The Outsider (video game)

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The Outsider
Developer(s) Frontier Developments
Designer(s) David Braben
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows,[1] PlayStation 3, Xbox 360[2]
Release On hold[3]
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer

The Outsider is a "techno thriller"[4] video game in development for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 that is set to feature storylines that change based on the player's actions. It was announced in 2005 as a David Braben game being developed by his company Frontier Developments. The release date had not officially been announced,[5] but during development the game was dropped by publisher Codemasters, leading to nearly 30 staff layoffs at the developer Frontier. After six years of development, in January 2011 David Braben confirmed that development had ceased,[3] but the game had not been cancelled.[6] In 2014 David Braben told EuroGamer that The Outsider "probably is gone for good".[7]


The Outsider is set in a crowded city based on present-day Washington, D.C. and its surrounding areas, including the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Joint Base Andrews, and Newport News Shipbuilding. The player controls a CIA intelligence officer by the name of Jameson, who can use various hand-to-hand combat styles and weapons. The game's opening sequence depicts the character wrongly becoming a fugitive, and leaves the player to decide how to continue.[2]


Frontier Developments has been focusing on new game-play elements that are now possible on the current generation of video game consoles. Several key proprietary technologies, which Frontier has been developing for some time, make their debut in The Outsider and bring the sort of freedom of action first seen in Elite up to date.[8]

The developers claim that the game abandons the traditional, prescriptive, mostly linear story of current generation games, and replaces it by simulating characters’ motivations and aims. This gives the player genuine freedom to change the story outcomes. Frontier Developments says that each player will get a unique experience rather than simply switching between ‘good’ or ‘evil’.[9] In an interview with the Gametheoryshow, Braben said that it is this level of freedom that will demonstrate what it is to be a "next-gen" video game.[10]

A new animation system is being developed for the game with the aim of giving a more realistic feel as it is adaptive and less scripted than typical animations.[5]


  1. ^ "Interview with David Braben, Producer of LostWinds and Creator of the Elite Series". Diehard GameFAN. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "Frontier announces "The Outsider", its first 'next generation' project" (Press release). Frontier Developments. 16 September 2005. Retrieved 25 September 2007. 
  3. ^ a b "Exclusive: Frontier's The Outsider Cancelled?". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Official details" (embedded swf). Frontier Developments. Retrieved 25 September 2007. 
  5. ^ a b Waters, Darren (9 August 2007). "What exactly is a next generation game?". BBC News. Retrieved 25 September 2007. 
  6. ^ "The Outsider 'not cancelled' | Game Development | News by Develop". Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Stuart, Keith (16 September 2005). "Braben unveils Outsider". The Guardian. 
  9. ^ Houlihan, John (23 September 2005). "Xbox Interviews: David Braben - The Outsider". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved 25 September 2007. 
  10. ^ "Game Theory Episode 21 - Elite". 21 August 2007. Archived from the original (mp3) on 2 September 2007. Retrieved 14 September 2007. 

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