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Bethesda calls in Just Cause studio Avalanche to co-develop Rage 2

Original developer id Software still involved, but not-so-surprise sequel will also benefit from Mad Max team

Rage 2 will draw on the experience of Mad Max and Just Cause developer Avalanche Sweden, as Bethesda confirms the studio's involvement in the upcoming shooter.

The original Rage was developed by John Carmack's id Software and when the game's existence was leaked last week, it was presumed the studio was once again operating alone. However, Resetera readers spotted mention of Avalanche in the fine print of the website that went live yesterday.

The copyright notice reads: "2018 Bethesda Softworks LLC, a ZeniMax Media company. Developed in association with Avalanche Studios, trading as Fatalist Entertainment AB."

Avalanche's involvement was later confirmed by the official Rage Twitter account in an amusing self-deprecating style that matched the reaction to the original leak.

While it's surprising to see id and Bethesda call in another studio to co-develop the game, the choice of Avalanche Sweden is not. The studio specialises in open-world action games like Just Cause, and has already shown talent at crafting a post-apocalyptic world in Warner Bros' 2015 Mad Max video game - a style that is in-line with the Rage series.

Part of the selling point for the original Rage was that John Carmack and his team had developed a new texturing technique that enabled them to create vast playable spaces without affecting memory use.

It's unclear whether or not this tech will be used again in Rage 2, but if the publisher has seen fit to draft in Avalanche, it's a safe bet it's for the latter's experience in creating massive open environments. That said, the studio has previously helped Bethesda with the shooting mechanics of Prey and Fallout 4, so this could also be part of the partnership.

Released in 2011, Rage met with reasonable reviews and achieved a Metacritic score of 81 on Xbox 360 and PS3. However, the game's poor sales prompted Bethesda to downsize plans for follow-up DLC and id to shift onto a new Doom project (which became the well-received 2016 revamp of the iconic shooter series).

The first gameplay of Rage 2 is due to be unveiled today. It will be released for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and while no release date has been confirmed, it's likely to be heading to shelves this Q4 given Bethesda's tendency to announce a game within a year of release.