An information leak by online retailer Amazon could have inadvertently announced the release of an official video game this year for hit Fox animation Family Guy.
Given the title of Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse and a September release date on Xbox 360 and PS3, the release appears to feature the involvement of Activision, who are best-known for their work on franchises such as Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro the Dragon.
Judging from the title, the game is set to feature a similar plot theme to the 2009 episode ‘Road to the Multiverse’, where main characters Stewie and Brian travelled through a number of alternate dimensions, one of which was a clear mocking of Disney and their many animated movies.
Activision later confirmed the news, with company representative David Oxford stating: “Fans of Family Guy will love that we’ve taken some of the series’ most iconic and memorable moments and built them into an impressive and uncensored video game. Anyone who watches the show will appreciate how much we have adhered to its rich and twisted universe and characters.”
20th Century Fox President Jeffrey Godsick added: “Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse will utilise the source material, including the voice cast and writers, authentic humour and subversive spirit of the series, giving fans a whole new way to interact with their favourite show.”
This project is likely to be a further addition to Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane’s schedule, which includes directing upcoming feature film Ted. It is said to be a busy list of tasks that has forced his planned revival of The Flintstones to be delayed until further notice, with the game likely to be the main driving force behind that postponement.
Back to the Multiverse is set to follow on release-wise from previous game Family Guy Video Game! (2006), although a more interesting angle could be Family Guy‘s rivalry with Comedy Central animated comedy South Park, who have been more open about their plans to release an officially-licenced video game this year (with Obsidian Games and THQ), which was yesterday revealed by the Xbox Marketplace to be given the title of South Park: The Stick of Truth (as opposed to the more plain previous name of South Park: The Game).
The Xbox Marketplace listing (which also had an mistaken release date of 5 May) updated their description of the game with this blurb: “From the perilous battlefields of the fourth-grade playground, a young hero will rise, destined to be South Park’s savior. From the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, comes an epic quest to become… cool. Introducing South Park: The Stick of Truth.”
A key focus point of the rivalry between South Park and Family Guy, however, seems to be the fact that neither show really wants the comparisons, a subject touched upon in the South Park episode ‘Cartoon Wars’ (2006), considered an unofficial cross-over (and send-up) of the Fox show (which also features a notable cameo from The Simpsons).
However, this potential battle of video games seems to be a case in which comparisons cannot help but be drawn, so if both planned games do come to life by the end of 2012, which one will manage the higher sales?