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Brian Fargo calls publisher pitches "absurd"

Brian Fargo calls publisher pitches "absurd"

Fri 22 Mar 2013 3:02pm GMT / 11:02am EDT / 8:02am PDT
PublishingDevelopment

The inXile CEO talks about the moment when he knew he had to take things into his own hands

The classic role-playing game Planescape: Torment revolved around the philosophical conundrum, "What can change the nature of a man?" inXile posed a different question for the sequel Torment: Tides of Numenera, introducing a Kickstarter campaign to get it off the ground by asking, "What can change the nature of a game?"

Whatever answer inXile sought, what's going to ultimately change the nature of this game is how it shattered its Kickstarter goal in the first day. inXile asked for $900,000. The Kickstarter became the fastest to raise $1 million, doing so in just over seven hours. Within a few days it had raised $2 million.

Even with inXile's first success on Kickstarter with Wasteland 2, another classic RPG the studio is now reprising, studio founder Brian Fargo claims he didn't see the quick outcome of this one coming.

"We never dreamed about beating the Kickstarter record," Fargo said. "The stars really lined up for this one."

The truth might be that a sequel under Fargo and inXile's stewardship was inevitable. Fargo was at Interplay when it published Black Isle's original Planescape: Torment, a critically lauded game and considered one of the deepest story-driven RPGs ever made. He calls it one of the games he's most proud of from his time at Interplay. It also appears that Fargo had pitched it to publishers in the past based on a humorous skit in his Kickstarter video, a sequence that clearly shows the developer has some disdain for the publisher pitch process. After two resoundingly successful crowd funding campaigns, however, Fargo now hints that his days of pitching publishers might be over.

"It really got absurd at the end when we would have publishers come to us with a specific idea they wanted created. We would spend months working with their producer to basically communicate their vision with concept art etc. only to have their own idea shot down in committee. That was when I knew it was time to take matters into my own hands," said Fargo.

Read the full interview at [a]list.

4 Comments

Tim Carter
Designer - Writer - Producer

570 315 0.6
Game designers need to be able to build their own names as brands. Brands that their audience recognizes. Their own names, which are far more lasting than the names of ephemeral studios. Their names can be what gives them the power to get things greenlit inside the game industry with heavy-duty investors (the kind who understand entertainment industry investing).

But, alas, that is a vision for a very different kind of game industry.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tim Carter on 22nd March 2013 8:09pm

Posted:A year ago

#1

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

876 1,273 1.5
One that nobody would want to work in.

There's too much celebrity already imo, and if any team only has one guy good enough to put in front of a camera, you need to get a better team. The idea that only a designer can make or break a game is something that only exists in game designers minds and is, frankly, insulting to the rest of the team.

Any company operating "one ivory tower designer and a load of code and art production monkeys" are not places any developer with a good amount of ability is going to go and work at.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,020 1,467 1.4
I generally agree with Paul. I think games are the most collaborative of all the entertainment mediums. We already give too much focus to individuals within groups.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,020 1,467 1.4
I generally agree with Paul. I think games are the most collaborative of all the entertainment mediums. We already give too much focus to individuals within groups.

Posted:A year ago

#4

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