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You thought EA's claim of spending $200 million and having 800 people labor away on Star Wars: The Old Republic was massive? Well, Warren Spector and crew at Junction Point Studios under Disney Interactive's publishing label seem to be trying to rival that standard with Epic Mickey 2.
Xbigygames came across the recent interview with Warren Spector at GameIndustry, where Spector brings out that more than 700 people are working on the newest game, as Spector mentioned "...we have over 700 people around the world working on our new game now". AAA? Definitely. The first Epic Mickey started with 13 and eventually managed 180 staff by the time all was said and done. Spector isn't averse to going back to the indie sector, though, and feels like he could take on a small project with just "four guys" if the opportunity presented itself.
Xbigygames goes on to compare Junction Point Studios' Epic Mickey 2 to other big profile projects like Resident Evil 6 which has a massive 600 person production crew and is the largest game in the series, and Modern Warfare 3 which had a 200 person crew working on the game. That doesn't really compare to the 700 working on a...Mickey game?
Many commenters became irascible after seeing the number of people working on the game for fear of Epic Mickey becoming a bloated AAA industry project. This is the same kind of fear that Alex Hutchinson, creative director for Assassin's Creed III expressed about the ever-growing budget of AAA games that could eventually topple the industry, calling them a cancerous growth.
In this regard I do have to agree with the naysayers. The indie and crowd-source communities seem to be taking the gaming industry in the right direction. Big studios seem to think that lesser gameplay and better graphics are the right way to go and I fear it won't end very well if the industry keeps on this path.
On the upside, however, Spector has yet to unveil the actual production costs for their next project and despite having 700 people working on the game, maybe they can manage to keep the costs manageable. We'll eventually find out exactly what the project will be like and I'm dearly hoping this isn't one of those Hollywood-sized gaming projects that offers little on gameplay originality and a lot of Disney-friendly Michael Bay 'Splosions™.