During the Disney and Marvel Games Showcase presentation of D23 Expo, Disney announced Tron: Identity, a brand new video game being developed by John Wick Hex's Bithell Games. This title is a unique one compared to other Tron games, as it is a visual novel and detective story. This approach gives developer Bithell Games the opportounity to do something new with the Tron IP. While the Tron universe isn't as popular as some of the conglomerate's other properties, the chance to work on a game utilizing one of Disney's many IPs is an exciting opportunity.
While Tron: Identity's teaser trailer didn't show off much, it was confirmed to follow the detective program known as Query. They've been tasked with solving the mystery of a crime that has occurred in the Grid. This is the first time the Tron series has tackled this gaming genre, but these new and unique approaches is exactly what Disney wants. Game Rant spoke with director Mike Bithell and Disney Pixar Games producer Heidy Vargas at D23 about how Tron: Identity landed at Bithell Games.
According to Mike Bithell, choosing a studio like his to work on Tron: Identity came as part of a bigger strategy, one of which he was lucky to be a potential candidate for. Vargas would expand on this, saying,
"So you know, at Disney, we're storytellers first and foremost, and we want to work with people who understand the brands and really know what to do with them. And Mike and his team are incredible storytellers. They really understood how to take such a familiar franchise and create something new with it, something completely unique. Bringing us new characters and introducing us to this new Grid, really giving the players and fans of Tron something new to engage with after so long."
Bithell then followed up with how speaking from a game development standpoint, this strategy allows for other developers with a unique vision of the Tron series to provide a different take on these franchises. He notes that it was an empowering feeling, where a company as big as Disney would allow for companies to experiment and create games utilizing these IPs in weird and unique games.
Vargas elaborated on these details further, where the goal with these new games isn't to just create games that are based on popular trends or "what's expected" for a franchise like Tron. Instead, the focus is to find studios who want to make games like Tron: Identity that have a completely different gameplay or narrative approach to it. As Vargas puts it,
"Like Disney, you know ,we get approached by a lot of different game studios, but we're not looking to just do the obvious. We want things that really new, really innovative, and really unique opportunities. Mike's definitely sort of out there."
Bithell follows up with his own thoughts, saying,
"We have to be as well, right? That's how you create stories that last. You have to keep exploring and keep broadening what you do. Otherwise, you end up in a rut."
Based on both of these comments, fans should be in for quite the ride regarding Tron: Identity, with the promise of a narrative and gameplay from a unique perspective. It's evident that Disney and Bithell Games are looking to deliver a unique experience that hasn't been explored before in previous games set in the universe, and it'll be interesting to see if there are other unique projects like this in the works that Disney isn't quite ready to share yet.
Tron Identity releases in 2023 on PC and consoles.
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