News Article

The Grinder Gets a Release Date, Goes Multi-Platform

Posted by Sean Aaron

No longer Wii exclusive, coming next year

High Voltage software has revealed a lot of information about anticipated team-based horror FPS The Grinder including a new trailer and the announcement that it will be shown off at this year's Game Developer's Conference.

No publisher is mentioned in the interview, but there's some other interesting new titbits including the possible inclusion of versus multiplayer (the game has only been developed for team play to-date), revamping of character models and plans for downloadable content. The target release date is Halloween 2011 which might prove a disappointing wait for some, but the reasons for this are made pretty clear by High Voltage's Kerry Ganofsky and Eric Nofsinger during a recent interview with IGN:

IGN: Is the plan still to keep Grinder a Wii exclusive?

Kerry: Our secret is out! Grinder is no longer a Wii exclusive. We plan to ship on Xbox 360, Sony PS3, and PC as well.

Eric: Bringing our third internal IP to all the current-generation systems allows us to show off what our company can really do and get it into the hands of the most gamers.

No doubt this will disappoint many, though it bears keeping in mind that work started out on the Wii rather than being a downgraded version of something that started out on another platform, and in the present economic climate publishing a title on a single platform can seem a risky proposition - especially if you're a third party publisher on the Wii.

Fingers crossed that High Voltage can deliver the same quality of experience and features to all four platforms when the game comes out next fall.


From the web

User Comments (59)



Pawtrick said:

We all know this game will not be able to compete against it's competition:
"Left 4 Dead 2".



Sean_Aaron said:

By the time this game comes out how long will Left 4 Dead 2 have been on the shelves? If it's good I don't think it will have any problem finding an audience on the HD systems/PC.



Golgo said:

I guess it makes sense to go multiplatform, what with everyone complaining about 'hardcore' (whatever that means) games not selling well on Wii.



Charco said:

This shows a company that doesn't know what it is doing, has no clear plan in place and will lose the fans it had on Wii by going multi platform.



Sean_Aaron said:

In their defense they're funding these games out of their own pocket and finding a publisher after the fact. 350,000 wasn't bad for the Conduit on the Wii, but I don't think it's good enough for them to think they can be platform-exclusive with The Grinder and keep up with this development model.

I expect multi-platform will have been a requirement to get a publisher on-board and part of their strategy to expand their presence. It will be interesting to see how that goes!



Charco said:

I agree, but I always get nervous when I hear plans changing so drastically during a dev cycle. Never a good sign.



Reala said:

Hardly think going multi platform will make its fans boycott it, that's just silly, it makes sense to reach for a wider audience, and if that audience includes the other consoles then good luck to them, hardly an offensive act by going multi platform.



TwilightV said:

I hate these guys now. It's like they're just ignoring the games I actually want to play (Gladiator AD and Animales De La Muerte).



Sean_Aaron said:

I just question whether or not they have enough staff to go multi-platform and do a quality job. Big publishers usually outsource one or more platforms -- I suppose it's possible that they've got everyone working on this one game and a lot of talented coders...

@TwilightV: You do know Gladiator A.D. has been renamed and there was just a press release on that the other day, right? For what it's worth Animales still has a page on their website so it's not dead yet!



aaronsullivan said:

We are talking about losing 350,000 fans at maximum and opening up to a much larger market. They tried to be Wii exclusive and it probably failed to make enough money to keep afloat. What would you have them do? Go out of business? BTW, what is unclear about the plan to try making a big splash in a small pond with Wii, assess that it wasn't worth it, and then choose to go multi-platform in order to sustain the business?



Guybrush said:

hahaha 'tit bits' ??? i think you mean TID bits...but I'm no journalist. Why not release this on Wii this year and the others next year? Give Nintendo a head start.



V8_Ninja said:

It was inevitable. Online four-player multiplayer is just easier to set up on the "Next Generation" consoles than the Wii. And now the game will be trashed because everybody will say "It's too much like Left 4 Dead!" even though every game in general needs to be based off it's own merits and NOT comparisons to other games......sigh...I sigh at the video game consumer base...



Sean_Aaron said:

@Guybrush: In the UK we say TIT BITS, not "tid bits" -- I just live here man, I don't make up the slang.

