It was "kind of a big surprise," admitted Urquhart, and it was great learning "how much into games they were." If they couldn't make it look like South Park, "then why make it."
It's typical that a publisher will be approached by a licensor who then puts out the offer to a studio, but South Park creators Parker and Stone set their sights on Obsidian Entertainment.
"When the South Park project came up, it was kind of a big surprise,” said CEO Feargus Urquhart, telling Game Informer. “What was interesting about it was we were contacted directly by South Park. Normally, how it works, is usually that a publisher calls us and say, ‘hey, we have a licence, we want you to make a game.’"
"But this time, it was the licence holder themselves. And it was exciting because it’s great to work on licenced product, but to actually be working initially straight for the licenser, it meant that the guys who it was their baby were the ones who were going to be telling what they want. And on top of it, it was great once we started working with them was finding out how much into games they were.”
Matt Stone, Trey Parker and the Obsidian developers got together to decide what they wanted from the project. Both of the TV series creators are big time gamers with Trey having sunk a lot of hours in RPG worlds like The Elder Scrolls Iv: Oblivion; they also prefer a silent protagonist in a RPG title.
"The first thing is this needs to be South Park, it needs to be outrageous, it needs to have crazy crap in it, it needs a lot of swearing, it needs a lot of children dying, it needs things that happen that are just crazy. And then if we have problems, we’ll deal with them," explained Urquhart.
"But the goal is let’s not restrict ourselves right now, let’s make it South Park, make it nuts. And then, as they say, cross that bridge when we come to it.”
South Park: The Game releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in 2012.