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Oddworld creator: ‘you won’t see our profits being spent on Ferraris and shit like that’

Monday, 1st October 2012 13:28 GMT By Dave Cook

Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee creator Lorne Lanning has been speaking with the press to promote the game’s HD re-release Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee New N’ Tasty. He’s back on the game circuit in a big way, but that won’t stop profits from the series going back into development of new games.

Speaking with GI.biz, Lanning said, “Our agreement is, you won’t be seeing our profit being spent on Ferrari’s and shit like that. Our profits are going back into games so we can ultimately raise to the point where we can grow our audience, who are expecting new content.”

“If you’re the gamer, where do you want the money of the game you’re buying to go? I want it going to help make more games. But the majority of that money is not going to games in the boxed product market.”

“Now we’re on a digitally distributed landscape, instead of a $60 price point we can offer a $9.99 price point. At $9.99 we get $7 per unit. At this price you’re getting a game for one sixth of the price and we’re still getting money to make more games. The player is truly funding our games.”

While we’ll be posting up our full Lorne Lanning interview later this week, the developer said essentially the same thing to us. Lanning is tired of the way big game studios operate and isn’t afraid to call them on it. Stay tuned for our interview soon.

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22 Comments

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  1. TheWulf

    This doesn’t surprise me, to be honest. If they were out to get rich, then Oddworld would have been much more mainstream than it was and is. Pretty much every Oddworld game has been off the beaten track, and the original games felt like indie platformers with their aesthetics and design ethos long before indie platformers were a thing.

    Oddworld was always about loving what you were doing in regards to game design. Whether it was popular didn’t matter as much as creating something genuinely interesting, original, and good.

    So yeah, not surprised.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DSB

    The fact that there aren’t more Oddworld games coming out is symbolic of everything that’s wrong with the industry.

    Either one of those games has more soul put into it than five current AAA-titles.

    I really miss stuff like Stranger’s Wrath or Munch’s Oddysee.

    Thank fuck for people like JAW for bringing it back.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Phoenixblight

    @2

    For once I agree with you 110%. We need more games like Oddworld. I hope this digital age allows them to continue to make these games. I can’t wait for New n’ Tasty!

    #3 2 years ago
  4. OlderGamer

    @ DSB and PB, agree.

    Seems to me like the industry sold its soul to the devil a while ago.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. OlderGamer

    “Now we’re on a digitally distributed landscape, instead of a $60 price point we can offer a $9.99 price point. At $9.99 we get $7 per unit. At this price you’re getting a game for one sixth of the price and we’re still getting money to make more games. The player is truly funding our games.”

    I hope this becomes the norm. Screw the mega publishers and platform holders. It should never have been about them to begin with, they were just a vehicle to get the games out. But in todays world they more often hinder rather then help.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. OrbitMonkey

    I’ve only been gaming for about 17 years or so, so forgive my ignorance, but I don’t recall a golden time of gaming, where every other AAA title was a soulfully crafted little gem, that made me weep tears of geek joy.

    Their was a lot if new & interesting stuff for sure, but that was because of my own inexperience, not some creative renaissance.

    I think if your saying games ain’t as good as they used to be, you should maybe get the horlicks out grandad :-P

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DSB

    @6 Fair point, it is terribly jadey jade jade.

    But honestly, we grew up with Lemmings, and X-COM, and Oddworld, and Lost Vikings, and Another World, and Warcraft, and Carmageddon, and Little Big Adventure, and Elite, and Populous, and Syndicate, and MDK, and Sonic, and Mario, and Crimson Skies, and Double Dragon, and Sacrifice, and Theme Hospital, and Transport Tycoon, and Baldurs Gate, and Fallout, and Master of Orion, and Commander Keen, and etcetera.

    It’s not so much that games were better or poorer for the sum of their parts, but they were easily more varied than they are today, in a creative sense. I don’t think you can look at the general selection and not see an industry that is creatively stuck in a rut.

    Would you like this coverbased TPS or this coverbased TPS? Or this military shooter, or this military shooter? Or this scifi shooter, or this scifi shooter?

    An industry that doesn’t take risks doesn’t go anywhere.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Gadzooks!

    #6

    Well said.

    I’ve been gaming since I bought my first computer, an Oric-1, and the variety and quality of games right now is better than it’s ever been.

    Nostalgia can be very deceiving.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Da Man

    Oddworld was a piece of shit anyway.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. OlderGamer

    What DSB said.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Da Man

    What Gz said.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Ireland Michael

    GIGA and Da Man, sitting in a tree… K.I.S.S.I.N.G…

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Da Man

    U mad, sis? I don’t like men.

    As for old videogames, it was exactly the same but with other genres being churned out yearly. There was the point and click adventures era, the pseudo 3d fps era, there was the jrpgs era, then there was the Tomb Raider era. And so on.

    I recall going into local store for Mega Drive videogames and there were dozens and dozens of same old platformers. You had to look for something different the same way.

    Only thing that happened with videogames going mainstream is their dumbing down. (Most of them)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. G1GAHURTZ

    O’Connor, you really should learn how to read properly instead of being such a monumental failure.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. OrbitMonkey

    @7, I think you hit the nail on the head with “We grew up with…” games today just ain’t gonna hit you like they used to… Because you grew up.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. DSB

    @15 That’s a cop-out though.

    I still fall in love with games that display that same kind of imagination and adventure. Krater is a post-apocalyptic realtime RPG set in fricken Sweden, and it’s adorable.

    The game turned out less than great, but I still love every single artistic thing about it.

    Same with Borderlands 2, same with No More Heroes, Minecraft, The Witcher 2, and Portal 2.

    It’s not like everything is lousy, it’s not general fatigue, it’s just that there are less people who are willing to challenge anything.

    Publishers don’t want to challenge the medium. The only part of the industry that’s still truly willing to do that, is the indie scene.

    It’s not that I happened to grow up with a particular set of games, it’s that more people were actually willing to do something weird and stupid in those days.

    A lot of the genres I mentioned in the post aren’t even being made anymore. They’ve been purged. Is that because they aren’t valid anymore? I call shenanigans. Obsidian made a million dollars in less than 24 hours just by mentioning an old school RPG.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. OrbitMonkey

    @16, I don’t think it’s a cop-out. I think it’s 85% of the *problem*. Your a kid, you start playing videogames… It’s awesome.

    You grow up, industry moves on, that particular style goes out of fashion, you feel bummed.

    Now all that floats your boat is something new and fresh, or games that remind you off your youth.

    That’s how I see it anyway. Ten years from now, all the shit you loved will be fashionable again.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. DSB

    @17 But that’s completely failing to take into account how the industry has actually changed.

    It’s not a question of me whining because people stopped making Jazz Jackrabbit or Broken Sword games (retarded as they fucking well were). It’s simply a question of being disappointed at how totally passive the industry has become, with regards to making something that actually challenges the medium.

    You could do a dirty, incomplete little comparison like this:

    I can watch The Great Dictator by Chaplin, I can watch Postal by Uwe Boll, I can watch the Godfather by Francis Ford Coppola, I can watch Cobra with Sylvester Stallone. I can watch Transformers by Jerkwad Doucheface, and I can watch A Serious Man by the Coens.

    A lot of different people, doing a lot of different things, going in a lot of different directions.

    Now let’s hop over to videogames.

    So, would you like to be this spacemarine trying to stop an alien race from unleashing their magical superweapon, or would you like to be this spacemarine trying to stop an alien race from unleashing their magical superweapon?

    Would you like to be this special forces guy trying to stop a foreign power from unleashing their magical superweapon, or would you like to be this special forces guy trying to stop a foreign power from unleashing their magical superweapon?

    Maybe it is a case of “lulz, you’re just old”. Or maybe those games are just fucking boring.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. OrbitMonkey

    Lulz your old? Dude I’m older than you by a decade. I just started gaming later than you, so maybe haven’t got the connection you have.

    Far as I see it, industry is pretty much the same. Everyone wanting the next MoH, then Halo, then CoD.

    Everyone wanting the next WoW, FF, Zelda.

    All the big sport titles, all the big shooters, all the blah blah blah.

    You want something special, it’ll usually be by a small indie studio, on a small budget. When has that ever been different? In any medium?

    #19 2 years ago
  20. DSB

    @19 I guess it was very different in that in 1990, a guy could singlehandedly make a game in 30 days and have it in stores 30 days later, at a fraction of the cost of what it would take to do that today.

    And that’s obviously part of the answer. The bigger the risk, the bigger the apprehension to take it.

    But there’s a pretty important distinction between leveraging risk and reward, and in completely annihilating risk because it makes you feel safe.

    Due dilligence is important for any business, but I think a creative medium dies when people aren’t allowed to take risks anymore. A lot of Hollywood studios have died trying to keep things interesting, and taking those risks.

    But I think that’s in part because they understood that if they didn’t try, they were dead anyway.

    The games industry I grew up in was one that at least tried to do that, and I wish there were more people still doing it today.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Da Man

    Well, at least superior PC fanboys learnt how to make html links in 2012. Took them quite a few years.

    Commander Keen a creative videogame. Next up Terminator a cinema gem.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Gadzooks!

    #20

    Indies, XBLA and PSN games are doing exactly what you describe.

    Innovative, risk taking small team developments are out there if you look for them.

    The only thing that has changed in gaming is that social media has brought consumer whining closer to everyone.

    The millions upon millions of happy, content gamers dont feel the need to flood forums with moaning, so there is an illusion of discontent at the games industry.

    Short answer: Your games are out there. If you can be bothered to look further than the chart top 10 you’ll find them.

    #22 2 years ago