Brian Fargo - We No Longer Answer To The Walmart Buyer
Brian Fargo did another interview this time with gamesindustry.biz. The topics included kickstarter and the role of the traditional publisher.
The intense focus of publishers on AAA titles amuses Fargo when he considers the origins of the biggest sellers. "All of those franchises started off small," Fargo said. "I think the only franchise that I've seen that was truly built to be a billion-dollar franchise was Skylanders. Outside of that, Tomb Raider, GTA, Madden Football, they didn't start that way."
The way publishers handle risk for AAA games is to minimize innovation and stick to sequels. Given what InXile is able to build with a few million dollars, couldn't a big publisher take $40 million and make 10 bets with that money instead of one title, and have a greater chance of a hit? "Isn't that what King.com does, but at a different scale?" asks Fargo. "They made a hundred ten thousand dollar bets, or whatever their number is."
The Kickstarter method is preferable, according to Fargo. "Our game certainly has less risk because it's being pre-ordered," Fargo notes. "I specifically make the game for that audience, and then I let the chips fall where they may. I think people that like roleplaying games are going to love it. Some people say, 'How do you make it for the younger generation,' and I don't think about that. I'm just going to make something that's smart and intelligent, nuanced, and the audience will figure it out."
The ideal situation for Fargo, assuming Wasteland II and Torment do well, is to continue to do RPGs that are interesting. "I don't want to be in a situation where we finish Wasteland II and I have to hurry up and get Wasteland III out the door. I don't ever want to be in that situation," Fargo said. "You do a sequel when you have the right idea." In other words, do a sequel because you want to, not because you have to.