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Default Big Huge Games - THQ Signed for Ken Rolston's Project

May 4th, 2007, 00:14
You probably recall the news a few weeks ago that verteran designer Ken Rolston (ex Bethsoft) who has retired after Oblivion ended up coming straight out of retirement and heading to strategy house Big Huge Games to make an unnamed RPG. THQ has now been signed on and here's the press release:
THQ and Big Huge Games Announce Development Agreement

Famed Designer Ken Rolston to Lead Next-Generation Role-Playing Game Project

AGOURA HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 3, 2007--THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) today announced that it has entered into a development agreement with Big Huge Games for a brand new Role-Playing Game (RPG) scheduled for release on the Xbox 360(TM) video game and entertainment system, PLAYSTATION(R)3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC in 2009.

Ken Rolston, whose most recent design accolades include Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion(TM) and Elder Scrolls III; Morrowind(TM), is a 25-year RPG design veteran. He began his career with popular pen and paper RPG's Paranoia and Rune Quest and has gone on to create the highest rated, top selling RPG games across every relevant gaming platform. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion topped the sales charts in North America, as well as every major European market following the franchise debut in March, 2006.

"THQ has built its business by identifying the right content to compete and win in the genres gamers are most passionate about," said Kelly Flock, executive vice president of worldwide publishing, THQ. "Partnering with Ken Rolston and the rest of the team at Big Huge Games is a major win for THQ and marks a bold, first move into the traditional Role-Playing Game space."

"We've wanted to do an RPG for years and I think we have a great direction that will knock everyone's socks off," said Tim Train, president and COO of Big Huge Games. "THQ's ability to create and grow new intellectual properties, and their reputation for fantastic developer support, made them the ideal partner to bring our dream game to market."

"I'm flabbergasted by the talent, craft and boundless energy of the Big Huge Games team," said Ken Rolston, lead designer, Big Huge Games. "In such splendid company, I'm privileged to embark on a bold pilgrimage to create a refreshingly original RPG experience. I know eager game fans will share our excitement as we reveal further details in the coming months."
In addition, GameDaily BIZ has a pretty gushing hype-heavy interview, although in a scene reminiscent of the early Flagship days, Ken can't actually say anything yet:
BIZ: Ken Rolston, you're a legend in the RPG field, both electronic and paper-and-pencil. Where would you like to take the genre next? What innovations can we expect?

Rolston: I'm actually a pretty conservative variety of visionary. In addition to our brilliant but secret central premise, and the addition of four or five original amazing major features and implementations we can't Wait to Reveal at a Later Date, I just want to make everything… story, characters, exploration, themes, setting, interactivity, entertainment, world class whacking and looting… just a little more perfect in every way.
More information.
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May 4th, 2007, 00:14
Rolston: Usability. I was shocked to discover how difficult getting started in Oblivion was for some casual gamers, and even for some experienced fans of the genre. And the interface is an amazing triumph in many ways….

Im lost for words, hopefully his joking, else… my god…
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May 4th, 2007, 00:48
Originally Posted by The Watchman View Post
Im lost for words, hopefully his joking, else… my god…
I actually agree with Mr. Rolston. The interface in Oblivion was high quality work. Sure, it could have been optimized a little bit better for the higher resolutions on the PC but the little scrolling that you had to do was so quick and fluid (no annoying icon caching, graphical lag or stuff like that) that it didn't really matter too much. Compared to the consolification bullshit that you find in some other games -such as Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy), Tomb Raider Legend, the Splinter Cell games, GRAW or Rainbow Six: Vegas- Oblivion was almost a shining example of a nearly perfect port. Just would have needed some slightly better scaling to be perfect.
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May 4th, 2007, 02:23
"THQ's ability to create and grow new intellectual properties, and their reputation for fantastic developer support, made them the ideal partner to bring our dream game to market."
I hope they do more for Rolston and his dreams than they did for Brian Sullivan(Age of Empires). As soon as the x-pack hit the streets for the game he and his team spent five years developing (Titan Quest), THQ pulled the plug and disconnected his devs from the commnuity forums where everyone is ranting and raving for a much-needed patch and being met by total silence.

At least that's the popular sentiment on the boards, anyway. Could be another one of those developer/publisher dilemmas where you can argue forever which one is actually to blame.

Anyway, THQ is on my short list with Atari at the moment.
Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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May 4th, 2007, 03:27
Rolston had some not-so-nice things to say about the late-hour consolizing of Oblivion. I wonder if his "retirement" from BethSoft was really just him giving his notice, so he could move onto a project where he could retain some creative freedom…. starting to look that way now.

Although Morrowind and Oblivion get smacked around a bit on the forums at times (sometimes justifiably, sometimes not), Daggerfall was simply one of the most addictive and fun games I've ever played. I also have always liked the Elder Scrolls mythos, which I believe he played a large part in creating. The daedra… the different religious factions… a pretty complete mythos for an RPG, which is representative of his pen-and-paper background.

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May 4th, 2007, 04:58
I have to admit to getting a little enthusiastic, reading this interview. I'm a fan of Ken Rolson, apparently (either that or I just can't get enough of nerd humor!). Let's keep track. That's one "brilliant but secret central premise" and "four or five original amazing major features and implementations." Oh, and a "Can't Wait to Reveal at a Later Date" thrown in for good measure. Great!

One thing I didn't like was all the talk about how difficult Oblivion was, even for experienced fans of the genre. I don't mind those clicks they're talking about eliminating, and I can feel right at home in Menuland. Did they just set the stage for more simplification? Hmmmmmm.
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May 4th, 2007, 08:52
Because MW casual players allegedly couldn't find Caius Cosades (I never saw one of these complaints) we got Oblivion with popups and a big green arrow. Now apparently Oblivion was hard to get into. What is uncle Ken gonna do for these poor souls? Add a fairy that constantly tugs your sleeve in the right direction?
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May 4th, 2007, 09:00
No, no, no, boring games are always hard to get into!!
If God said it, then that settles it!!

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May 4th, 2007, 11:28
I think they should not give it a real title - they should just call it "The Next-Generation Roleplaying Game." I'm sure it will be soooooo much better than everything before…
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May 4th, 2007, 12:34
Rolsten had nothing to do with Daggerfall though.

I could be wrong but I thought he joined Bethesda after and was Lead Designer for Morrowind.

Games Design really isn't like it was back in the 70's 80's though - its all about sales now.
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May 4th, 2007, 13:11
Well I guess it was always about sales one way or another its just a broader audience now.
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