PlayStation has handed its Twisted Metal series revival to Destruction All-Stars developer Lucid games, sources have told VGC.
According to the sources, the new car combat instalment – which by release, will be the series’ first in over a decade – has started early development at the Liverpool, UK-based studio.
One person with knowledge of Lucid’s plans suggested that the revival would be built around a free-to-play model, partly in response to Destruction All-Stars’ last-minute transition from a premium game to a PlayStation Plus title.
The release is planned to coincide with an upcoming TV series in 2023, we were told.
Sony Interactive Entertainment went on record this year that it intends to increase its foothold in the live service games market, and a free-to-play entry in one of its classic multiplayer franchises would match with these ambitions.
Destruction All-Stars released earlier this year to highly critical reviews. It was originally planned as a full-price PS5 launch game, until Sony delayed its release by three months and announced it was going to be free to PlayStation Plus members for two months, before being sold for $20.
Despite its PS Plus launch, Destruction All-Stars struggled to find an audience and its developer even added AI-controlled drivers to the game to help players find matches when there weren’t enough opponents online.
However, despite the poor reception to All-Stars, Lucid has a long pedigree in the racing genre and is trusted to do a good job with Twisted Metal, we were told.
The British studio was formed by veterans of the now-closed developer Bizarre Creations, which created the hit Project Gotham Racing games. More recently, Lucid worked on Need for Speed entries Payback and Hot Pursuit Remastered for EA, and another car combat game in Switchblade.
The studio’s reported involvement in Twisted Metal comes weeks after the series’ original director responded to rumours of a revival and said he believed that Lucid was an unlikely fit due to the poor reception of Destruction All-Stars.
“I think Sony got a bloody nose financially from [Destruction All-Stars], so I don’t think they’re sat around saying, ‘let’s try another car combat title… and let’s try one that historically has only done well in one territory’. I don’t see that,” he said.
The Twisted Metal television project was officially announced in May 2019 and is in the works at Sony’s PlayStation Productions movie and TV studio.
According to Variety, the live-action adaptation of PlayStation’s vehicular combat series will be an action comedy penned by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the writers of the Deadpool films and Zombieland.
Avengers star Anthony Mackie will play the lead role in the series. It will focus on an outsider tasked with delivering a mysterious package across a post-apocalyptic wasteland roamed by bandits in deadly vehicles, including the series’ trademark character, Sweet Tooth, a psychotic clown who drives a modified ice cream truck.