During his Keynote speech at CES this week, CBS Chairman Les Moonves talked up how CBS is getting hipper to the whole interweb thing. Moonves announced a series of initiatives and partnerships in the digital world, including making clips of its shows available for ‘video mashups’. Moonves told crowd: "there’s no such thing anymore as old or new media — there’s just media." Star Trek is part of this vision with the announcement of a partnership to build a ‘Star Trek Environment’ within the Second Life online community. Moonves brought out the Founder of Linden Labs, the makers of Second Life, to demonstrate the possiblities. (mov)
The results of the Bethesda Software’s Star Trek: Legacy game are like the recent solstice. Depending on your perspective, it is either darkness or light. The game is one of the first official Trek video games in two years, and certainly the most anticipated. It is also the first Star Trek venue of any kind to feature performances by all five Trek captains (in the form of voice acting by Shatner, Stewart, Brooks, Mulgrew and Bakula). The question is what will Legacy’s legacy be with Star Trek fans and gamers? Is it darkness or light? Perhaps a bit of both.
Perpetual Entertainment, the company developing Trek’s MMORPG Star Trek Online, appears to be having some financial problems. Gaming site Gamasutra is reporting that the company has fired 35 employees including at least 8 who were working on Star Trek Online. The problems seem to be stemming from delays related to their premiere game Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising. Perpetual is just 2 years old and has yet to release any games. It would be a shame to see their problems result in more delays or even the shelving of the exciting new Trek MMORPG. UPDATE: Perpetual Founder/President Spins the layoffs
After being delayed, the much anticipated new game ‘Star Trek Legacy’ has shipped. Bethesda Softworks has announced that the PC version has just been sent out to retailers and the XBox 360 version should ship next week. Legacy is the biggest thing in Star Trek gaming in years and sports a story written by DC Fontana as well as voice acting by all 5 Trek captains. The buzz on the game is quite good and TrekMovie awaits its review copy with anticipation.
If you haven’t heard of it yet, ‘Star Trek Online’ is a new MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) being built by Perpetual Entertainment. The game allows players to create characters and ‘live’ in the Trek Universe. One of the big decisions was regarding where exactly to set the game in the centuries-long Trek timeline, and the designers decided on 25 years after ‘Star Trek Nemesis’. This is a different approach than other licensed games, for example the ‘Star Wars Galaxies’ MMORPG is set between episodes IV and V of the saga. In an interview with STO Galaxy the executive producer for the game, Daron Stinnett, explains that they chose the post Nemesis era to allow themselves artistic freedom to create new Trek stories.
On Wednesday William Shatner appeared on G4’s ‘Attack of the Show’ to talk about the new game ‘Star Trek Legacy’. Shatner (along with all the other Trek captains) lends his voice to the biggest thing in Trek gaming in years. Host Kevin Pereira noted "there are five captains theoretically, but clearly you are the one", to which Shatner replied modestly "well I like to think that." After spending most of the segment discussing cigars, Shatner pimped Legacy a bit saying: "It is a wonderful game, I think your whole audience should buy it." He then declared: "Star Trek is coming back," seemingly referring to Star Trek XI. When asked what he thought of other ‘Kirks’ from the various internet fanfilms, Shatner replied "they are not me." Afterwards he gave some additional interviews, including one with Geek Magazine’s Jeff Bond. Jeff tells TrekMovie.com that he asked Shatner if he had any advice for a new actor playing Kirk. Shatner’s reply: "imitate me"…got to love the Shat! Go to G4 for the video By the way…here are the latest Legacy screenshots provided by Bethesda…
