Freedom Force - Past, Present and Future Interview @ IGN
IGN has an excellent interview with Ken Levine and other Irrational team members on the Freedom Force series. It's a lengthy 7-page article and well worth a read for fans:
IGN: Definitely! So, that actually is a great segue to my first question. It's been more than seven years since the first Freedom Force and four years since the sequel, Vs. the Third Reich. Considering the sequel left open the possibility for a potential third installment, would you be willing to comment on a new installment or spiritual successor to Freedom Force?
Ken Levine: We're not currently working on anything like that. Freedom Force was sort of like the classic joy and pain experience in the sense that with the first game we did, we had such a great time on it. Rob and I, being comic book nerds: the job description was, 'go create a comic book universe.' So we got to be mini-Stan Lee/Jack Kirby there, go off it and coming up with this whole world and all of these origins and all these characters and just had a great time working with Rob on that. After that first game we ended up having some run-ins with the publisher in terms of the rights of the franchise. We ended up working that out, but that sort of delayed the second game for a long time and kept the second game from coming out until after City of Heroes came out, which I think may have eaten our lunch a bit by the time we got the second game out.
We ended up self-publishing the second game; we were a private company at the time. That meant it was a complete a labor of love and a labor of financial love as well, because John and I, the owners of the company, paid for the development and publishing of that title out of our own pocket, basically. That cost us a fair amount of money and when the game came out, it was probably a combination of -- I don't think we did enough different from the first game and it was just a little too late and too long for the sequel. It just didn't sell very well – it sold a fraction of what the first one sold. I thought it was a better game.
So, it was very tough, and I think getting enough future titles set up may be tough, but listen, we've made people give us money for stupider things before (laughs) – financially stupid, I don't think creatively stupid, but we love the franchise. It's the first franchise that we've ever created before BioShock out of whole cloth – System Shock 2 was somebody else's IP, and so it was always something that was very near and dear to us. A lot of us are hardcore comic book nerds, so I think we'd love to do it, but I don't see it happening in the very near future.
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