New MechWarrior powering to 360, PC

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Jordan Weisman’s Smith & Tinker and Piranha Games confirm original installment in acclaimed giant-robot combat franchise; MechWarrior 4 going free. Smith & Tinker may not be the most well known among gamers, but the FASA-developed intellectual property it holds the rights to certainly is. Earlier this week, rumors circulated that the game company was preparing to revive arguably its most notable IP, MechWarrior, in collaboration with Piranha Games, a development house that has heretofore been known for its contributions to such games as Need for Speed Undercover and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Those rumors have since passed into the realm of reality, as Smith & Tinker confirmed for GameSpot today that Vancouver, Canada-based Piranha Games is developing an all-new MechWarrior for the Xbox 360 and PC. According to a Smith & Tinker representative, a publisher has yet to step forward on the project, though Piranha and its aforementioned partner are in active negotiations with a number of companies.

Details on the new MechWarrior game are sparse, though Smith & Tinker and Piranha have released a brief trailer of a prototype version of the game through popular video-sharing Web site YouTube. In the trailer, a Warhammer mech first obliterates a nimble Jenner before squaring off against an imposing Atlas suit in a gritty urban environment. The game appears to feature highly destructible environments.

Smith & Tinker was formed by Jordan Weisman in 2007. Aside from serving as creative director at Microsoft, Weisman also founded FASA Corporation, in the process contributing to the creation of a number of the gaming company’s notable IPs, including MechWarrior, Crimson Skies, and Shadowrun. Weisman has been working with Piranha on the new mech-combat game for the past six months, according to a representative of the company.

To promote the announcement, Smith & Tinker also announced that it will be offering FASA Studio’s well-regarded MechWarrior 4, along with its several expansion packs, as a free download through BattleTech.com. Smith & Tinker did not indicate when the free download would be available, saying only that it will be coming “soon.”

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