tanks and combat walkers wreak havoc above ground and beneath the surface of Mars."
It's apparently playable at Gamescom this week in Germany, so expect some impressions here shortly!]
[Update 2: We've got the first trailer and screens from the game here. Or you can always click the handy "screens" or "video" tabs above.]