Wed, Aug 17, 2011 | 01:45 BST
Arkane: FPS games like Dishonored were at one time a hard sell to publishers
Arkane Studios co-founder Raphaël Colantonio and creative director Harvey Smith recently chatted with AusGamers about the studio’s upcoming release for Bethesda, Dishonored, and both feel there is plenty of room on shelves for the first-person shooter alongside those based on military conquest.
According to the duo, making a FPS is “very complicated,” and not just from a development standpoint, but because a lot of the features inherent in a non-military shooter are a “hard sell” to the marketing people in publishing.
“For years, if you wanted to make a game like BioShock or Dishonored or Fallout — I’m talking about the new incarnation of Fallout — it would have been impossible,” said Colantonio. “You would always get the same answer from publishers ‘nah, those games will never sell. Those games are too complicated. They are between two genres. Nobody wants to buy them’, etc, etc. Because they are very hardcore or whatever. And for us as gamers well we started to believe it ourselves ‘maybe we’re screwed, from now on we’ll never play those cool games anymore’.
“So for us, when the first BioShock came out and then Fallout 3, it was like ‘wow, I think we are back. Let’s go there again’, which is awesome; they sell; they broke the rules. Those games actually can make tons of sales while they are fairly hardcore and deep and interesting and different. So that’s why we’re so excited as gamers… this genre is blossoming right now in many different genres.
“The last thing I would think we would like as an industry — as gamers — is that every game look alike at the end and people try to mimic the games that sell so well. So for us as gamers, it’s great. We can play the Call of Duty kind of game, we can play the more open kind of game, we can play all different games that are first person shooters and that’s really cool.”
Dishonored, which focuses on mid-level choice and consequence in an alternate world infested with an horrific plague, is due next year on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.