Arcania: A Gothic Tale First on GameSpot is a preview of the game formerly
known as Gothic IV that got mentioned last night, but it seems appropriate to
focus on the part that explains the name change for the North American edition
of the RPG series:
The Gothic franchise has forever been defined by
free-roaming open-world gameplay, sweeping story and settings, and bugs. Lots of
bugs. Publisher DreamCatcher freely admits that Gothic 3 was a great game in
theory but an unplayable mess in execution. So former developer Piranha Bytes is
gone, replaced by Spellbound Entertainment in the hope that fans of the epic
role-playing game genre will eventually see Gothic in the same bright light as
Oblivion. Spellbound's next project is Arcania: A Gothic Tale.
The name change serves two purposes. First, it hints at a world rich in magic
and fantasy. Second, and completely from a marketing perspective, it helps give
the Gothic franchise a fresh start in North America, where it has failed to gain
significant popularity. And gaining popularity in the good old US-of-A is goal
one for DreamCatcher. The team invested months of research into the differences
between European and American gaming preferences, so much so that there will be
two different color palettes for Arcania: North American (bright and beautiful)
and European (muted and gritty). Truth be told, we didn't notice much of a
difference when DreamCatcher stopped by our office to show off a very early
build of Arcania, but you have to admire the attention to detail.
One thing I can say without a doubt: DreamCatcher, more than anything else, needs to hire a better PR rep (not to mention a liability adviser.) Whoever let this release out the front door should be executed.