19 April 2014

Gamasutra Interview - Catching Up With Gearbox's Randy Pitchford

Catching Up With Gearbox's Randy Pitchford on Gamasutra is a lengthy interview with the Gearbox president, to discuss a variety of topics, including their Brothers in Arms series of World War II shooters.

INDUSTRY NEWS posted on 14 JUN 2008 8:45pm by Scott Parrino

Excerpts from the interview: One thing I thought was interesting about your studio was that when Brothers in Arms came out, there was this feeling that there was nothing left to do with World War II. Granted, people are still doing stuff with World War II even now, but it kind of went off in a little bit of a left turn for people and it worked out. RP: We took a risk there, for sure. A lot of the stuff before then, and I've had fun with it... in fact, it was because of Medal of Honor: Allied Assault that I felt that we could finally take the risk and do what we wanted to do in that space and know that there was an audience there. But it was a bit of a risk. We didn't do the typical "make a Quake-style shooter and just dress it with World War II textures." We said, "Okay, what is that fantasy really about for us?" and did something a little bit different there. - Not just that. Maybe Ubisoft was a little bit of a different company when that happened, but I would think someone in that league would say... I can't impugn Call of Duty, because it is what it is, but I think part of the reason it came about was Activision looked at Medal of Honor and quite literally said, "We want that." You know what I mean? Granted, it's surpassed Medal of Honor now. RP: Medal of Honor has been... between us and Call of Duty, they're having a hard time. - I was talking to Professor Lachlan MacKinnon, from the Scottish gaming alliance. He's the dean of the University of Abertay Dundee over there, which has the big program, and it's affiliated with Guildhall. He was saying that Guildhall's a good guarantee that if you complete the program successfully, you will get an industry job. RP: That's been the result. No school can guarantee that, but if you look at their numbers, that's been the reality. In programmers, one hundred percent of graduates have gotten into the game industry since that program started. That's pretty wild, right? Can you imagine any other school having that stat for other industries? - Something that's another business concern do you retain IP rights to Brothers in Arms, or is that Ubisoft's IP? RP: Yeah. Brothers in Arms is a Gearbox brand, and Ubisoft is an exclusive publisher for us for that brand. They are for now, and we have such a great relationship with them that I believe that we'll be doing that with them for a long time. Most of the publishers ask us about that, and try to see if there's an opportunity for them to get in there and buy it or something, and I say, "Look, they're a great partner, and I really love working with Ubisoft on it." They've taken some risks with us, and they've done a lot to help, too, because they have a great marketing team and a great sales team. The U.S. guys are great, and the European guys are great. I love the relationship. I think that it takes a lot of coordination and effort to do what we do. It's not just like, "I make a great game!" and everything else is easy. What they do is hard, too. There's value there, and I think it's smart for us to remain committed, and they're committed to us. - To read the full interview, click here.

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