@Betagam7: I assume you're being funny because their first collection of preview vids showed three different enemy types. That's been doubled from what I can see of the new artwork on IGN/The Grinder's website.



MasterGraveheart said:

Man, what a friggin' load. You know we're STILL going to get a stripped down version of this game, right? How does it feel to be the next company to screw over the Wii crowd, High Voltage?

(Note: I am not suggesting the game will be bad.)



odd69 said:

I smell trouble. I was going to buy this, i was gonna pre order it for the wii and everything, but now the ps3 version I'll have to go with that. The wii needed this in my opinion,sure fps's aren't the machine's best genre but some people do enjoy them( like me) on the wii. When given the chance to take advantage of my hdtv though , I'll always choose that option.



@Master Grave: the game started on the wii a year ago so the HD versions will get the port. Not the other way around.

I don't mind the game been multiplatform. I think is OK. I still find the idea silly because this game will be ignored on the HD consoles.

And why until next year?! That's too much :/



Objection said:

Well, I now MAY be getting this for PS3. It's silly to think that the multiplatform could so drastically change my enthusiasm for the title, but it has. I hope for HVS' sake that the game turns out well on all platforms.



Knux said:

As long as I see the robotical evil unicorns with rocket launchers I requested to HVS through an email, I'm sold. But, now I'll have to decide which platform to get the game on-Wii or PS3? Hmmm...



Sean_Aaron said:

Yeah the lead time for the hype machine seems a lot. They'll have to limit the exposure because almost two years is a loooooong time to promote a title!



Atlantis1982 said:

Well, it all depends on how they are going to handle the PC version, mainly Steam. If they are going to have achievements, and/or other added things from the Wii version then maybe I will just get it on the PC.

As for it coming to 2011, does not bother me at all. Plenty of things to wait for 2010.



Kirk said:

I really don't see the point in worrying about a game being a 3rd party exclusive.

As long as the game is developed to properly take advantage of the particular system it is on, and that goes for each version on each system, and it's actually a good game then there should be no issue.

I don't like people not being able to buy a particular game because it is exclusive to one console for no reason other than the developer decided to make it exclusive.

I want access to all the games out there, obviously excluding 1st party exclusives, on the one console I own.



Egg_miester said:

well they just lost a customer and i wont buy and more hvs games i don't support sell out company's



Robio said:

Unless this game is absolutely outstanding, I think they've ultimately doomed themselves by going multi-platform. There's no shortage of good shooters on the HD systems, nor will there be in 2011. If this game ends up being just okay or even worse, it'll be ignored on those systems and the extra expenses that went to developing for those systems are just going to be wasted.

Plus, October 2011???? Seriously?? Who do these guys think they are?? Capcom promoting RE5?



Stargazer said:

Left 5 Dead will be better anyway.

High Voltage needs to do a crossover game with Grinder and Dora.



Stargazer said:

Also, this game has a disturbing lack of corridors, and I have seen no evidence of being spawned into walls and/or floors.



paulcmnt said:

Considering how bad these kind of games are doing on Wii, it's a smart decision on their part.



Varoennauraa said:

Hmm...We got Conduit, when they gave their full effort to Wii last time...I was ok with Conduit, but without friends it was totally useless game.

I got hots for this game, for Left4Dead is my favorite games in this gen. Shooting with Wiimote always intrigues me and that with 4 player co-op sounded like million dollars. Sadly now that it looks like we don't get full effort, my hots are getting milder real fast.

Is the challenge created for Wiimote or for last gen pads? If this is just another "Wii-version", another "ok, if you don't have HD-Ready-console", another "not as hot, but cheaper version", I cannot lure 3 friends for buying this game, and this will be even more useless game, than Conduit! I always prefer shooting with Wiimote over HD-Ready graphics, but without friends, I'll just pass. At the same time I think I cannot get friends buying the PS3-version either. If we want co-op fps, we just continue to play Left 4 Dead 1 and 2 on PC.

While it still was Wii-game, it looked like it could be refreshing alternative for L4D. I kept my fingers crossed while waiting for Grinder to use Wii in integral way, but it is obvious now, that hoping for that was vain and the game is going to be passably generic. At least there was talking about motion+ sword play, but with challenge and enemies created to fit game pads and buttons, motion+ isn't very integral. If we get typically slow enemies, lovingly crafted to give mercy for last-gen gamepad players, this is going to be very boring game on Wii and we can throw ip-aiming out of the window too. Some one make horrifyingly fierce enemy for Wii, other than HD-lobbying media, that alone would make unique console FPS!

I still hope this will be a good game, as I HUNGER for thigs to shoot with my Wiimote. It is surprising, that we still don't have a really strong FPS-game, since Wii is the King of FPS. Even almost completely without FPS-games!



aaronsullivan said:

I agree that the Wii control scheme for FPS is superior to everything else, really -- mouse is debatable, of course. The problem is that FPS fans are notoriously graphics whores, so... Wii doesn't cut it for most.

The other consoles are getting motion controls this year, don't forget. It could be that High Voltage sees an opportunity to leverage its expertise with motion controls across all the platforms, save PC. Maybe October 2011 gives time for the installed base of the new peripherals to grow and sufficient time to get things right on the new (to them) consoles?

Anybody have a clue how Natal could do 1st person controls without extending your hand toward the screen, though? Hmm...



darklinkinfinite said:

This could go either way for High Voltage, actually. I thought the Conduit was a good game but I don't think it really raised the bar on first-person shooters on the platform outside of the control scheme and that is a luxury they won't really have on the HD consoles since FPS controls on the gamepad have been refined after years and years of games.

Also, by going multiplat they are risking losing a good amount of support from the Wii crowd for this game. Even if everyone that bought the Conduit chose to buy one of the HD versions instead, 350k units sold on the PS3 or 360 alone is not the same as 350k sold on the Wii. Development costs are far higher on the HD consoles and considering that development time is being extended a whole year in order to produce the assets to even be competitive in the HD market, that's even more money sunk in. And if they want to use Natal or Sony's Wand, that's even more money they or their publisher will have to invest.

As others have noted, it won't be as easy for The Grinder to become a relative success on the HD consoles due in large part to its competition. Some would expect a sequel to Left 4 Dead by then or if not, at least continued support for the game via DLC. There are also far more FPS titles on the HD consoles being developed by more experienced developers with deeper pockets.

At this point I also doubt that the two versions (Wii/HD) will have identical feature sets. As I noted above, the bar is simply set higher for HD games. People will expect full 4 player support which is not currently planned on the Wii. If the Wii version does indeed include Motion Plus support, I suspect that would be considered the trade-off for the more in-depth networking features found on the HD systems. It also will not help the Wii version any when its being graphically compared to its HD counterpart.

Some have said that since development started on the Wii, its version will still be a solid game. Which I agree with. However, that's still not to say that the Wii version will be the "best" version. The difference here is that when you're trying to fit a game developed for the HD systems on the Wii, you struggle trying to fit the content and the tech into the system's hardware capabilities. However, if we're going the other way around, things aren't so restrictive. Instead the developers find themselves more empowered to do new things and explore new tech. Whereas High Voltage may be pushing the Wii to get 100 enemies on screen, that'd be relatively easy to do on the HD systems and then we be begin to consider not 100, but hundreds, of enemies on screen. With better support for textures and maps, why not go ahead and add those elements in?

For what its worth, I'll still be picking up the Wii version, but I sure hope High Voltage and whatever publisher picks up the game that simply releasing a game on the HD consoles does not equate to a commercial success. It still requires a great deal of marketing and rapport with the audience, which is what most companies marketing a Wii-only game tend to forget.



Rerun said:

2011 is a long time. Anything can happen. I'll just wait for the reviews before I purchase this game. Wasn't all that excited to begin with. If going multi-platform means that they keep on making really great games availble to everyone, by all means. It never bothered me before.



motang said:

Too bad it's been pushed back to 2011, but hey if it means it will sell by going multi-platform I am ok with that, I will still be getting it on the Wii.



DarkLloyd said:

well i would of bought this for the wii but since i have made a rule to my self for getting multiplats for the ps3 only and exclusives or console exclusives for the other systems

other then that still cant wait for this game im pretty sure it will be fun to play



KrazyKain said:

so long as the wii version is equal to the other versions and has not a single feature missing, i'm happy



BlueFlameBat said:

I don't mind that they're taking this multi-platform, I just think it sucks that they're not bringing more to the Wii in addition. Even a Dead or Alive beach volleyball game could shake off some more of that collected crap that is the kiddie coating fanatics are continuing to slam Nintendo with.



