Brutal Legend: “There was definitely a messaging problem with that game” – Schafer

Wednesday, 5th September 2012 09:52 GMT By Dave Cook

Double Fine’s Tim Schafer has discussed his reluctance to return to big, full priced retail releases, and sheds new light on the mixed messages and jumbled marketing that hindered his metal adventure Brutal Legend.

In an Eurogamer Interview, Schafer discussed Brutal Legend’s misleading marketing, “There was definitely a messaging problem with that game. That’s one example of how the openness would have helped that game a lot.”

“Say we were developing that and sharing our battle system with people before we launched,” Schafer explained, “not only would people have known about it, but people would contribute ideas to it and embrace it, and feel like it was their idea instead of this nasty shock.”

But describing Brutal Legend as an RTS game was absolutely out of the question in Vivendi’s eyes, says Schafer, “Vivendi was like ‘No. Absolutely not. We’ll never say RTS, ever. Even if someone asks us if it’s an RTS we’ll say no.’”

When asked about the Brutal Legend demo, which misrepresented the game as an action, hack n’ slash title, Schafer explained, “The demo was kind of an accident. The mechanics ramp up slowly over time, so the demo is usually the first mission, so you just don’t know those complicated RTS mechanics yet. The reason I went along with it is because it became something different.

“It started as an RTS” Schafer added, “but it evolved over time and it really became different from an RTS game. Like I said after release, if you play it like an RTS game you won’t win. You have to play it like this new RTS/action hybrid. So because it became something different I felt it was not correct to call it an RTS anymore.”

Will Schafer ever return to big retail releases like Brutal Legend again? He stated, “Yeah, but not at $60 retail.”

Thanks Eurogamer.

Would you like to see a Brutal Legend sequel? Did you like the game? Let us know below.



  1. ps3fanboy

    one thing that hindered this game to be great was the rts elements in the game, it totally ruined a great action/adventure experience. that multiplayer thing it had was a joke too, with these two ground breaking elements in the game it failed. what schafer should have done is gone only action/adventure, its here the guy shine when it comes to gaming. the online part should have been a online co-op play though with a friend and a team death match/seige/survival thing. then the game would have done good…

    i have no problem paying $60 retail first day for a sequel, if you do it right schafer…

    #1 2 years ago
  2. soqquatto

    too bad it wasn’t Vivendi to publish this but EA: I guess they were against the RTS part as well, since it was never mentioned during their marketing campaing as well.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Gadzooks!

    Agree with #1.

    As an action/adventure, and me being fully Metal, it just worked so well. All the references, music, characters, gameplay, world and art were fantastic.

    The RTS elements just didn’t fit.

    It was a bold move by Schaefer, but unfortunately it was a misstep.

    Give me a sequel without the RTS and I’d snap it up.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. SplatteredHouse

    The publisher properly scuppered this. The way they presented it, to where I felt I received a greatly different game than I had anticipated, was a big part of why it ended up traded in swiftly. I didn’t want my adventure/fun interrupted with tough RTS bits. I was quite annoyed that they misrepresented the game in that way. Leaving people to find out either through reviews, or from word to trickle down just was plain no good.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. RandomTiger

    I came to this game with no expectations and loved it, characters, the story, the jokes, the gameplay, the world. The RTS sections were weak but didn’t ruin the game for me and were fun if you didn’t take them too seriously. My major problem was the difficulty spike in the second last RTS section.

    I highly recommend folk grab it out of the bargain bin, however get the 360 version if you can. The ps3 version has audio dropping issues which wreak the cutscenes if you patch to the latest version.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. ps3fanboy


    they released a patch that fixed the audio… so no i am not buying an x360 to play this game again with its horrible rts elements that ruin my action/adventure.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. RandomTiger

    @5 When was that? They released another patch to fix something else and that unfixed the audio again. I gather they chose not to release another patch as it was costing them money. I just gave up and bought the 360 version instead. Obviously if you don’t have a 360 that’s not the best solution but that goes without saying I would think.

    Double Fine may have mucked up the RTS sections but they are one of the most interesting games company’s around, they experiment and sometimes it doesn’t pay off. As said above they should have communicated the RTS element more openly.

    Perhaps they simply should have made them optional, have AI control them and just require you to kill a certain number of enemies to tip the battle in your favor. Personally I enjoyed some of the RTS stuff, the main problem was that it needed more dev time to make it less clunky.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. ManuOtaku

    I did love the game, being a metal head myself, it was a good game, i didnt had preconcided notions about the game, i did never play the demo or anything of that sort, so i wasnt expecting an action game, and for me being heavy on the RTS wasnt a deal breaker, for me it was good fun, i like it and i hope they made a second one, with RTS included, we have plenty of actions games, something different is not bad.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. DSB

    It was just crap though. The problem wasn’t communication, it was execution.

    There was nothing there. The combat was even simpler than Zelda and the RTS was a pain in the ass.

    I’d love a proper heavy metal themed game, but this one was just a mess.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Clupula

    For me, I had no problem with the RTS battles, but I felt that there should have been an equal amount of traditional boss battles to balance the RTS ones out. The game is rather short and the RTS battles tend to feel like padding, at times.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Kuwabara

    one of the best AAA games i’ve played this gen. Best soundtrack, great environments, awesome story, nice gameplay. If only i could find all the dam serpents..

    #11 2 years ago
  12. OlderGamer

    @Kuwabara +1. I won’t say best, but damn good game.

    #12 2 years ago

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