×

No New ‘Alien’ Film, No Other ‘Alien’ Game Coming Alongside ‘Alien: Blackout’

Alien: Blackout,” the mobile survival horror game revealed earlier this week, is part of a broader 20th Century Fox initiative to tell new stories in the franchise around Amanda Ripley. The initiative, branded around the “ReadWatchPlay” slogan, won’t include any other games, nor is it tied to a new feature film, 20th Century Fox’s FoxNext tells Variety.

“ReadWatchPlay is referring to individual entries for each one,” said TQ Jefferson, vice president of external development at FoxNext. “It’s exploring different elements of Amanda Ripley’s saga. ‘Alien: Blackout’ is a standalone premium mobile game. It’s not promotional for any other component of the Alien franchise.

“The slogan is the rallying cry for the activity that is going to touch upon Amanda Ripley’s story in the immediate future.”

The official Alien Twitter account started using the “ReadWatchPlay” hashtag earlier this month as it stoked interested in the coming announcement of the “Alien: Blackout” game. Unfortunately, the buzz the hashtag generated may have been a bit too effective, leading some fans to believe that it was building up to news of a new “Alien: Isolation” game, a survival horror title released in 2014 which starred Amanda Ripley, daughter of Alien protagonist Ellen Ripley.

When news hit that the game wasn’t an “Isolation” sequel and was destined for smartphones, some fans took to Twitter to express their displeasure.

Popular on Variety

Jefferson said on Wednesday that the company was aware of the backlash Blizzard recently received after it announced a Diablo mobile game when fans were hoping for a console or computer title. But he said he doesn’t think it’s the same.

“I can see some people making a connection between ‘Diablo’ and this, but I think it’s a bit of a leap,” he said. “The ‘Diablo’ backlash was focused on free-to-play and mobile, our game is a premium mobile game where you pay one price and you’re done. It’s a contained experience.”

Jefferson said that he believes 20th Century Fox and the stewards of the Alien brand believe they are in touch with their fan base’s expectations and that they were aware that some wanted the news to be about “Isolation 2.”

“But it’s not that binary,”  he said. “There are a lot of stories we can tell in the franchise. We can tell more stories about Amanda Ripley without it being an ‘Isolation’ game.”

He added that “Isolation 2” is not in development, but that the PC shooter from Cold Iron Studios is still in the works.

The timing for the “ReadWatchPlay” campaign aligns with the 40th Anniversary of the original “Alien” movie. While the film was first released on May 25, 1979 in the United States, April 26 is viewed by many as the official “Alien” day and Jefferson noted that it was a “scant few months away. We have a lot of different plans going forward.”

Those plans likely include revealing what sort of works will be tied to the “Read” and the “Watch” in that campaign.

While the initial reaction to the news of what “Alien: Blackout” is — a survival horror game on mobile staring Amanda Ripley — hasn’t been overwhelmingly positive, Jefferson said he is happy to see that it has people talking about the franchise. A team was in New York this week to show off the game under embargo, which lifts next week.

“Once they hear more about the game they’ll realize that it is its own experience,” he said, “and that it’s as true to Alien as anything we ever made.”

More Gaming

  • Riot Games

    Riot Games to Pay $10 Million to Settle Gender-Discrimination Lawsuit

    Riot Games, developer of “League of Legends,” will fork over at least $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of women employees alleging the company’s “bro culture” resulted in systemic gender discrimination. Terms of the settlement in the case, reached in August, were revealed in court documents filed last week in California [...]

  • Dreamscape_Dragon vr

    Dreamscape Gets ‘DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy’ VR Experience (EXCLUSIVE)

    Location-based virtual reality (VR) startup Dreamscape has teamed up with DreamWorks Animation to launch a new “How to Train Your Dragons” experience at its flagship Westfield Century City VR center in Los Angeles later this month. The 11-minute “DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy” experience allows up to 8 participants to hone their dragon-flying skills together, and [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Eases Restrictions on 'Simulated' Violence in Gaming Content

    YouTube announced a change to its content guidelines that will be more permissive in allowing depictions of violence in video-game content — as long as it’s not the sole focus of a video. Starting on Dec. 2, YouTube said, scripted or simulated violent content found in video games will be treated the same as scripted [...]

  • Disney’s Frozen 2 and Laika’s Missing

    'Frozen 2,' 'Missing Link' Lead 47th Annie Award Nominations

    Disney’s “Frozen 2” and Laika’s “Missing Link” led the 47th Annie Award nominations Dec. 2 with eight each and will battle it out for best animated feature along with DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” Netflix’s “Klaus” and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” when the ceremony is held on Jan. 25 at [...]

  • Black Friday Deals: Oculus Rift, PlayStation

    The Best Black Friday Deals for VR Headsets, Apps & Games

    Getting your own virtual reality (VR) setup at home used to be costly, requiring not only an expensive headset but also a full-blown gaming PC. Not anymore: The latest generation of all-in-one devices has made VR a lot more affordable, and deep discounts for the holiday season serve as another incentive to finally make the [...]

  • Beat Saber Acquired by Facebook, Company

    Facebook Buys the Maker of the Popular VR Game 'Beat Saber'

    Facebook has acquired Beat Games, the maker of the popular virtual reality (VR) music game “Beat Saber”, the social media giant announced Tuesday. Beat Games will operate as an independent studio under Oculus Studios, and continue to support “Beat Saber” on all existing platforms, according to a blog post penned by Facebook AR/VR director of [...]

  • Kris Bowers, Alan Silvestri, and Catherine

    Alan Silvestri, Cynthia Erivo, Bebe Rexha Among Hollywood Music in Media Award Winners

    The 10th annual Hollywood Music in Media Awards rewarded a diverse crop of composers, songwriters and music supervisors who contributed to film, TV and videogames over the last year, from scorers Alan Silvestri, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Marco Beltrami and Michael Abels to tunesmiths Cynthia Erivo, Bebe Rexha and the Avett Brothers to Quentin Tarantino’s longtime music sidekick, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content