BlueFlameBat said:

If this ends up getting canceled for Wii in the process of going multi-platform, though, I'll be pissed off. I have a PS3 and XBox 360 as well and I still won't be getting it if the Wii version gets the axe.



MasterGraveheart said:

@buffalobob: Okay, if it were to come out before the HD versions, you do realize that our version will still be minus many extra features in comparison, graphics aside, right? It's the story of this generation. The two big predators hog the room at the 3rd party tables and the little Wii is forced to endure the leftover sCRAPs. Not that we haven't gotten some fine third party titles on the Wii that WERE exclusive, but it's obvious that the third parties are all about glitter and outside superficialness. It's sad, really.



Thomas_Joseph said:

Two more years before this game is released? yawn

Don't even talk to me about The Grinder until at least another year and a half go by. And by then, I may not even care any longer.



AVahne said:

i'll still be picking up this game for Wii sometime, i have a friend who has a Wii and one of the HD consoles and thinks about getting the Wii version instead of the HD versions



Ch3p3 said:

This is why i get piss-off ¬¬ ---> "The Grinder GOES Multiplataform"



JimLad said:

Question is, what new systems will be out or be coming out by then?

Here's an idea, finish the Wii version first, and then release the HD editions when they are ready. Do things round the other way for a change.



Token_Girl said:

They'd have to add a lot technologically speaking to the HD versions to make it competitive with the umpteen million other FPS's on them. On the one hand, mature games aren't selling that well on the Wii, on the other hand, if resources are stretched too thin, none of the versions will be all that good, and everyone will skip it. HD owners will just buy Halo/Left 4 Dead/Dead Space/Call of Duty 4508405984. It will basically be left to Wii owners without an HD console, who will just be pissed another mediocre excuse for an FPS has been hyped to high heavens. If they do have the resources to not make the game a bugfest like the online in The Conduit, then they may have a few people who pick it up, because they prefer Wii controls. It will be hard for them to find friends to play with, since most hardcore FPS fans by then will have an HD console, if they don't already, and they'd buy the HD version, if there weren't a million other AAA shooters for them to buy.

Why would any PS360 owner buy a port of a Wii FPS game without TONS of stuff added to it? Just the reputation of being originally a Wii exclusive will probably make HD owners think it sucks in comparison to the stuff made ground up for them, and, to be honest, it probably will. I don't have a problem with them doing this, I just don't see the investment paying off for them.



Sean_Aaron said:

@JimLad: My thoughts too. Put out the Wii version first to keep the hype machine rolling.

@TokenGirl: Good point on having added extras for HD platforms as a hook. I suspect DLC will be more emphasised on those platforms than the Wii.



Varoennauraa said:

"Why would any PS360 owner buy a port of a Wii FPS game without TONS of stuff added to it?"

Thats easy. Because shooting things for your self is much more fun and immersive, than awkward and clumsy last gen thumbstick rubbing with autoaims. I actually bought MW Reflex rather than MW2 for PS3!



CanisWolfred said:

Alright, now it's guaranteed to fail. I mean "Left4Dead on the Wii" is a good enough hook to get by, but I doubt they'll go very far with "Left4Dead on consoles that already have 2 Left4Deads + tons of other Team-based FPSes".



TheUrinator said:

I think The Grinder will for the most part be the same game on all platforms with some exceptions. Wii will have motion controls, the PS3 and 360 versions will play out in HD (sorta like the HD version of "No More Heroes"... same game but in HD). And the PC version will allow some customization and other usual stuff.

So basically, the dev is going to save money just working on one version and adapting it to several platforms. And by having it on several platforms, they expect to cast a bigger net in order to make the most profit.

I don't think they expect The Grinder to sell as much as Left4Dead on the PS3 or 360 (as some users here seem to believe). Nope. Just enough to profit seems to be the goal.



loopy_101 said:

Well that sucks. I was intending to get The Grinder because it was Wii exclusive. I suppose business wise it is a smart-move though, unless Left 4 Dead 3 comes along that is...

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