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News: MechWarrior 5 Unleashes The Dougram In Latest Announcement

Posted on : 04-12-2016 | By : | In : News, Videos

Hardware:

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For those that have been playing MechWarrior Online, it seems that the same studio Piranha Games has also been working on a new mainline game in the series. Titled MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries it’s now made the shift over to Unreal Engine 4, from MechWarrior Online’s CryEngine. In the latest reveal trailer (shown below), we get to see an old Shadow Hawk taken through its paces (shown above). This particular unit is also one not without controversy, as like many of the early BattleTech designs the Shadow Hawk was actually a straight up copy of the Dougram.

Now, when I interviewed Kunio Okawara, the designer behind Dougram, and Rysosuke Takahashi, the writer and director for the series, fairly recently neither seemed that fussed about this kind borrowing of material. However, Takahashi did make a point to say that it was really Sunrise’s call on whether anything should be done about the situation. That said, when I also interviewed Shoji Kawamori about his designs being used in BattleTech he wasn’t best pleased.

In short, even after all these years the BattleTech and subsequent MechWarrior games are still not free of this Unseen controversy. The fact that MechWarrior 5 went with the Shadow Hawk as part of its reveal seems a strangely unnecessary move, when they can clearly design something fresh and new instead (though this version of the Shadow Hawk has already been reworked quite a bit). This is also something of an ongoing issue with the MechWarrior series, as I covered some licensing issues back in 2009.

Personally, I am glad to see a new mainline MechWarrior game but after all the ineptitude surrounding MechWarrior Online I am not holding out any hope that this will be any good. Currently, there is no news of a release date or platform but I am guessing it will make its way to PC at some point.

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Comments (3)

What kind of “ineptitudes” do you mean? Do you mean the business model?

MW2: Mercs is my favorite MW game, but I’m unsure they have the budget for anything like that.

Also, I wonder why the company doesn’t redesign the “Unseen.” Would it be so bad just to retcon the designs to something completely different? It could even be an opportunity. Such as design them with consistencies through the manufacturers. That is, you can tell which mech was developed by who by simply looking at it. It would help the lore too.

Business model and general balancing. MWO has been a mess for a long time.

They did redesign them, at least twice. Back in ’03, they released a sourcebook with lawyer-friendly redesigns called Technical Readout: Project Phoenix, and in 2015, Catalyst Game Labs announced they were doing redesigns of all the Unseen designs (as they’re known in the fandom), and retconning them into being regarded as the originals. That last one is unusual, since prior to this the Battletech developers’ position was that the original designs were still canon, but unable to be depicted thanks to the legal situation.

The whole thing is a legal clusterfuck owing to the fact that FASA, the original creator of Battletech/Mechwarrior, originally licensed the Macross, Dougram, and Crusher Joe designs from a company that, technically speaking, didn’t have the rights to said designs, triggered by a mutual lawsuit between them and Harmony Gold. You can read about the whole thing here

MORAL OF THE STORY: Harmony Gold ruins everything.

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