Here's an interesting theory, hatched by an astute video game message-board poster: the new BioWare game that will be revealed during next month's Spike TV Video Game Awards is a Mercenaries game.
This is just a theory—EA's comment to us about it: "We don't comment on rumors or speculation"—but let's consider the speculation and gathered evidence:
NeoGAF message board user Nirolak notices that EA's Visceral Games label no longer lists a Los Angeles location. Nirolak theorizes that the L.A. studio is now part of EA's successful BioWare division, which mostly makes role-playing games. Strange fit.
The sharp-eyed Superannuation spies that one user-interface artist for EA lists on LinkedIn that she works for a BioWare studio called Victory Games, based in Marina Del Rey, near Los Angeles, which supports the idea that BioWare now has a team in the L.A. area. Victory Games was formed out of EA L.A. in 2010, ostensibly to work on the Command & Conquer strategy-game franchise.
Nirolak doesn't push the possible Command & Conquer angle and instead builds a theory based on the idea that Mercs Inc, a third person shooter that was going to be the next game in the Mercenaries franchise, was turned into a game in the Army of Two franchise and that that project could be this BioWare project.
The theory loses some of its strength when Nirolak says that the absurdly short teaser trailer for the new BioWare game looks similar in gameplay to this old Mercs Inc video demo. Don't most modern warfare games look like this?
The Mercs series has been all about over-the-top third-person combat set in an open world. It is distinguished by the ability for players to "buy" and call in air-dropped weapons and vehicles. The concept is "playground of destruction." It's the least BioWare-ish of the series being considered here. The Army of Two games are co-op shooters. The C & Cs are, more famously, overhead real-time strategies games and, based on their PC roots, perhaps the games closest to the pedigree of the formerly PC-centric BioWare.
The new VGA teaser trailer for this new game promises that the game is coming from a new BioWare studio. Game Informer, which ran the teaser image here, referred to the game as part of "BioWare's new franchise." New to BioWare or new to gaming? Something borrowed or something brand new?
We shall see what BioWare's up to by VGA night on December 10.
First image of BioWare's new series. (Spec: BioWare LA/Pandemic? - Former Mercs Inc?) [NeoGAF]
You can contact Stephen Totilo, the author of this post, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.