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The Banner Saga: Factions earning “a lunch every other week”

Friday, 6th September 2013 00:00 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Early Kickstarter success The Banner Saga isn’t making much moolah for developer Stoic Games – yet.

Factions, the free-to-play, multiplayer, combat-only portion of The Banner Saga, pays for itself and not much more, Stoic has revealed.

“I joke that we probably could’ve made the same amount if we just put a tip jar in the game. But Factions is at this point paying for its own servers and maybe a lunch every other week,” art director Arnie Jorgensen told Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

Creative director Alex Thomas said the team of three was “so afraid of a bad backlash” that it didn’t try to monetise the game very much, and technical director John Watson said Stoic refused to go down the pay-to-win route.

Happily, the single-player side of the The Banner Saga is a premium product, so it may bring some cash in to Stoic’s coffers when it turns up – especially as it’s going to be brimming with conversation and story content from former BioWare staffers. It may lure players into the Factions side of things, too, and Stoic doesn’t plan to end support.

“We really haven’t been supporting Factions much recently. If Factions really was our focus and we wanted to make that a profitable thing, there’s lots of stuff on the table for us to do. But we haven’t had time to do any of it because of single-player,” Thomas said.

“We’re gonna finish chapter one of the single-player, and then we’re gonna turn around and spend some time on Factions again,” Jorgensen added.

New features and changes introduced in either portion of the game will be imported to the other, too.

“Everything we do can go both ways. If we make new classes in chapter one, we can modify them a bit and then put them in Factions,” said Watson.

“That’s what we want Factions to be. We make that content, then we put it in Factions in between single-player chapters,” Jorgensen said.

Factions arrived on Steam in February.

Thanks, Polygon.

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8 Comments

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  1. Opalauge

    “We really haven’t been supporting Factions much recently…”

    really?!? well, i wouldn’t have noticed that at all… -.-*
    so they launch a multiplayer strategy game without appreciably support and wonder about low income and player base…

    so now comes a campaign…at a time when most are already gone.
    pretty clever!!!

    #1 11 months ago
  2. MarcoSnow

    @#1 I think you hit the nail right on the head. It’s absolutely baffling to me that the developers didn’t wait until they could ship a full product.

    #2 11 months ago
  3. Phoenixblight

    @1

    THey have a team of possibly 10 people. You were expecting support for that game and make a campaign that was promised in the kickstarter? Get flipping real. Maybe its more appropriate that they released it so early in development.

    Also bitching about a F2P game? Really? Entitled much?

    #3 11 months ago
  4. Brenna Hillier

    @1 @3 in fact, I believe it’s three. Stoic Games is the three people quoted in the article. And they planned to do a split release from very early on in the process.

    #4 11 months ago
  5. Phoenixblight

    @4

    Its 3 main guys right but I wasn’t sure if they had picked up some people. I know that they had mentioned getting some perople in the kickstarter because the amount of money the game had raised and meeting stretch goals.

    #5 11 months ago
  6. Opalauge

    @3

    I’m not bitchin’! I actually like the game and I’m playing it from time to time. I also bought the starter pack an some extra “reknown”.
    It’s good that they don’t have that “Pay 2 Win” approach.
    The game has very few stages and not much character-developement options….nearly noting to personalize (exept colour), no equipment, no skilltree and not even random fights against AI and it can be pretty hard for newcomers to find an opponent, because the userbase is very small.

    #6 11 months ago
  7. TheWulf

    I think a lot of the lack of success has to do with how shallow and flavourless the setting and story of the game are. I think the mainstream gets away with that because that’s what the demographic there wants, but the indie scene looks for something with a little more personality.

    These sorts of games are a dime a dozen, you have to do something to actually stand out from the crowd. And my worry since the original KickStarter was that this one really didn’t, that it was going to flail upon its own bed of spikes, borne of a total lack of novelty.

    There’s an expectation these days for indie games to make up for the lack of cleverness, ingenuity, imagination, and passion within the mainstream. If you’re going to make a game like this, it really has to be mainstream. I think they would have done better with it if it wasn’t a faux historical setting, and they’d actually put something together that was more interesting.

    Plus, I think a lot of indie gamers are retro fans, and older games did seem to be less pedestrian in nature. No, I know they were. I remember the home computer era, the 8-bit console era, and even the earlier days of the PC, right up until 2000, where everything started going downhill. I think the desire for games like those is being filled by the indie space, now.

    And with Banner Saga, there’s probably a lot of ‘why am I buying this, when I could buy that?‘ Someone could buy Gone Home, Shelter, Megabyte Punch, or Dust: An Elysian Tale. Given those options, why buy this considering it seems so plodding by comparison?

    So yeah. I believe these guys are ex-BioWare, and I knew it was going to hurt them to be just as mundane as their efforts with Dragon Age were.

    Shame, really. They might have a good game in them. Maybe.

    #7 11 months ago
  8. TheWulf

    @3

    I didn’t even know it was free to play. Heh. I guess that shows just how much I’ve been inspired to look into this one. The KickStarter video bored me to tears, I didn’t learn about it beyond that.

    #8 11 months ago