Matt Hazard (re)deploys March 3

D3 and Vicious Cycle's so-called '80s action hero achieves gold status in advance of next month's release on 360, PS3; "classic" installment coming to XBLA, PSN this summer.

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Ask a variety of game-industry executives and they'll probably say that a sequel generally sells better than an original property. So what's the best way to get around that nagging issue for game companies that want to create new games? One strategy: Make the all-new game and just tell everyone that it's a sequel. It's a theory adopted by D3Publisher and Vicious Cycle for Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, and it will soon be put to the test.

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Today, D3 and Vicious Cycle announced that Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard has gone gold and been shipped to manufacturers for mass production. The tongue-in-cheek action adventure is expected to launch for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on March 3.

As the game makers tell it, Eat Lead marks the return of '80s action game hero Matt Hazard (voiced by Arrested Development star Will Arnett), who sets out on a mission to once again thwart the nefarious machinations of his many, many nemeses. Leading the revolt against Hazard is his longtime archrival Wallace "Wally" Wellesley (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris of Doogie Houser MD fame).

Along with the gold announcement, D3 and Vicious Cycle said that they will "rerelease" a "classic" installment in the Matt Hazard franchise for Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network this summer. Titled It's Hazard Time, the downloadable game will return the aging action hero to his nonexistent shooter roots, though no other details or pricing information were revealed.

For more on D3Publisher's out-of-the-box marketing tactic, check out GameSpot's interview with the Matt Hazard promotional team.

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