"best-known developers" aren't all that interested in pursuing someone else's vision over their own.
Producer Andrew Szymanski said he was tasked with finding a studio with "the skill and the drive" to take on Lost Planet, whilst being open to collaboration with IP creators at Capcom Osaka.
Spark has come a long way from their Turning Point: Fall of Liberty and Legendary flop days, says Szymanski, and they proved it with a prototype he was shown.
"We really needed to find a developer that could work on a collaboration," Andrew Szymanski told . "I think that what a lot of people don't realise... is, some of the best-known developers - or quote, unquote, the 'good' developers, if you want to call it that - for good reason they want to work on the stuff they want to work on."
"So let's just say, completely hypothetical, a Bungie-class developer comes to me, much as they would do with Activision. They're not going to say, 'Hey Activision, let's work on the next Call of Duty'. They're going to say, 'This is what we want to make, take it or leave it. If you don't take it I'll give it to somebody else'."
"Once again that's just a hypothetical example, but I can imagine for instance that Bungie, when they left Microsoft they said, 'Well, we want to move on from Halo. We want to do something else.' So a lot of those developers would not be a good fit for a game based on an existing IP," he continued.
His inadvertent putdown of Spark aside, Szymanski speaks the truth. Studios who have great successes and a powerful fanbase behind them don't usually tackle other people's franchises unless they're huge nerds for it themselves. Spark Unlimited had produced no titles that left a lasting impression of the positive variety - this made them amiable.
Szymanski had to find a developer that would work a lot with Capcom Osaka, the original Lost Planet team.
"They've had some rad ideas but the execution's pretty lacking," he remarked about Spark's previous work.
"But I got a chance to really hear a lot about why that was and how they weren't necessarily supported in achieving their vision," he said, adding that they had "learned a lot from their mistakes. They've changed the team and brought in new management, brought in new leadership and a new creative direction and everything like that, and I saw an unreleased prototype that they had done internally and I was like, 'Okay, now we're talking, now we're getting somewhere.'"
"So it was a combination of that with their passion and their ideas and what they wanted to bring to Lost Planet that I think brought that all together, and enabled us to sit down and discuss the concept to come up with a shared vision."
Capcom Osaka is now co-creating Lost Planet 3 with Spark Unlimited.
"My hope was that we could use Capcom's strengths, not only using the gentlemen that made the first two games, but also as somebody who has a large internal development staff to say, 'Here's some of our best practices, here's some of our knowledge, maybe we can use this to help Spark achieve what it hasn't been able to achieve in the past'," he said.
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but as somebody who's looking at it from the inside, it still feels like Lost Planet," he continues. "It still feels like it's in that vein and in that world where you have those recognisable elements, but it is a very different experience and I think we've done well." Recently Capcom announced it would be work less with third-parties.
Lost Planet 3 releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC August 27th in the US, 30th in EU.
Lost Planet 3 landed at Spark because 'good' developers prefer own IPs
25 April 2013 | By Simon Priest