Finnish indie developer Housemarque is hoping to revive arcade style competition with their current project, codenamed ‘The Jarvis Project.’
Mikal Haveri of Housemarque talked today about how Esports and Twitch have become a popular pastime, with watching stream competitions becoming a sport in their own right. He then goes on and talks about designer Eugene Jarvis, the legendary developer who created arcade classics such as Defender and Smash TV, and helped design famous Pinball machines such as Laser Ball and Firepower.
Haveri talks about how successful and difficult games like Jarvis’ Defender were, comparing them to the microtransactions of the 1980s for being hard to master, yet fun to play for bragging rights and recognition. For Housemarque, their goal was to create something in the vein of Defender, a single player competitive game to fill a niche that is on the rise.
“A large number of recent games are designed with e-sports ambition, but in the end the community decides if they deserve that title,” states Haveri. “Classic genres are yet to bring forth individual celebrities, but due to the insane success of streaming, that outcome seems inevitable.”
Enter The Jarvis Project. Housemarque is hoping to give the gaming community an old-school style competitive game, competing for high score runs and showing them off online for all to see. Housemarque was also able to do a small test run of their game with an in-house tournament, which was recorded for an upcoming documentary titled The Name of the Game.
For Haveri and Housemarque, “It’s all about reinvigorating our way of looking at competitive arcade games and also getting to challenge Mr. Jarvis on his turf.” Currently code-named after their mentor and idol, no real footage of The Jarvis Project has been shown yet, but Housemarque is getting ready to reveal it to the hardcore community next.
Housemarque is one of the oldest Finnish game developers in existence today. Founded in 1995 when two companies, Terramarque and Bloodhouse merged together. The studio is known for several smaller projects, including Super Stardust for MS DOS and Dead Nation for the PS3 and PS Vita with their most recent release being Alienation for PlayStation 4.
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So what do you think of Housemarque and their goal with The Jarvis Project? Leave your comments below!