There’s a new character coming to Killer Instinct for Xbox One in April - right on schedule - but there’s a big change going on behind the scenes as well. What you might not know from a player’s perspective is that the developer behind Killer Instinct’s current iteration is changing teams. Having been purchased in their entirety by Amazon last month, Double Helix Games is being replaced on the Killer Instinct Title as well.
Microsoft Studios works with the title and effectively owns the game at the moment, pushing it as an Xbox One exclusive that’s as a part of the console as the hardware. Users are able to play the game right out of the box with a number of free-play characters, with one character rotating in or out of free mode each month.
As it were, Double Helix Games is still slated to finish their work with the character coming this April: Fulgore. Like each of the releases to the game thus far, this character has been a part of the Killer Instinct family of games since birth.
This update was slated to be out at the beginning of March, but because of the trade-up and because creative director Adam Isgreen suggested the following on NeoGAF last month.
"We are still aiming for March for the big Fulgore/Story/Lobby release. Yes, that's risky, because the update is chock full of content and we're 13 days from April. I can only say we're trying to land it. If we're delayed out of March, it's only because we're being extra-careful to find and address any issues with this major content update." - Adam Isgreen
You’ll see a new Arcade Mode for the game as well as online lobbies with eight-player rooms and a brand new bit of spectating functionality as well. This update will be delivered on April 9th, 2014.
After the update is up, the new team takes over. Speaking with Polygon last week, Dave Lang, CEO of Iron Galaxy Studios, noted the following:
"Before we were ever talking about this, I was a fan of the game. And to get to now take it over and start with this great base, and expand it and put new stuff on top of it, everyone in the company is super pumped up, and we can't wait to show people what we're going to be doing down the road." - Dave Lang, CEO of Iron Galaxy Studios
The game will continue to work with the Hex engine for development. This is a proprietary technology developed by Double Helix, which at first could seem like a less-than-perfect situation for Iron Galaxy, but no worries - they’re up to speed. Ten members of the team flew to Irvine, California to train with Double Helix on the software and are pumped up and ready to roll from here.