|Descent 4 (working title)|
|Input methods||Keyboard and mouse|
Descent 4 is a planned fourth installment in the Descent series published by the re-emerging publisher, Interplay Entertainment. While the game has had a troubled development history, Interplay Entertainment recently confirmed that they have plans for developing the game after raising funds for the development of an MMO based on the Fallout franchise.
Development of Descent 4 was officially cancelled in 2000 as revealed by a PlanetDescent interview conducted on September 11, 2000. Some speculation was made that Red Faction, a new project at Volition, was Descent 4, since Red Faction's main character was named Parker and some of the plot points for Red Faction were very similar to Descent as was mentioned in the PlanetDescent interview, but Mike Kulas, then-president of Volition Inc., denied that Red Faction was Descent 4, although he admitted that technologies that were in development for Descent 4 were being used in Red Faction. PlanetDescent also asked if there was to be a Descent 4 developed by Volition after Red Faction in the then-foreseeable future. Mr. Kulas stated that it seemed very unlikely that they would work on a Descent sequel. This could possibly be due to the fact that in 2000, Volition left Interplay Entertainment to be part of THQ.
On November 13, 2007, GameSpot reported that Interplay has announced that it will restart its in-house development studio and has plans to develop a Descent sequel (likely to be Descent 4) amongst other classic Interplay IPs if Interplay can secure financing for any possible sequels..
On March 31, 2008, Interplay Entertainment released their quarterly report which highlighted their development plans for possible sequels:
On March 13, 2008 Interplay Entertainment updated their website, inserting a background image highlighting some of the games in the company's roster. The picture included the trademarked blue shield orb known from the Descent series, offering further confirmation the Descent franchise is one of the IP's the company is focusing on.
On September 22, 2008, the company re-opened their website. The site's discussion board includes the official Descent forum.
As of October 21, 2008, Interplay has re-registered the Descent trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Several third party developers to date have expressed interest in developing their own sequel to a franchise they felt was prematurely abandoned. These third party developers eventually ran into licensing issues or were issued cease-and-desist orders by the trademark holders.
Starting in 2003, Highoctane Software was developing their own Descent-like game, named Core Decision. In late 2006 the application development house, Highoctane Software, established a separate studio for game development called Uplink Studios and the project was transferred for development under that division. Core Decision was initially to be released in October 2006, and was speculated to be based on the Doom 3 engine. While this has proven to be false, the actual development engine has not yet been disclosed. As of writing, development is still underway, although no new release date has been announced.
After Descent 4 was initially cancelled, Midnight Squadron Design Studios commenced development of a sequel based on the open-source Unreal 3D engine in 2000. The game was to be called Descent 4: Invasion and it was to be distributed online after completion. The developers received permission to develop the sequel, provided the completed game was to be released at no profit.
In early 2001 the development was transferred to Orbital Design Studios, although the rights and permission were still held by Midnight Squadron Design Studios. After April 2001, Orbital Design was issued a cease-and-desist order by THQ, who were then in possession of the rights to the Descent IP.
The Open Descent Foundation (ODF) was founded in early 2007 in response to recognizing the problems associated with closed source programming and proprietary tools. Thus all members of the ODF must accept the ideology of open source. The ODF releases all member projects under their umbrella name. Projects are based on both Windows and Linux.
To date, ODF has released several tools for all versions of Descent. Its main project is to create a 6DoF game to give to the Descent and Forsaken communities. The last 6DoF project to be released was Descent 3. Many technological advances have been made since then, thus making the idea of a Descent 4 ever more desirable as Descent3's engine is becoming more and more outdated.
Fansites & other developments: