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Oddworld creator feels EA didn’t market Stranger’s Wrath very well

Thursday, 12th May 2011 20:19 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning has told Eurogamer that be believes EA didn’t do a very good job marketing Stranger’s Wrath.

Speaking with the site at the GameCityNights event in Nottingham, Lanning said the game didn’t sell very well despite its critical reception because f its lack of exposure to the public.

“Stranger was a major achievement,” Lanning said during “I’m thrilled EA did such a crappy job distributing it back in the day. It’s a title that hasn’t been exposed to the world.

“My personal feeling is Stranger was the best game we ever made. It was sabotaged. When you see a big game coming out, just ask what the marketing budget is. If you decide as a publisher not to give it a marketing budget, you decide its fate. As soon as we understood there was no marketing budget, we had zero expectations. We had zero incentive to build another game for them, either.

“Our story is not unique. This is common in the development community. Business decisions are made and the developer’s faucet is turned off as a result. In the case of Stranger, it didn’t perform because it wasn’t exposed and it wasn’t distributed and there wasn’t the number of factors that go to what you need to have success on the shelf today as a boxed product.”

Lanning went on to say that digital units of Abe’s Exodus sold in the “hundreds of thousands,” last year on PSN. Mo marketing or advertising budget for set aside for it, and the high sales were attributed to word-of-mouth only, with people “telling their kids to play it.”

“There’s a whole new generation of people who are picking up on that,” he offered. “I see that’s going to happen with Stranger, too. That’s just a question of us making sure it’s on the right platforms. It’ll get this second wind of life, where it will be easily accessible and not governed by if Wal-Mart decided to stock it or not. Anyone who wants it can log on and get it. If you have a PSN account you’ll be able to get it. That’s a huge game changer.”

Just Add Water is remaking Stranger’s Wrath, which is expected to launch on PSN this summer. An Xbox 360 version is currently being discussed,

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4 Comments

  1. Stardog

    You mean an FPS that couldn’t be further removed from the original titles didn’t sell well?

    #1 4 years ago
  2. viralshag

    So hold on… is this a game coming out or a game that’s old and being re-released?

    I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of it. I have heard of Abe’s Exodus, not this though.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Shonak

    He is right.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. TheWulf

    They didn’t market it well and that’s a shame because it was a brilliant little title. And contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t entirely an FPS, it could switch between first and third person modes, yes, but it didn’t play like one. It played sort of like a more action-oriented version of Thief, but then still not quite.

    It was a grand game though and it was all I’d want in a game. The only thing that I was a bit iffy about was the whole wild west element, but the humour and the art direction really made up for that to quite a degree. Plus it met my personal quota for eccentricity and bizarreness tied into a well told story in a believable, fleshed out world. Which is what I want from a game, really. Gaming is about escapism for me, after all. Not sure about other players, can’t speak for ‘em, but I likes me some escapism.

    The whole plotline about him needing an operation to … survive was all sorts of fun too, and the mystery surrounding that.

    I recently picked this up on the PC as well, had some performance issues with it buuuut that wasn’t the fault of the developer, that was Microsoft being idiotic with their implementation of the Desktop Windows Manager (or DWM, or Aero, whatever you want to call it), which basically forced vsync on any window that it controlled. This is fine normally, but it really upsets OpenGL games and lead to random slowdowns, crashes, and whatnot. Disabling desktop composition (right-click stranger.exe -> properties -> compatibility tab) fixed everything.

    Took me a while to track that down, actually.

    Anyway, this is a grand game. The game itself is odd and lives up to the title, and the mechanics of both first and third person are not quite what you’ll find anywhere else. It’s incredibly unique (having to capture some rather varied living ammo is an amazing concept), and I don’t throw that around lightly, you may know how terribly boring I find a lot of games, so something like this is a real treat.

    If you haven’t, I’d really recommend trying it. It’s available on Steam and on the PS3 in a HD variant (the HD variant will be hitting Steam shortly as a free upgrade, so sayeth the devs). I can’t say about the 360. Does it have backwards compatibility with normal Xbox games? If so then you’re sorted, since Stranger’s Wrath was an Xbox game.

    Oh, and #1? You disappoint me. This is what bothers me with gamers, really, that things aren’t allowed to experiment or to try to be different, to just throw ideas out there, really experimental stuff, even if gamers think they sometimes amount to pissing into the wind. A unique experience? Nope, can’t have that. If a developer tries then their desires will be quickly drowned out by gamers with their massive expectations and what they believe they’re entitled to.

    And this is why we can’t have nice things, because gamers latch onto stuff and insist that it must be familiar. What you don’t realise is that if things remain the same, they stagnate, they have to be allowed to grow and evolve, and that involves change.

    #4 4 years ago

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