The upcoming sequel to one of the most beloved, nostalgic RPG experiences from the olden days of gaming will be getting a retail release. I'm talking about the fan-favorite, crowd-funded, Kickstarted game from inXile Entertainment, Wasteland 2.
So who is picking up the retail distribution rights? None other than Deep Silver, subsidiary of Koch Media.
Brian Fargo, CEO inXile Entertainment commented about the game's retail agenda, noting that...
“This is a perfect opportunity for inXile: it allows us to continue to focus all of our energy and money into the creative aspects of the game while letting Deep Silver take our game outside of the pure digital space. This has the added bonus of allowing us to spend more of the Kickstarter funds on development while continue to retain all ownership and control”... “I’ve known the people at Deep Silver for many years and they have always been a first rate organization to deal with.”
I don't know how well Kickstarter backers will feel about this, but I imagine that the more exposure a crowd-funded game gets, the better it is for that game and the future of games like it.
Originally, Wasteland 2 was pitched to AAA publishers but none of them wanted to touch the IP or the design concept. I can already imagine what the execs said in response “There aren't enough explosions. Is this like Gears of War? I don't see enough Gears of War. It needs space marines. Where's the sex appeal for the 16-32 male demographic? There's not enough cut-scenes. Content engagement reports indicate that focus groups react well to quick-time events; where are the quick-time events? We need to sell at least five-million units for the brand to be profitable.”
Thankfully, Fargo and crew managed to pick up a nice niche via Kickstarter and a lot of lo-fi word-of-mouth marketing buzz throughout the gaming media circles. It paid off and the Wasteland 2 project managed to garner more than $2.9 million dollars from Kickstarter alone.
The budget-priced production meant that there wouldn't be 10 hours worth of voice-acting, but it does guarantee that a solid, well-designed game with the Unity Engine will be made.
With that in mind, Koch was quick to step up to the plate and sign a deal with inXile that also sees them overseeing the quality assurance process for international retail releases. This is definitely good news, insofar, that some of the additional expenses that gamers may have had to foot the bill for will be picked up by the distributor, and it at least ensures that the game will be made available to those who don't have a steady enough internet to buy the game digitally.
I'm curious if Deep Silver has plans to do this with more Kickstarted projects, or if Wasteland 2 was a one-off situation? I guess we'll find out soon enough.
You can learn more about Wasteland 2 by paying a visit to the game's official website.