New French Publisher Zallag Knows That the Future is DLC

by VGChartz Staff, posted on 20 March 2010 / 2,394 Views

Out of nowhere comes Zallag, a French publisher founded in late November 2009 with big ideas.  Ideas like: "The future of games lies in the downloadable arena," "Games should stop taking themselves so seriously; we're playing them to have fun," and, "Comic books and video games are deeply linked."  (I'm paraphrasing here; bear with me.)

Their ideas are not unfounded.  All current-gen consoles have downloadable game capability - even the handhelds - and Sony's recent PSPgo is download-only.  There are plenty of benefits to downloadable games:

  • Cheaper to develop, no packaging/shipping costs
  • Price controlled, and more money goes to the developers
  • Much lower environmental impact

And, don't forget the most important:

  • All games are on a level footing with each other

Small developers and huge corporations get the same amount of space to sell you something great, and people - not companies - are able to single-handedly change the face of gaming.  Just ask James Silva or Jonathan Blow.  That's where Zallag comes in.

Zallag is the publisher, and their new deal with French development studio Artefacts (Moto Racer DS, Stuntman Ignition, Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Assassin's Creed II) has already resulted in the announcement of three upcoming WiiWare-exclusive games (they're planning on making games for all digital platforms, but their plan for world domination is starting with Nintendo):

  1. Racers' Islands: Crazy Races - A racing game utilizing a unique drive-with-one-hand-while-shooting-with-the-Wii-mote mechanic
  2. Racers' Islands: Crazy Arena - a party game shrouded in internet mystery
  3. Gods vs. Humans - a strategy game described as an "unlikely but effective mix of Lemmings, Populous, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord"

What will set these games apart besides their promise not to take themselves too seriously?  Well, the art style, for one. Zallag is going all-out with their new projects: both the Racers' Island and the Gods vs. Humans universes will release side-by-side with a comic book expanding the history of the titles.  Guess what else?  The comics will be digitally distributed as well.

They're lookin' pretty sharp, and Zallag found some pros to create them too.  The GvH comic will be done by Pierre Chatillon and Piccolo from Studio 109, and the RI comic will be penned by Hubert Chardot
(scriptwriter of Alone in the Dark 1, 2 and 3) and also penned by Studio 109.  Will Zallag give us the multimedia bombardment of other games like Pokemon and .hack?  They sure seem to be trying, but there's no TV show in the works... yet.

But wait, there's more!  Zallag is also starting a new weekly webcomic about the life of a video game developer.  It's adorable, and publishers/developers/programmers around the world now have something to unite around.  Yay!  They don't have a site (yet) and it's not for money or trying to sell anything... but isn't that how all great ideas start?

Check out the first three comics and a bunch of concept art from the upcoming games below, and stay tuned to VGChartz to see if that "TBA" WiiWare release date changes to something a little more tangible in the near future.  For now, enjoy!


Comics: (Click on the comic to see full-size.)


Concept Art for Racers' Islands: (See more here.)


And Concept Art for Gods vs. Humans: (See more here!)

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heywoodjablome (on 20 March 2010)

DLC is way overpriced but it makes sense for developers who are trying to fight the used games market like gamestop who rips you off for everything you sell to them

ph4nt (on 20 March 2010)

I wouldn't mind DLC if it wasn't so overpriced. $10 for 3 multiplayer maps seems to be the standard......what?

alekth (on 20 March 2010)

Sorry, but I don't find furries adorable :/

tube82 (on 20 March 2010)

ehm, isn't this about digital distribution instead of DLC? anyway, i really like the art style. imo that is exactly was works well on wii!

SnowFlow (on 20 March 2010)

NO, NO, NO!!! I want my physical copy! What if my console dies or I want to swap a game with a friend. Not only that think of the gigantic negative impact this would have on retailers... as if the economy isn't bad enough. If it's a cheap $5-10 game than I really wouldn't care, but if I'm shelling out $40-60 I better have a disk or some physical format.

Lurker (on 20 March 2010)

DLC is a scam 90% of the time. Expansion packs are the only good DLC.

Hephaestos (on 20 March 2010)

well downloadable games, great downloadable expantions, great (hey price used to not move by much in the past... the only reason we have price changes is because since the PS1 gen and CDs, the production costs is so low that we're flooded with games.... that and the second hand business). Additional content such as a new character or a new unit type or a new map for MP or a new costume for the main character.... that's just BS...

Wiintendo (on 20 March 2010)

i don't like Gods vs. Humans as a name, it's blasphemous

SosusOCR (on 20 March 2010)

I agree though when championing DLC please don't mention the PSP-Go, it only harms your argument

TWRoO (on 20 March 2010)

Apart from the DLC thing, I like everything here. (and the DLC thing being an annoyance to me is more about holding back content that has to be paid for later, cheap Wiiware is good as long as the game is substantial enough)

rastari (on 20 March 2010)

the fox in the comics needs greater facial expressions, But someone taking wiiware seriously is a very good thing especially if they are willing to use comics and stuff to advertise it.

Lostplanet22 (on 20 March 2010)

The concept art of those tracks look nice :).

Ostro (on 20 March 2010)

* Cheaper to develop, no packaging/shipping costs ^ right and nice / bad, I like boxes * Price controlled, and more money goes to the developers ^ maybe but pirating will be even more easier * Games should stop taking themselves so seriously; we're playing them to have fun ^ that's what I've been thinking for months now

Games4Fun (on 20 March 2010)

They have me interested Racers' Islands: Crazy Races - A racing game utilizing a unique drive-with-one-hand-while-shooting-with-the-Wii-mote mechanic