Big Huge Games resurrecting Left Behind

Rise of Nations developer licenses technology to developer of religious real-time strategy game for a sequel.

While Left Behind: Eternal Forces, the first interactive adaptation of the apocalyptic Left Behind Christian fiction series, was crucified by reviewers upon its release earlier this month, publisher Left Behind Games has already announced a sequel to its real-time strategy game.

However, the company isn't going it alone this time. The publisher has signed a multiyear technology licensing agreement with developer Big Huge Games, which has no shortage of experience in the real-time strategy genre. In addition to being the studio behind the critically acclaimed Rise of Nations and its Rise of Legends spin-off, Big Huge Games was founded by four veteran developers with plenty of RTS pedigree from working on genre hits like Civilization II and Alpha Centauri.

Released earlier this month, Left Behind: Eternal Forces has been the subject of controversy, most recently in the form of a boycott organized by a number of Christian organizations. A petition directed at Left Behind Games says Eternal Forces involves killing non-Christians and Christians who don't convert to a particular form of Christianity. The petition also claims it teaches teens that activists are "wolves in sheep's clothing," and that non-Christian aid workers like doctors and nurses are enemy forces who can be killed.

Left Behind Games CEO Troy Lyndon dismissed the groups' complaints, saying they haven't played the game through. He added that his company's only desire is "to have a positive impact on an industry that traditionally has had a dark influence on gamers and the world."

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81 comments
nappan
nappan

"Kravyn81 This game is great if for nothing more than the controversy it's started. " Nope, it's not even good for that. "ithebigc: ....I can't find the Christian part in this game, if it involves killing all people that don't convert to YOUR form of religion." I don't know, the inquisition springs to mind. And the crusades. And the holy roman empire. And.. well you get the idea. I can't really think of any religion that is, or was on the scale of christianity that didn't start whacking people who didn't agree with them every so often...

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

:lol: This game is great if for nothing more than the controversy it's started.

murlow12
murlow12

This next game should be a lot better. It might even be worth checking out.

Lord_Bafford
Lord_Bafford

like its gonna make any difference, meh the game will still suck

Mr_Saturn26
Mr_Saturn26

i just hope i could play the non-christains in the single player mode, instead of jest in multi.

fahad2mail
fahad2mail

I think they will do the right. At last the game will face some good. Sounds great.

ithebigc
ithebigc

Well, I haven't played Left Behind, but as a Christian, I can say that I can't find this game "having a positive impact on an industry that has traditionally has had a dark influence on gamers and the world". I usually don't judge games by what people say, but....I can't find the Christian part in this game, if it involves killing all people that don't convert to YOUR form of religion. Troy Lyndon, go find a pastor somewhere, or maybe start reading the Bible, especially Revelations. Maybe then you can learn something! =O

muscrat_01
muscrat_01

OH god no dont let Big Huge work on this trash. no,no,no,no,no,no,no.....

Riverwolf007
Riverwolf007

Well i guess judging a game without playing it in some cases may be pretty unfair and all but i don't need a review to tell me the next movie with a rap artist in it will be bad, getting hit in the face with a shovel hurts or that the next RTS based on a third rate sci-fi book series made by a group of nobodies will suck.(no offense to anyone that worked on the game or anything but really, your publisher is named after your game how long are you guys going to be around?)

rsjet
rsjet

If you haven't played it, don't call it a "crap game" . Just because of a website rating? I've heard from some people that its pretty fun. Play the game BEFORE you make up your mind about it. I think its a good idea that they want to use a readily available advanced game engine. It will most likely help the game to look and play alot better than a homemade engine. Gif said: "They are extremists and they promote hatred like"If you don;t support our religion you are going to hell" Sorry but thats wrong and against the teachings of catholicism. I as a catholic do not promote intolerance or hatred in any way shape or form. If people choose to believe different religions, its their right. Its the beauty of having choice to begin with." - First of all, believing that your religion is the only true one is part of accepting that if one way is right, the other way must by definition be wrong. It is perfectly acceptable to have this view, it is not wrong. -Secondly, believing that you are right and others are wrong, does not mean you hate those people or are intolerant of them.

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

Where'd they still get the money from if their first game isn't going to be a success at all, and is self-published by themselves?!? Maybe church donations? Eugh! I think not likely.

Riverwolf007
Riverwolf007

Yeah...a sequel...Riiiiight... So what do you good people believe is more likely, that this crap ass game will get a sequel? Or that they needed some way to get this pig back in the spotlight so as to unload a few more of these dust gatherers upon the public before it becomes less than a footnote in videogame history. Nice work Mr. Lyndon.

JSharpe_187
JSharpe_187

The new way to convert? Video games. Just leave us jews out of it.

