I Am Alive, the survival action game Ubisoft first announced back in 2008, will finally come out this year but will only be released digitally because the publisher "doesn't have much faith in the title."
Remember I Am Alive? Don't feel too bad if the answer is no; I'd completely forgotten about it myself. It debuted at E3 2008, we got a bit of a closer look at it in January 2009 and then a couple of months later Ubisoft announced that it had taken the game away from independent developer Darkworks and given it to Ubisoft Shanghai instead. And then, nothing.
But after nearly two years of silence, we finally have news, and it turns out that I Am Alive is still alive. Jade Raymond, who these days is working as managing director at Ubisoft Toronto, told JeuxVideo that the game will come out this year, but there's a twist: instead of getting a retail release as was originally planned, it will be available exclusively on digital platforms. According to Raymond, Ubisoft has decided on a digital launch because it doesn't have much faith in the game.
It's not the sort of admission you hear from a publisher every day and it's possible that something was lost in the translation, since JeuxVideo is a French site. On the other hand, after years of development and some hugely missed launch dates (it was originally slated for March 2009), Ubi might just be looking to recoup what it can and wash its hands of the whole thing. It could also be reverse-psychology marketing, generating curiosity among the masses by pretending that the game is going to suck so badly that it won't even grant it corporeal form. Or maybe it really does suck that badly.
Whatever the deal, it's nice that we're finally going to get our paws on it. I Am Alive will be out sometime this year on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade; no word on whether or not it will make it to the PC.
UPDATE: Thanks to several readers who actually speak French it's become clear that the comment about Ubisoft not having faith in the game did not come from Jade Raymond but was simply the opinion of the JeuxVideo announcer. In response to inquiries, meanwhile, Ubisoft said only, "We have not recently announced anything for I Am Alive and we have nothing official to announce at this time."
In other words, it would appear that, yes, quite a bit was lost in translation.