Obsidian Entertainment - Feargus Urquhart Interview
How does Feargus Urquhart see the Western RPG industry in 2009? That's the background question to a new interview at Gamasutra. It waffles around to me without really saying much - here's a sample:
So, that's kind of an interesting question then. If you look at the sort of pretty mainstream success of Fallout 3, do you think that they found a way to make a hardcore RPG much more mainstream than has been done in the past? Or when you look at how Fallout 3 is suceeding compared to what you've done on Fallout 2 or other RPGs that you've done...
FU: I think Bethesda did two things, and I'll start with that sort of thing. Any great game, it's beyond how exactly you play it. It's how you play it, and a specific "Are there numbers? and "Are there not numbers?" and all that kind of stuff. It's more of a feeling.What really was great about the original Fallout, Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, was the feeling of being in this world. And that was attractive. Well, attractive is maybe the wrong word. It was compelling. (laughs) That's a better word.
I think what Bethesda did an incredible job at is making you feel like you are in this Fallout world. And that's what we did back at Black Isle, to make you really feel like you were in this Fallout world. The whole thing -- from the loading screens to the main menu to the Pip-Boy to all that kind of stuff -- it really felt like it was a whole cohesive unit of feeling like you're in this world. And they did that.
When you do that, it is instantly more compelling to any kind of gamer. As long as they feel like they're not being hindered by something or that something is annoying in the game, then they're probably going to enjoy it. And I guess part of that is also taking it, obviously, from a turn-based PC game to using the Oblivion engine and learning how to use their Oblivion engine and make it Fallout. And that's not to say that it's just Oblivion: Fallout.
I think the second thing that Bethesda did an incredible job at -- and this is what they do really well -- is they are just behind their games. I think a lot of the success of Fallout 3 in particular -- because there are people probably at Bethesda that Fallout 3 is not the kind of game that they play -- but they jumped in with both feet, like, "This is the game. We believe in this game." And I think that is why you see a success, too. It's almost catching.
In other words, you have a publisher who's like, "Well, we have these seven games. What do you think?" Bethesda is, "No, you're buying this damn game." So, I think that the success was from both ways. They were able to get the feeling of Fallout, and they really believed in their game. And that belief in the game came through in how they were talking to everybody and pimping it and all that kind of stuff.