I_eat_tortillas
I_eat_tortillas

This is not the Catholic Church maikng video games. Catholic Church has become more modernized (accepting the fact the planet is NOT 6,000 years old, genesis possibly an allegorical representation of big bang/evolution,etc). The people behind left behind are fundamentalist evanglicals, the new face of Christianity. Pat Robertson, Super Churches, and left behind are all parts of evangical christianity. I have attended a few of these masses, and while I do not agree with some of their interpetations (I believe in theistic evolution), they are alot more interesting then old catholic masses. Where was I going with this...oh right. Why are you guys ragging on religion in video games. It has been in video games for years now. Look at halo with its biblical references or God of War which is wholely based of Greek Mythology. Religion is in games. As long as it is not in government you have nothing to worry about (I am not talking god in money or pledges, but guiding the direction of the government).

teknocack
teknocack

While I have no doubts as to the quality of talent at BHG, what I do question is someone at GS who doesn't know the difference between a RTS and a TBS. You don't get your "RTS pedigree from working on genre hits like Civilization II and Alpha Centauri" since neither of those games are an RTS. Just championing the cause of precision and common sense which seems to be in desperately short supply among the vast majority that comment on these news bits. I'm gonna give Brendan the benefit of the doubt this time though and chalk this boner up to being tired at the height of the holiday gaming season.

Mechakucha
Mechakucha

Hmmm... seeing how hardcore those people at Left Behind Games are, I'm surprised they even make games. I mean, since they use Arabs, Blacks, Hip/hop and rock stars to portray the Antichrist, don't the same people have it in for video games? Oh that's right, videogames are what the kids like, and they need to brainwash as many of them as possible to keep their RIDICULOUS version of "Christianity" alive.

Jerian
Jerian

I dont see how an RTS makes any sense..I mean that would be like playing the Da Vinci Code RTS or something. Wouldnt a game more like Indigo Prophecies make more sense?

GIF
GIF

Like I said previously, "The left Behind series is trash. A series concoted by some crazy, ultra conservative writer waiting for an apocalypse that will not arrive. Even in the bible it is said that no man knows when the world will end. Only god does." Not only that, these people give christian and catholics a bad name just like George Bush jr. does. They are extremists and they promote hatred like"If you don;t support our religion you are going to hell" Sorry but thats wrong and against the teachings of catholicism. I as a catholic do not promote intolerance or hatred in any way shape or form. If people choose to believe different religions, its their right. Its the beauty of having choice to begin with.

PDM999
PDM999

Umm did anyone else find it funny that they mention "Big Huge Games was founded by four veteran developers with plenty of RTS pedigree from working on genre hits like Civilization II and Alpha Centauri" . . . how do you get RTS pedigree by working on turn based strategy games? Hey Gamespot, need some editing staff? :b

bperry34
bperry34

LEFT BEHIND: ETERNAL FORCES A statement from Left Behind Games Inc. Troy A. Lyndon, Chief Executive Officer Recently, much controversy has ensued due to published articles in the media which discuss the violence in our upcoming game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces. However, references to “praise the lord and pass the ammunition” or “kill in the name of God” or others were made by journalists spreading misinformation, which is absolutely not true. And for this reason, I have published this statement. There is no blood or gore in Left Behind: Eternal Forces. The game is designed to be a classic battle between good and evil, but it does not gratuitously depict violence or death. Others are concerned about the pre-trib religious doctrine believed by the Left Behind authors. Left Behind is not the Bible, it is a fictional story and accordingly, situations resulting from the stories' post-apocalyptic time-frame are used to encourage gamers to think about matters of eternal significance, a topic largely ignored by modern games. Because our game is a ‘strategy' game, never does a player click a key or press a button to actuate a first-person violent act. Instead, control is managed by the player in much the same way as an animated chess game would be when pieces fight for position, except that in ‘real-time' strategy games, many pieces fight for position at the same time. In Left Behind: Eternal Forces, the players' objective is to find ‘tribulation clues', which include Bible mysteries, codes and fascinating and eternally relevant information. In the initial missions, there is little emphasis on physical warfare and gamers are introduced to powers of influence which result in a battle for the hearts and minds of people. As missions progress, there are no ‘objectives' to cause war physically. However, physical warfare results when the player is required to defend against the physical forces of evil; led by the Global Community Peacekeepers. Several months ago, there was a news story with erroneous information about the game. Unfortunately, some readers accepted the misinformation as being factual, and then the rumor mill and the blogs were off and running. If you hear someone making negative statements about this game, we encourage you to ask if they have personally reviewed the game. If they are merely passing on hearsay, it is false and misleading information. At Left Behind Games, we are dedicated to making great games. Left Behind: Eternal Forces is coming to the PC and will be released on October 2006. We believe it will be a great day!

