On the Gothic IV Name Change

The 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.