Oddworld Inhabitants founder and CEO Lorne Lanning, who is currently working on Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty, is never one to mince words when it comes to the hazards of publishers dictating the direction of projects. Speaking to Games Industry International, Lanning talked about the stress of AAA developers and the benefits of indie development.
“Every game dev that I know that’s still doing triple-A retail products is trying to figure out a way to get out of it. Those deals are just getting worse and worse, even though your expectation of the money is getting higher and higher.
“Labour’s getting more expensive and the rewards are getting smaller. So that’s why we decided to stop playing for a while until we could start getting our games up digitally, see if we could build our own business. It’s working, it’s funding new content.”
The prime director of Lanning and his team, who invested “a couple of million” of their own money into their recent games, is to eventually fund new IP. “It’d be nice to be getting paid again. That hasn’t been happening for me. It’s all going into the product.”
The advantages are nonetheless manifold. For indies, “quality is going to be their lifeline” and there will never be a case where a game is released in a buggy unfinished state to appeal to shareholders. “When shareholders are more important than the customers, how long is your business really going to last?
“Trust is the most endangered commodity, it’s the rarest commodity today.
“You’ve got to answer their questions in a sincere way, even if it’s not what they want to hear. You have to say ‘you know what? You’re right, we f***ed up like this or we f***ed up like that, but this is where we’re at, this is why we’re doing it, this is what we’re trying to achieve.”
Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty is in development for PSN, Wii U, PC, Linux and Mac.