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Why The Callisto Protocol Dropped Its PUBG Connection

One of 2022’s most-anticipated games is the horror title The Callisto Protocol from Dead Space and Call of Duty veteran Glen Schofield’s new studio, Striking Distance. Following the game’s big showing at Summer Game Fest Live recently, GameSpot sat down with Schofield to learn more about the game.

In our interview, Schofield talks about one of the biggest pieces of news surrounding the game–its connection, or now lackthereof–to the PUBG universe. Schofield shared that The Callisto Protocol started as a PUBG universe game because Krafton was working on a timeline with story and lore for PUBG with the aim of creating additional titles in the PUBG universe.

However, as development progressed, it came to be that The Callisto Protocol would break off from PUBG and stand on its own. “We went along that way for a while, but then, I don’t know, it was really a while ago–I want to say a year–we’re already not in that world,” Schofield recalled.

No longer are The Callisto Protocol’s characters, universe, and world part of the PUBG universe. “We didn’t want to confuse the fans,” Schofield said, adding that he received plenty of questions about the game’s connection to PUBG, so he wanted to make a statement about this.

While The Callisto Protocol is not an official PUBG game, it will have “little tiny things” in it that may connect to PUBG, though Schofield didn’t share more. He did, however, say that one of the reasons why The Callisto Protocol exists is because of the success of PUBG.

Also in the interview, Schofield talks about the team’s reaction to the game’s reveal at Summer Game Fest and dishes on how Striking Distance is taking advantage of the power of the latest consoles and PC. He said the horror and sci-fi genres in particular benefit from the kind of realism that more advanced hardware allows for.

“The more you can make them feel like they’re in that environment, the scarier it’s going to be,” he said.

The Callisto Protocol will also make use of haptic feedback in some ways, like potentially to amplify the feeling of shattering a bone. Schofield said the final details are still being worked on, but haptic feedback will play a role. “Snapping a bone, that sort of thing, you want to feel that…” he said.

Schofield also spoke about the fact that players are likely to die again and again and again in The Callisoto Protocol, and that Striking Distance’s animators looked at grisly car crashes, among other things, for inspiration for death sequences.

Additionally, Schofield discussed how The Callisto Protocol was built from nothing and the challenges related to this. Working on Call of Duty, Schofield’s teams had more than a decade’s worth of effects to leverage to help prototype new sequences, but Striking Distance–as a new studio, using a new engine, making an all-new franchise–did not have this luxury. As a result, Schofield said Krafton took a big bet on Striking Distance and The Callisto Protocol, and he’s hoping the game can sell well enough to help it become a franchise.

Finally, Schofield discussed how although there is a rise in online, live-service multiplayer games, there is still room for single-player experiences like The Callisto Protocol. Check out the full interview above.

The Callisto Protocol releases December 2 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, and PC.

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