Deathfire - Guido Henkel Interview
Incase you missed the Deathfire update here is the interview Guido Henkel did on a site called ForeverGeek. He talks about RPGs from the past, and compares them to modern RPGs.
Role-playing saw a real heyday during the 80s, when games like “The Bard’s Tale,” “Phantasie,” “Ultima,” “Wasteland” and the “Wizardry” games allowed fans to explore fantasy worlds in a way they had never seen before. During the 90s, the horizon of role-playing games expanded dramatically, as new technologies evolved and technical advances allowed for bigger and more feature-rich games. During this period, games like the “Might&Magic” series, the second wave of “Wizardry” games and SSI’s “Dungeons & Dragons” adaptations, as well as our own “Realms of Arkania” games, created role-playing experiences that oftentimes tried to capture the essence of pen&paper games, but without the inherent limitations. Many of these game succeeded and went on to become timeless classics.
The result of that era was a series of games, each of which was incredibly imaginative, colorful and bold. Some games pushed the storytelling side of role-playing, while others were decidedly more technology-driven. But they all had one thing in common. They were created by people who loved the genre, most of which were intimately familiar with the way pen&paper games were played, and who had the idealism to weather whatever obstacles lay before them, in order to bring their visions to life. I know, because I’ve been there, and the “Realms of Arkania” games are testament to that.
But there was trouble on the horizon and it had been looming there for years. Throughout the 90s, role-playing games were becoming more and more niche products. While action games, simulations and certain strategy franchises raked in the millions of dollars, RPGs have always had less commercial success, despite their acclaim and were generally smiled at. “Oh, you are the guys who pretend to be wizards and stuff, right?” was something you’d hear all too often. Sales of RPGs were significantly lower than those of comparable action titles and as the industry consolidated by the mid to late-90s, many publishers – who by that time controlled and owned many of the RPG developers – decided that role-playing games were no longer a viable market. Too much risk with too little payoff. Overnight, the genre as it were literally died.
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux