At Quakecon yesterday, Bethesda announced during the opening keynote its parent company Zenimax had acquired Arkane Studios; something which the Arkane’s CEO and co-creative director Raphael Colantonio welcomes because “it’s not fun to be independent”.
Speaking with Gamasutra following the announcement Colantonio and co-creative director Harvey Smith said the firm was more “dependent” than “independent”.
“I don’t think [being independent] was in our DNA,” said Colantonio. “From day one, doing Arkane was a vehicle to make the games that we wanted.
“To be honest, if I could have made them at Electronic Arts when I was at EA, I would have made them there. If I could have made them at the company I was at after that… I would have made them there. But the people I was working with weren’t interested in considering them. It’s not like making a business was fun for me — I’m not a business guy.
“If you look at our history, we’ve had a lot of good intentions, and there was always something a little off, like the publisher wouldn’t quite support what we wanted, or they wouldn’t understand the game so they would market it the wrong way, or whatever.
“It’s not fun to be independent — really, this is called more a ‘dependent developer’, if you ask me…There’s no better [company] than Bethesda to understand [our games] and be successful in marketing the games that we do.”
Harvey Smith added Bethesda wasn’t the first firm to approach Arkane with an offer, but it was the first one it accepted.
“They approached us to talk about the kind of games that we are known for, the kind that Raph and I love, that we advocate,” said Smith. “That was a weird moment in time… that’s when we knew they were different.
“Without going into too much detail, I can say I’ve worked with publishers in the past that all they’ve wanted to do is work with me, but change what I wanted to do. And it was different with Bethesda, they said ‘We’re interested in working with Arkane because of what Arkane does'”.
Arkane has described the current game it’s working on as a cross between Underworld, Half-Life, and Deus Ex.
No word if this “current game” is The Crossing or not, which the firm put on hold last year due to financial constraints.