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Chris Avellone Interview

An interview on Gamasutra chats with Chris Avellone of Obsidian Entertainment about their upcoming Project Eternity, as well as some of the old school RPGs that inspired this upcoming release and the successful Kickstarter that got the project underway. He offers the following outlook on what RPGs like this fell out of favor with publishers:

I don't know if I have a good answer for that. I do know that there's one technical limitation: when you're developing an RPG for the consoles -- which most publishers want because it generates the most revenue -- it's often very difficult to control a party of characters, with either the PlayStation controller or the Xbox controller. So that immediately causes you to change the dynamic of how you design the RPG. You can have two party members with you [the player], but you've got to recognize that that consumes a lot of memory right then and there. And you also have to set their AI states -- you're not really controlling them.

A lot of those [Infinity Engine] titles were PC-only, and that's not really an appealing pitch to any publisher. They don't really want a PC-only title, because that's not going to maximize their revenue.

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10. Re: Chris Avellone Interview Dec 3, 2012, 03:55 NewMaxx
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Dec 2, 2012, 17:23:
Publishers really do everything they can to put themselves into a niche where a single flop means the end of their entire business. Does that sound like smart business to anyone?

Pretty much all entertainment falls into this category. This has been true since, well, not long after popular media arose from the Enlightenment. It's just that it takes time to hit new industries and novel forms of entertainment. This by no means excuses it, it just explains it; and yes, I could go as far as suggesting this applies to the concept of popular sovereignty and populism, etc.

Essentially, there's a critical point whereby what was once a noble pursuit degrades into pure pandering. It has as much to do with democracy as it does capitalism; it's not greed, it's making money off what the people think they want. They think they want want media and social interaction tells them too, a deadly feedback loop.

You end up with make or break bets that either puts you in first place or has you liquidate and change names. Either way, the people that matter the most - the artists - become brands themselves. Good things can still come from them, but it's an inherently flawed system.
 
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