Sources have confirmed that Starbreeze Studios is working on a new Syndicate title for Electronic Arts.
The collaboration between Starbreeze and EA was revealed in February 2008 when they signed a deal to bring back a “classic” EA franchise. It was rumored at the time that the franchise in question was either System Shock or Syndicate and in October 2008 the word on the street went out that Project RedLime was a new Syndicate.
That rumor has now been confirmed: GamesIndustry says the Starbreeze project, which has actually been in development since August 2007, is in fact a new Syndicate title, being developed for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Further details aren’t yet available but the game apparently won’t be released until Starbreeze’s other EA project, a Bourne game, is finished.
Syndicate was originally developed by Peter Molyneux’s legendary Bullfrog Productions and released in 1993. Set in a dystopian future in which the world is ruled by ruthless, gigantic corporations, the game put players in charge of a four-member squad of cybernetic agents tasked with jobs including kidnapping, targeted assassination, stealing other corporations inventions for the boys in R&D and occasional bursts of intense, drug-fueled slaughter.
The gameplay was simplistic, ridiculously violent and very, very satisfying. But after the American Revolt expansion in 1994 and Syndicate Wars in 1996, the series was dropped; EA had acquired Bullfrog in 1995, meanwhile, and Molyneux left in 1997 to found Lionhead. He said in October 2008 that he’d enjoy the opportunity to redo games like Syndicate or Populous but noted that EA holds all the right, saying, “”They’re hardly going to pick up the phone and say, ‘Hi Peter. Why not do these games?'”
It may not be Bullfrog but Swedish developer Starbreeze has some noteworthy success to its name as well, including The Darkness and The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay. Along with the new Syndicate and untitled Bourne game, Starbreeze also developed The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, coming in April.