EA Publishing Big Huge RPG 'Project Mercury'

Having saved Rise of Nations developer Big Huge Game from closure, owner 38 Studios today announced that Electronic Arts will be publishing Big Huge's "epic single-player role-playing game" Project Mercury through its EA Partners initiative.

Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion designer Ken Rolston is leading development of Project Mercury, suggesting that it may be based upon or incorporate elements from Big Huge's reportedly cancelled action-RPG Ascendant.

Big Huge's unreleased RPG Ascendant and Copernicus concept art

Upon acquiring Big Huge, 38 Studios noted the developer would be crafting an RPG set in the company's cross-media fantasy property Copernicus--designed with contributions from Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and fantasy author R. A. Salvatore, intended to be realized in many forms including an MMO built on the Unreal 3 engine.

Though Copernicus was not specifically mentioned in today's announcement, Project Mercury appears to be that RPG, as the various details in the press release--talent, cross-media aspirations, etc.--all line up with what was previously known.

"We are creating an enormous world, with heroes and villains and a rich back story from the brilliant minds of R. A., Todd and Ken at its heart, and I can think of no finer partner than the global powerhouse that is EA Partners," said 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling.

As for when Project Mercury will arrive, it wasn't said--all we know is that it's coming to PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and will be the first 38 Studio product on the market.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 9, 2010 9:14 AM

    So is this the MMO, or is thist just the RPG? Because it looks exactly like they're making a clone of World of Warcraft. The screenshots are not exactly blowing my mind. Big names, but it doesn't look half as crazy as I would hope given the pedigree :\

    • reply
      March 9, 2010 9:18 AM

      Electronic Arts will be publishing Big Huge's "epic single-player role-playing game"

      • reply
        March 9, 2010 9:20 AM

        Curse you, line breaks! Reading comprehension's mortal enemies.

    • reply
      March 9, 2010 9:19 AM

      Oh, the screenshots are from the cancelled game. The concept art looks vaguely more interesting, I guess. It's not done from a playable game camera POV though. Everything looks more epic when you use a low vantage point and everything is ten character-heights tall.

      • reply
        March 9, 2010 10:02 AM

        I expect them to use Ascendant and just rewrite it to work within the Copernicus MMO lore. The game was very far in development when THQ cancelled it.

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