With the latest two movie entries in the Alien franchise unfortunately having done little towards securing the future of the film series, fans were hoping that the promotion of a new Alien computer game might represent the beginnings of a bright new future for everybody’s favorite murderous extraterrestrial. Alas, it doesn’t appear likely that’s how things are going to pan out…
For the shortest of times, In the aftermath of Prometheus, it looked like 20th Century Fox might have realized that some kind of fundamental change was needed. With Ridley Scott promising to produce something fresh and new with his planned Prometheus sequel, and Neill Blomkamp teasing promotional material for a 5th Alien movie featuring Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn, things finally seemed to be heading in the right direction again.
Then Blomkamp’s idea was rejected, and Scott simply proceeded to replicate the mistakes he had made in Prometheus with the release of Alien: Covenant. All of which left the audiences, the critics and the money men with no burning desire to see the Aliens story continue. Luckily, the Xenomorph is nothing if not adaptable, and his adventures simply moved away from the big screen and down onto a number of other platforms.
Alien: Blackout is a new mobile phone game, and will be released on January 24th. Players will take the role of Amanda Ripley (Ellen’s daughter), picking up where her adventures ended at the conclusion of Alien: Isolation, and setting her on a collision course with the Weyland Yutani mega-corporation. As the online hype behind the game has gradually gained momentum, hopes have been rising that the move away from the Prometheus movies and back to the Ripley timeline might mean more exciting new material in the future.
Sadly it looks like that’s not going to be the case, and worries that the Disney merger with Fox might be the end for their more violent and graphic content appear to have been confirmed. In an interview with Variety, Fox Exec TQ Jefferson had this to say about the new game:
“It’s exploring different elements of Amanda Ripley’s saga. Alien: Blackout is a standalone premium mobile game. It’s not promotional for any other component of the Alien franchise. The slogan is the rallying cry for the activity that is going to touch upon Amanda Ripley’s story in the immediate future.”
In a crowded film market, with failure after failure now on record, it’s hard to see how the Alien movies can suddenly reconnect with modern audiences. Perhaps a rumored move into television will come to fruition, taking the franchise into the world of streaming platforms. Only time will tell…