Several days ago IMG ran a story reporting on a Eurogamer report from the ECTS expo which claimed that Bungie Software's title Oni -- soon to be the property of Take Two Interactive -- may not be released in Europe until March of 2001. Bungie staff members as well as fan sites responded quickly to this allegation, claiming the report was a work of fiction and that the projected October ship date of Oni was still sound.
I'm the editor of the site which posted the preview mentioned in the IMG story. I just found this thread and thought
I should respond to what I've read here...
Our assistant editor was shown the PS2 version of the game at ECTS, and was told by the demonstrator (Jen) that it
would come out in March 2001. I saw the PC version of the game (with a different demonstrator), and the first level
we were shown was mostly using placeholder textures, which was rather worrying for a start. Very little effort
seemed to have gone into preparing the game for ECTS (hence the comments about Bungie perhaps not caring), and
the demonstrator who showed me the PC version looked bored stiff by the third day.
As Bungie are now saying that the game has gone beta, I can only assume that we were being shown an old build of
the game at ECTS for some reason - it looked deeply underwhelming, and the levels were clearly not finished.
Since then I've received a new release date list from publisher Take 2, which lists *both* the PC and PS2 versions
of Oni for a "first quarter 2001" release in the UK (the PC version was previously down for November 2000).
Oni Central decided to call our report "utter crap", saying that "Bungie would not tell anybody a release date, so
why should we believe some gaming site when they say Oni will be out in a random month next year?"
Unfortunately at the end of the day it is the publisher who decides when a game is released, and Oni's publisher has
told us (both at ECTS, and now again in the new release schedule we received from them just this morning) that the
game isn't going to be out this year, or at least not in the UK.
Now, it's possible that the game will come out in the USA much earlier for some reason. After all, another Take 2
game called FAKK2 has been out for weeks in the US but won't arrive in the UK for a couple more weeks yet. It's
odd, but it does happen sometimes. But either way, I can tell you that Oni WILL NOT be released in Europe this
year, as we reported in our ECTS diary and Oni preview.
Those are the facts, and to the best of my knowledge they are correct. It isn't just rumour or idle speculation, it is
based on reliable information received direct from the publisher. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but this is
what we have been told - please don't shoot the messenger!
Thanks for your attention,
John "Gestalt" Bye