Harebrained Schemes Hints At Another Classic IP Reboot, Could Be BattleTech Or Crimson Skies

by Mike Futter on May 21, 2015 at 08:58 AM

Earlier today, we posted an interview with Harebrained Schemes as it looks back on Kickstarter success three years later. During that conversation, studio co-founders Jordan Weisman and Mitch Gitelman teased some big news for the developer.

Harebrained Schemes is growing. In just three years, the studio has expanded from eight employees to nearly sixty. It’s considering more growth tied to an upcoming project.

“There’s a very real chance of us pushing the size of the studio just a little bit more,” says co-founder Mitch Gitelman. “What’s great is that we greenlit this original IP, Necropolis, but there are other IPs that we’ve created in the past that we are very interested in. Maybe soon.”

Weisman put a finer point on it for is. “We’re not going to say yet, but one of my old children may be coming home to roost,” he adds.

Looking at Weisman’s history, two candidates stand out: BattleTech and Crimson Skies. 

We reached out to Piranha Games, the developer behind MechWarrior Online. A representative confirmed that Piranha Games and former development partner Infinite Games Publishing amicably split last year. Piranha purchased IGP’s share of the rights at that time.

Since then, Piranha added a number of community features, including Community Warfare (faction-based territorial combat in a persistent war), and the game continues to thrive. Weisman supported the development of MechWarrior Online from the beginning, helping Piranha license BattleTech from Microsoft.

It’s entirely possible that Weisman and Harebrained Schemes are looking to do something more strategic with the BattleTech property (in a 2012 AMA, Weisman said he’d love to return to a MechCommander style game). Also, with the success of Golem Arcana (a miniatures game with app integration), lumbering, heavily armed mechs could return to the tabletop.

The same could be said of Crimson Skies. It could re-emerge as an action title as it was on Xbox, a strategy RPG, or a tabletop game. 

We probably have some time to wait before Harebrained Schemes is ready to pull the curtain back much more. However, a return to either of these franchises certainly has us excited.

Pictured: MechWarrior Online


Our Take
The web of licensing sales and acquisitions over the decades has been tricky to follow, but Harebrained Schemes navigated some challenging legal waters to make Shadowrun happen. I’m excited to find out exactly which property the team has its sights on this time, especially with the successful Shadowrun titles as proof of the studio's work.