The X-Files: nine secret next gen Xbox projects we're dying to uncover

OXM presses its collective ear to the ground

Confirmed: everybody in the entire universe is developing games for next generation platforms, otherwise known as whatever Microsoft eventually calls the Xbox 720 plus some other hardware that isn't as good. For reals. Your dad's probably making one, out in the garden shed away from prying eyes. Oh, he says he's just popping out to smoke his pipe, but ain't no pipe on this Earth functions by way of Kinect voice commands. Go on, see if you can bug his toolkit. Then, send us the audio file (with time-coded excerpts, natch) and we'll pay you ninety million imaginary pounds.

A handful of those projects are known quantities, like Battlefield 4 and Watch_Dogs. Another handful are purportedly for current generation platforms, but have big guilty ultra-high-definition looks on their faces. And an intriguing third group exist only in blurry teaser shots and domain registrations, in idle daydreams and job listings, and it's these games that are the subject of our latest next gen round-up.

1. Avalanche Studios
Whatever the makers of Just Cause 2 are working on, company CEO Christofer Sundberg is absolutely ecstatic about it. If there's any truth to the rumours, he should be. Avalanche's got a trio of new games kicking around back-stage: an open world sandbox action game for Square Enix, a new movie game thought to be a Mad Max title, and a comicbook game of some description. Everything it's currently possible to know is tucked away in the folds of this week's Just Cause 3 rumour, and the developer has promised to reveal all at E3 this year.


2. LucasArts (update: no longer, it seems)
According to job listings, the House of Skywalker is crafting an Xbox 360 shooter with guns, Unreal Engine and controllers in it. Mind-blowing stuff, I know. This may be that FPS for current and next gen consoles CVG wrote up last July. The presence of Star Wars adaptation veteran Timothy Longo and Bulletstorm lead gameplay designer Edward Kay on the credits is reassuring. Could it be Star Wars: Battlefront 3? Or has LucasArts upgraded the unconfirmed Star Wars: First Assault, below, into a full-blown Xbox 720 affair?

Update - Disney has called time on games development at LucasArts - future Star Wars titles will be crafted by external developers. Oh dear. Let's hope some of the above projects survived.


3. Lionhead
The Fable firm has been suspiciously quiet since Peter Molyneux's departure. We subjected it to a thorough grilling in December's cunning titled feature the 13 greatest Xbox mysteries of 2013 - to recap, the studio's working on something highly online-capable, possibly a free-to-play MMO supported by micro-transactions and powered by Unreal Engine 4. One job listing calls for a tech director who "has a working knowledge of multiplayer game systems including large scale RPG, Action Adventure and RTS genres". Certainly sounds Fable-ish. Here's a complimentary picture of Unreal Engine being all grandiose and stuff.

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