It's "always a difficult equation," says the studio boss. It needed "a drive, a big push," and Antoniades doubts it got it. People "still even haven't heard" of it.
"I think it's always a difficult equation, isn't it? It's like it's not enough to just make a game. All the ducks have to be lined up, and those ducks include the creative ducks, like the theme and the content," said Ninja Theory big cheese, Tameem Antoniades.
"But it needed support, it needed a drive, a big push, and I don't think it necessarily got that. I really kind of hate it when people make, say, "Oh, marketing didn't support it," but a new IP needs to be visible, and I didn't feel like it was."
"A lot of people still even haven't heard of the game," he exclaimed.
Antoniades is frustrated that some publishers don't seem to want to back a new IP that they're gunning for triple-A quality, although they still expect that level fo reception.
"From our point of view as a developer, I'm always puzzled by it. Why bet on triple-A if you're not going to spend for triple-A? You can't have it both ways," he said.
"But, you know, I think we're proud as a team that we've got the game done, we got it on time. We thought that we did our job." Ninja Theory worked with 28 Days Later writer Alex Garland on the project, and they each learned a lot during development.
"Alex is a gamer, a big gamer, always has been, and he's very curious as to whether his skills as a filmmaker would translate into games," continued Antoniades.
"He spent the best part of two years in the office working with our designers and with me, so he got stuck in. And he used his dramatic eye when reviewing not just cutscenes, but the levels. And as game developers, we don't always have that dramatic eye."
"We're not used to the language of film, which is cameras, body language, lighting; those things tell stories more than the dialogue in film."
"So watching him, observing him, how he does that, it's something I took on board, and I'm a bit of an evangelist for that now. Like storytelling visually, creating drama visually in games." Enslaved was warmly greeted by critics but sales were disastrous.
Hopefully Ninja Theory will be applying all those 'dramatic eye' lessons learnt from Enslaved: Odyssey to the West to their new project with Capcom, an origin 'reboot' for Devil May Cry called DMC which releases on Xbox 360 and PS3 next year.
Publishers "can't have it both ways," must 'bet and spend' AAA
06 October 2011 | By Simon Priest