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Brian Fargo Interview at GameInformer

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Brian Fargo Interview at GameInformer

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Sun 3 June 2012, 07:13:56

Tags: Brian Fargo; InXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2

Another interview with Brian Fargo has appeared, this time at GameInformer. He doesn't really say anything new in this interview, but hey, criticizing publishers and praising fans just never gets old:

How did we get to this point, where what was once a successful franchise is ignored by publishers and has to go to Kickstarter to get funded?

We were doing these products for Electronic Arts. We were surviving, but we weren’t making much money…. We had had hit after hit after hit, and I said I had to change my business model, because this was as good as it gets at the time. So I decided to become a publisher, and one of my first games was Battle Chess. I went to Electronic Arts and said, “I’d like to keep doing Wasteland.” They said, “Well, it’s our trademark, and if you want to do it you have to do it for us.” I wasn’t making money doing that, so it really made no sense. I then got Interplay rolling as a standalone publisher…and I continued to pester them, asking if there was any chance they’d let it go. The answer was pretty consistently “no.” So finally, I said, “Fine. We’ll just do our own Wasteland.” And that’s when I kicked off Fallout.

Then finally in the early 2000s I left Interplay, and now I had neither Fallout nor Wasteland, and so I was a man without a post-apocalyptic world. I was able to work a deal out where I got the trademark to Wasteland. I said, “Okay, I’m finally going to do this thing!” I went out and pitched the idea, and I didn’t really get anywhere, and I was surprised. And then Fallout 3 came out and sold four or five million copies. So I went and hired one of the co-creaters of Fallout, Jason Anderson, I got Mike Stackpole aboard again, and I [personally] had produced both products. I went out, and I went into my pitch meetings and said, “Okay guys, this pitch is as good as it gets. I will never come to you with a better one.”

I got nowhere. I didn’t even get to a point where people would question the budget or anything; it was just a complete pass for different reasons. They wanted to do their own properties, or they didn’t want to do a role-playing game and compete against BioWare, or whatever. Every excuse was completely different. I was surprised; I was a publisher once and I thought, “If someone came to me with this I’d do it in two seconds.” But over the years I continued to hear from fans that wanted it made.

Kickstarter had been around, but I’d never focused on it because of the size of the deals. But then boom, Tim Schafer does a million dollars in 24 hours, and that got me thinking. The fans were right in sync with me, saying, “Hey Brian, this could be the chance to do a Wasteland sequel finally.” I pretty much dropped everything at that point because I saw an opportunity with Kickstarter that this could be the thing that saves the middle-size developer.

You’ve got this huge gap now. You’ve got the big triple-A developers, who typically have these housekeeping deals with the publishers where they’ll keep feeding them these 10-30 million-dollar projects and keeping them alive. Then you’ve got the small little indies doing their stuff, which is great, but they’re just two or three or four or five people. When I say mid-sized, I mean 15-20 people. I’m not talking about a huge company. I saw [Kickstarter] as a way to save the mid-sized developer, us included, so I dropped everything and jumped on it.

I worked with the fans day one. The way we made this happen is a microcosm of how the product is going to happen. I didn’t just invent the tiers and throw it out there; I set up a whole bulletin board system and forums and then threw the tiers at them and said, “What do you guys think?” I went back and forth with the fans, triangulating on what the right tiers were. And thank god I did, because there are a lot of counter-intuitive things that you wouldn’t see coming if you hadn’t worked with the fans…It’s been successful, and I’m going to continue that same communication throughout the entire process.​

The full interview is just a click away.

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