Last year XBLArcade.com reported that the Develop mentioned that XBLA developer MumboJumbo was working on a casual title based on the US version of the hit series The Office. The title was slated for DS, PSP and PC with an option for XBLA. The Xbox 360 community hasn't heard a peep about this game in almost a year now... until yesterday. Valve's Steam digital distribution channel released the game chock full of Steam achievements. 12 achievements to be exact. A limit that is only imposed in our favorite downloadable store. Coincidence?!? The title is currently running for $9.99 on Steam, so if this does in fact follow my far flung reach of the immagination expect the title to come in at 800 MS Points. Just for the record the title is not yet listed on the ESRB for the Xbox 360.
First, there was PopCap Games (aka "#1 developer on XBLA"). Then, PlayFirst decided to get in on the act. And now, it's RealNetwork's turn. This past week, RealNetworks announced plans to bring their stable of casual games to all the major console download platforms.
While no major announcement (or overblown press release) has appeared yet, this tidbit was confirmed in GameDaily's interview with Erik Goossens, RealNetwork's VP of Game Content. When asked about RealArcade's games appearing on consoles he replied that work on those games "is happening as we speak."
The only real questions left are "which?" and "when?". Which games will they bring over? And when will they arrive? When is truly anyone's guess at this point. The question of which games are coming is more complicated because Real Arcade serves as a portal for games developed by other companies that already have a relationship with Xbox Live Arcade. That list includes PopCap Games (e.g., Bejeweled, Atomica, Insaniquarium), MumboJumbo (Luxor 2), PlayFirst (e.g., Chocolatier) and Sandlot Games (Cake Mania).
Slice it any way you want, XBLA will be getting a ton of casual game content in the coming year. Are you casual enough to handle it?
Mike Suarez, vp product development at MumboJumbo, said the first "Office" game would be classified as a task-management game like "Diner Dash." Players will assume the role of Jim Halpert (John Krasinski in the show) and interact with such other characters as Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) and Michael Scott (Steve Carell).
Suarez said the game introduces a rival notion that hasn't been seen in the genre, which pits Jim against characters like Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) and brings tension to the gameplay.