Dishonored is now considered a franchise, and that’s extremely validating for developer Arkane Studios, which championed the difficult genre through to critical and commercial success.
Speaking with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Arkane CEO and creative director Raphaël Colantonio said it’s “incredibly satisfying” that Dishonored sold well enough for publisher Bethesda to begin speaking of it as a series.
“It’s very validating for us, because it’s the kind of game we always wanted to make. They’ve always been hard to sell,” he said.
“Were they not accessible enough? Was the market not really for it? Did the publisher not really understand it? Were we not good at it? I don’t know. But the point is, these kinds of games have always been hard to make and sell.
“Having success with it tells us we should keep all these values and do more of this kind of game. I think hardware is powerful enough to accept these kinds of games with all the depth and memory they need, which was a challenge a few years ago. So it all says stronger than ever that we should keep doing these kinds of games.’
On the subject of the next generation of hardware, Colantonio said the extra grunt in next-gen consoles is going to benefit games like Dishonored in particular.
“The next generation is mostly going to be all about memory. That’s gonna be the big difference for us, anyway,” he said.
“More memory means more entities, more density, more AI with more variations in their animations, bigger levels with less loading, etc. And also saving the state of things so that when you come back to an area, things are entirely [as they were]. Backtracking is actually embraced by the system as opposed to being a problem. It’s all good things for us.
“But the values we hold will remain the same. It’s all about interactivity and choices, consequences to your choices, many ways to do things, exploration, verticality, and all kinds of player tools. The more kinds of tools we can give to the player in a very simulated environment, the better the experience is.
“It’s all about players, not what the designer wants them to do. This is the base foundation of all our games from now on. The more power and memory we have, the more possibilities we can give to the player.”
Arkane isn’t ready to talk about what it’s up to now that it’s completed its DLC plans for Dishonored. A rumour that the developer has gone to work on Prey 2 seems to have been quashed.