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McFarlane: “Word of mouth” buzz needed for Amalur sequel

Wednesday, 8th February 2012 08:33 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Todd McFarlane, Spawn artist and art lead on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, has said a social buzz is needed around the just-released RPG if it’s to sell well enough to open up possibilities of developing a sequel.

The game, which released in the US yesterday and will hit Europe on Friday, is a new IP and the first game from Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios.

Speaking to Gama, McFarlane said: “There are some surprises in it. If we delivered enough of them, maybe they’ll phone up their buddy and go, ‘Hey, Fred, I just played this game and you’ve got to see it. It’s kind of cool, man.’

“If we can get that word of mouth going, then there’s a big potential for us to succeed and maybe have a sequel come out someday.”

It’s McFarlane’s first game, but he’s found the experience a positive one. The artist added that RPG development is a “communist” mentality, where no user can be deemed more important than another.

“If you ask ten different RPG players why they play those games, you will invariably get ten different answers,” he said.

“How do you develop for that? The only way to do that is to treat each one of those areas equally and with the same preciousness as you would any other area. You can’t pick favorites. You literally have to become a communist developer, treating them all as equals.”

The epic role-player, which provides hundreds of hours of single-play, is tracking at 80% on 360, 83% on PS3 and 88% on PC.

Get all the reviews here.

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7 Comments

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  1. teribithia

    The epic role-player, which provides hundreds of hours of single-play, is tracking at 80% on 360, 83% on PS3 and 88% on PC.

    Very clear data.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. The_Red

    If you want “word of mouth”, give me a goddam new Spawn game right now!

    Amalur looks really promising but EA marketing should be doing much more. They indeed need “word of mouth” buzz but so far EA isn’t doing much for them. Mixing demo elements of Amalur with much hyped ME3′s budget was a good start but a new IP in 2012 needs much more support from the publisher.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. soqquatto

    “If you ask ten different RPG players why they play those games, you will invariably get ten different answers,” he said.

    “How do you develop for that? The only way to do that is to treat each one of those areas equally and with the same preciousness as you would any other area. You can’t pick favorites. You literally have to become a communist developer, treating them all as equals.”

    or maybe you cold, you know, come in with an idea and mantain it strong. it’s not like “RPG” is a real genre now, it’s more a meta-tag that you affix on a thousand different games. what all the “RPGs” have in common? player progression, maybe, and it’s not a hallmark of RPGs per se since we also have it in titles like Battlefield. the very meaning of “role-playing game” can be used for almost all videogames – in PacMan you’re roleplaying the part of a yellow blob eating dots.

    This said, I love the end result of KoA and I’m buying it day one.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Sini

    Playing this game is like logging into mmorpg server that is severely underpopulated at an ungodly hour. Very yawn like.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. fearmonkey

    @4 – exactly why the game interests me, i like playing MMO’s solo more than grouped.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Maximum Payne

    I played it on PC and great.Its good optimized,solid control,there is quick safe on F5 :)
    Beside very ugly faces game is quite good.
    P.S. Play game on Hard :)

    #6 2 years ago
  7. TheWulf

    …wait, McFarlane is their art lead? Seriously?! I guess that explains a lot. It really does explain a lot.

    What next? Rob Liefield working as the art lead for the next Elder Scrolls game? The horror.

    Anyway, regarding ‘how do you develop for that?’

    You don’t. Ever.

    You make the game you’re passionate about making, you don’t make the game that you think will sell well to the largest majority, because if you do that then you end up making Kingdoms of Amalur. No, you don’t do that at all. You don’t even try.

    What you do is work on something that you’re actually passionate about, you create your world, demographics be damned, then you put it together with as much love and care as you can. You make the game that you want to make, and it shows. Otherwise you end up with what amounts to an entirely soulless experience which can only be described as a single-player MMO. And not just any MMO either, more one of those MMOs that tend to get cranked out by MMO factories and which possesses barely any actual content beyond grinding, and are so visually generic that they have no identity of their own.

    You don’t listen to the crowd. You don’t give a shit about the crowd. Then you make a good game. Honestly, with some of the best games that have ever been put together, with some of the best indie titles or mainstream, with some of the best mods even… were they asking themselves about how to please everyone?

    When an author sits down to write a book, do they ask themselves how they’re going to please the widest audience of people?

    No, they just sit down and write stories of places and people that inspire them, they write from the mind and heart, with passion and inspiration, they write things of wonder. And will it sell? Well, that’s the gamble, isn’t it? But at least you tried.

    What I always get from Amalur is the opposite – all marketing and no effort. And every day they strike me more and more as just being a bunch of talentless hacks with noisy, pretentious claims.

    And again: McFarlane… really?

    #7 2 years ago