Goichi Suda has said over and over again that Shadows of the Damned is a story of rescuing your lover – but it turns out, he had a very different plan in mind before EA stepped in.
“I wrote up the story … and just as we were just about done with the game, EA was all ‘Wait a second!’” Suda told Famitsu.
EA apparently asked Suda for a simpler plot.
“It’s what they call the elevator pitch. It’s easier to get into a story if you can explain it to someone in the couple of seconds you have before the elevator you’re riding reaches its floor.
“[EA Partners head] David DeMartini asked us to remake the story into something where the hero is trying to rescue a girl that’s been kidnapped.”
Producer Shinji Mikami, famed for his work on the Resident Evil series, said the new plot is “something completely the opposite direction from what Suda was doing right when Kurayami was nearly done”.
Kurayami, the project later transformed into Shadows of the Damned, featured a gun with a monitor attached. From this screen, a female character, who evolved over the course of the game, communicated the apparently complicated Suda-esque plot.
Despite this interesting weapon, the game didn’t start as a shooter, either.
“At the start of development Kurayami was largely concentrated around hand-to-hand combat,” Suda said.
“However, Mikami talked things over with EA and we decided to introduce guns into the mix as well.”
Suda didn’t let the abrupt shifts of direction break his stride.
“Both Mikami and I fervently want this project to hit it big worldwide, so we took that feedback as a cue to rework the game,” he said.
“We decided to create the sort of love story that only we could do, and that’s when the name changed to Shadows of the Damned.”
Mikami is also tolerant of EA’s drastic late-stage intervention.
“This is the first time EA has ever really teamed up with Japanese creators, so they were probably being too hands-off with us at first,” he said.
“Looking back, we both probably should have been more direct with our opinions from the beginning.”
Shadows of the Damned is due on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in late June.