Al Lowe is determined to make things right with fans of Leisure Suit Larry after years of less-than-stellar sequels have sullied the poor little fella’s name.
Speaking with freelancer Dave Oshry on Joystiq, Lowe said when Vivendi announced in 2003 it was working on Magna Cum Laude starring Larry’s nephew, Larry Lovage, he initially wanted to be included.
However, it wasn’t until development on the game was winding down that Vivendi contacted him, admitted the game was rather awful, and that his help was needed.
“Towards the end they came to me and said, ‘This game needs help.’ I said, ‘Well, maybe, what are we talking about?’ Well first you’ve got to sign a non-disclosure agreement, then you have to sign a contract that says you will only say good things about the game, and for that we’ll give you some money’”, Lowe recalled.
“And I said, ‘Wait a minute, I haven’t even seen the game yet and you want me to say that I’ll never say anything bad about it? How bad is it? ‘Pretty bad.’”
Lowe declined to participate in the game at this point, and realized he made the right decision after purchasing and playing the game himself.
“It was like seeing a video from your son’s kidnappers,” he said. “On one hand he’s still alive but it’s like, ‘Oh God, what are they doing to him!’ And it just pained me to watch it happen. You know I put ten years of my life into that guy and he was very good to me.”
Codemasters acquired the franchise from Activision-Blizzard after the Vivendi merger and closure of Sierra, and released Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust which was developed by Team 17.
Lowe was never contacted regarding the project, and like Magna Cum Laude before it, Box Office Bust received poor ratings and tanked.
Because of all the negative press and terrible sequels, Lowe said it was impossible for him and publisher Replay Games to secure funding for the high-def remake of the original Leisure Suit Larry.
However, thanks to the popularity of Kickstarter, Lowe and his team decided to give crowd funding a whirl. The firm set a funding goal of $500,000 and eventually surpassed it, which will allow the developers to add new content to Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards Reloaded, which is set for launch sometime in 2013.
Lowe said there are some gamers who may not purchase the title due to how abysmal the last two outing were, but he and his team are determined to convince them otherwise.
“To a certain extent those two games have poisoned the well,” he said. “There’s a lot of people who know those games and don’t know the old games who are gonna go, ‘Yeah those games sucked! I’m not gonna support this new project!’ … and that’s sad.
“On the other hand, I think we’re going to be able to convince people that, ‘Yeah, try this, you’ll laugh your ass off. Yeah it’s sexy, but it’s funny too.’”
“I think there’s finally hope at the end of this long brutal violent horizon that we’ll all laugh again soon.”
The entire interview with Lowe is through the link, and it’s a banging good read, and gives you a bit of insider knowledge of Sierra’s downfall due board member Walter Forbes’ criminal activities.