It is great to see Trek return to the world of gaming, but perhaps the new publisher Bethesda could have chosen a better game than ‘Star Trek Encounters’ to be the first entry. IGN gives the game a 4.9 out of 10. From the review: "Encounters suffers from a dire lack of Star Trek. There’s very little point in using the Star Trek license without exploiting its greatest assets"…ouch. Bethesda has just started shipping the 2nd game (Tactical Assault for the PS2 and DS), hopefully the reviews for that are better. For the third and most anticipated game, ‘Star Trek Legacy’ it appears we will have to wait even longer. Gamespot reports the bad news that the game is being delayed until the end of November due to quality assurance issues. There is a bit of good news, Bethesda recently announced a deal with Ubisoft to distribute all the new Trek games in Europe, story here. While we wait for Legacy, Bethsoft has provided some screenshots to tide you over… (Xbox 360)
It has been more than two and a half years since the release of the last Star Trek video game (the lackluster ‘Star Trek Shattered Universe’ for the PS2). But Trek gamers can now rejoice, the long wait is over. Bethesda Softworks has announced the North American release dates for their first swath of Trek Games: Ocotber 3 October 24 November 7 Encounters Tactical Assault Legacy PS2 PSP & DS PC & XBox 360
Star Trek’s return to video games this fall has been shaping up to be a fanboy fantasy. Not only will ‘Star Trek Legacy’ feature a story written by Trek vet DC Fontana, it includes voicework from all 5 Trek Captains (Shatner, Stewart, Brooks, Mulgrew and Bakula). Fans could have reasonably assumed that the epic story spanning the entire Star Trek timeline would include some or all of the classic battles from the Movies and TV shows, such as Kirk’s epic battle with Khan in Star Trek II. In fact, the game’s publisher Bethesda has used the Wrath of Khan battle to demonstrate the game at E3 (see video). But Bethesda developer ‘Gary’ has thrown some cold water on this notion, from the official forums:
One of the fanboy wet dreams for Star Trek XI is to have a single film with every single TV Trek Captain, something never done on big or small screen or even in book form. It appears JJ Abrams isn’t going to provide that wish fulfillment for the Trek’s return ot the big screen, but Bethesda Softworks is going to do it for Trek’s return to gaming this fall. Bethesda just announced: Surrounding the 40th Anniversary of STAR TREK, William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Scott Bakula, Avery Brooks, and Kate Mulgrew to Reprise Captain Roles for STAR TREK: Legacy™
Some Star Trek XI numbers 2…ranking of ‘TOS’ for preferred setting of STXI on new SciFi Wire poll (#1 ‘something new’) 2…ranking of ‘Matt Damon’ for the preferred new Kirk in a StarTrek.com poll (#1 ‘total unknown’) 5 (out of 5)… STXI’s level on Cinemablend ‘excite-o-meter’. 7…ranking of STXI on Cinescape top 10 movies in development Did someone mention Matt Damon? According to Moviehole, he has pulled out playing the title role in the Lance Armstrong biopic, to be replaced by Jake Gyllenhall. The reason given is ‘his busy schedule’. Matt will be filming Ocean’s Thirteen and The Bourne Ultimatum through the winter. Leaving his spring wide open…JJ Will Paramount bring back the Star Trek spoof Galaxy Quest at the same time its bringing back Trek itself? Tim Allen tells the SciFi Wire that a sequel idea has been presented to Dreamworks (now part of Paramount). Never give up, never surrender Tim.
In the immortal words of Yogurt from Spaceballs (pictured right holding Spaceballs-the Flame Thrower…kids love it) “Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the movie is made.” To that end Paula Block from CBS Paramount consumer products announced at a Comic-Con that CBS Paramount will be handling the licensing for Star Trek XI. CBS Para has been on a bit of a roll lately for Trek liscensing, bringing Star Trek back into the world of gaming after a 3 year drought, along with a new magazine and even a Manga comic book. Block summed it up thusly: “Contrary to some people’s opinions, Star Trek isn’t dead”
Star Trek XI isnt the only big comeback for the Trek franchise in 2006. This year also marked the return of Trek to the gaming community with the announcement of a deal with BethesdaSoft last January. Star Trek had been out of the gaming world since Activision sued Paramount to get out of its licensing deal back in 2003.