KaotixGTX
KaotixGTX

I agree also with GIJames. Although I've already seen a Christian FPS game where you "banished" demons rather than killing them. Only problem was it was made by an indie developer with the graphics of the original Doom and it never went anywhere.

CVGCShubert
CVGCShubert

It doesn't matter if it gets a good review or not, all some christians need to see is that it's based on a popular christian book series and they'll buy it. Shame on you Big Huge, you're just trying to make money off of the misinformed christians who just assume you're making them a good game.

smallways
smallways

If it has online multiplayer, I'll buy it. I would pwn with the Heretics/Non-Believers.

bobbysox0070
bobbysox0070

that was a good post by the gi person - and ever so true

dominae
dominae

Wow, . . . I'm very surprised that GameSpot's allowing comments on this article.

Theman3788
Theman3788

Thats sweet I guess. Even Gamespot said that Eternal forces had a different look at the RTS, if they can make it actually fun that would just expand the RTS universe, and thats always a good thing

Fragmeter476
Fragmeter476

as mentioned below, if we take this report by its words, its a TECH LICENSING agreement, nothing mentions big huge game actually working on such a crappy game.

OrionNM
OrionNM

Are they just lending out the tech or are they helping with game design too? I'm not sure how I feel about this. Are Big Huge Games endorsing this game or just making money from it?

jaredgood1
jaredgood1

GIJames248... Bravo. I know way too many people who are not religious due to religious proselytizing, and that's a shame.

apwc
apwc

"Christian developers should try a different approach to making games. Instead of making a game obviously about Christianity they should make games that incorporate Christianity but not so blatantly. Like a shooter that has a Christian squad member or a RPG that has church or a missionary in it. Make it subtle and conflicting with other worldviews. That way it will give open minded people food for thought and narrow minded people fun game play." That is one of the best comments I've read in a long time. There are WAY more people converted by a religious friend than an in-your-face-door-knocking pastor. If they want to make a positive impact, I'm not sure this the way to do it. Interesting game concept, poor evangelistic tool.

Strag3n
Strag3n

dang guys, WHY? plz big huge, go back to making good games, i beg u!

crucifine
crucifine

Well, Big Huge games is a five minute drive from my house. I was thinking about an internship there, but not so much anymore. I'll wait until after that's over.

Witchsight
Witchsight

Yeah, this wouldnt be a sequel, it would be "trying again". (2nd coming? OLOLOL)

QualityJeverage
QualityJeverage

This is good. I'm not even a Christian, but Left Behind had a pretty original concept. Now that we've got a solid developer behind it, I'll be keeping an eye on this one.

GIJames248
GIJames248

Christian developers should try a different approach to making games. Instead of making a game obviously about Christianity they should make games that incorporate Christianity but not so blatantly. Like a shooter that has a Christian squad member or a RPG that has church or a missionary in it. Make it subtle and conflicting with other worldviews. That way it will give open minded people food for thought and narrow minded people fun game play.

bghattas
bghattas

Wow, why didn't they actually get a real developer the first time around? Well, at least the next Kirk Cameron game will be better but I doubt anyone other than fans of Tim LaHaye's schlock will buy it. Organized religion! Gronk!

wapzod
wapzod

That's gotta be the dumbest logic i've ever heard of.

got_systems
got_systems

Well, at least its a great developer working on the game, and they might just do a good job.

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

Why don't they leave it alone? I don't think its sequel will be a hit, either.

mamodoking
mamodoking

Hey passentry, Since ALL religion is something made up by man, and something made up is fiction, then ALL religion is Fiction. It's called logic.

Cloud737
Cloud737

I didn`t see this coming. I didn`t see a sequel coming, and I really dind`t see a partnership with Big Huge Games. Maybe now that they have some veteran developers the game would get a much better quality than the previous, and be an enjoyable experience with an interesting story. Looking forward to see how this evolves.

passentry
passentry

mamodoking said: "Left Behind Christian fiction series". Love that line. Isn't all religion just that, Fiction? Uh, no it aint. It's non-fiction. Look up an encyclopedia.

mamodoking
mamodoking

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

360guy
360guy

Religion and games just dotn mix, this developer or any developer trying to mix religion especially christianity is insane. They dont mix! Left Behind Games CEO Troy Lyndon dismissed the groups' complaints, saying they haven't played the game through. He added that his company's only desire is "to have a positive impact on an industry that traditionally has had a dark influence on gamers and the world." thats what it said, but doesn't he realize that there is no way in hell that it is going to have a positive impact. The game industry isn't poisoning peoples minds and it isn't a "dark influence". People who do bad things do it by choice. Thats just the way it works, the goverment or some other people trying to blame something else because of the misfortunes