Firaxis’s Jake Solomon has given a big thumbs up for 2K as a daring, supportive publisher.
“I’m telling you, with us, we absolutely love 2K because they’re so creatively brave,” Solomon told Rock Paper Shotgun.
“A lot of times I work with them from a creative standpoint, it’s never a question of like ‘Well, what’s the numbers, what’s this and that’. I’ve had a lot of other publishers over the years but with 2K, the conversation is almost always creative, like ‘How are you going to make this work, how is this unique to players, and how are we going to do this and that’. I guess what I’d say is I have absolutely loved working with them.”
Solomon, who serves a lead designer on the upcoming XCOM: Enemy Unknown, said he was thrown by comments from 2K head Christoph Hartmann to the effect that strategy games are not contemporary, because that’s “not representative” of how the publisher approaches developers.
“I’m positive it was simply just an out of context thing because obviously I work with him a lot, and I would say that he has proven with what matters, which is, you know, money where your mouth is,” the designer said.
“He runs one of the largest studios in the world and I know that he has always been deeply supportive.”
Solomon cited XCOM as an example of 2K’s commitment to creative games rather than making money, describing the project as “insane” and “crazy” in terms of the required investment.
“So when we went to 2K and said we really want to do this they didn’t say ‘well, what game is it like?’ or ‘well, that’s not like the other games that you’ve done’; they were intrigued by the idea of the fact that X-COM is unlike any other game and so they were very very supportive of us,” he said.
“Our development time has been long, they’ve always given me anything that I’ve needed, the time I needed, the people I needed, so yeah, I think it was simply a miscommunication, out of context thing as I know him personally.”
Solomon also pointed to Irrantional’s BioShock series as another example of a risky IP embraced by 2K, a sentiment echoed by creator Ken Levine, who called 2K “pretty bold”.
Firaxis’s next game, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, is due on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in northern autumn, and has been in development for more than three years.