2K defends XCOM's first-person shooter reboot

2K Game's decision to transform theclassic turn-based strategy series XCOMinto afirst person shooter understandably left fans wondering what the studio was smoking when it sat down to plan the 2012 reboot. Some of the harsher critics have even gone so far as accusing the studio of bastardizing the popular PC series, but in hisinterview with MCV, 2K head Christoph Hartmann says there's good reason forgenre switch.

“The ‘90s generation of gamers all love XCOM and we own the IP, so we thought OK, what do we do with it? Every studio we had wanted to do it and each one had its own spin on it. But the problem was that turn-based strategy games were no longer the hottest thing on planet Earth. But this is not just a commercial thing – strategy games are just not contemporary,” he explained.

Hartmann likened Xcom's re-envisioning to the natural evolution of musical styles, explaining that if the legendary Ray Charles were to return now, his music would probably sound more akin to Kanye West than classic Charles, noting, “Bringing Ray Charles back is all fine and good, but it just needs to move on, although the core essence will still be the same.”

Uh...hmm...we'll leave that one alone. Questionable comparisons aside, Hartmann added XCOM's FPS make-over is a matter of renewing the franchise, not overwriting it, saying, “The team behind it is asking themselves every day: ‘Is it true to the values of the franchise?’ It’s not a case of cashing in on the name. We just need to renew it because times are changing.”

XCOM is scheduled to return for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on March 6th.

Jul 13, 2011

E3 MVG 2011 Selection: XCOM interview
Aliens attack America during the good old days

E3 2011: New trailer for XCOM reboot. Release date set for March 6
2K Games’ take on the sci-fi classic armed to destroy the American dream

Matt Bradford wrote news and features here at GamesRadar+ until 2016. Since then he's gone on to work with the Guinness World Records, acting as writer and researcher for the annual Gamer's Edition series of books, and has worked as an editor, technical writer, and voice actor. Matt is now a freelance journalist and editor, generating copy across a multitude of industries.