Feb 09 2009
…and we shouldn’t, either.
I read an interview conducted by Gamasutra with Doug dating back to 2006, and he talks about what comes first, the artistic impulse (which may create new fans) or the marketing pragmatism (creating content that may play well for existing fans). He was very direct in his opinion.
GS: Where do you feel the fans factor into the decision-making process of a game based off a comic or other intellectual property? Do you think a more independent comic would have a better chance of making good game, since they donâ€™t have this large and potentially rabid fan base?
DT: No, becauseâ€¦I’m going to piss some people off here, but I don’t care what the fans think. I love my fans, but never ever design a game for your fans. When you originally made the thing, the thing that all the fans liked, you made it because it was good, and they came to you, because of what you did. Your instincts lead you correctly in that instance. So to suddenly change that formula, and follow what fans want and redesign something in the image that you think, second-guessing, that they will like, would create a different thing, that isnâ€™t you and probably isn’t good. And you will always lose fans by doing that. Of course, like if I were doing that for one of my characters like Earthworm Jimâ€¦you see, I love my fans, but I wouldn’t do that for them. As far as designing the game goes, I follow my gaming instincts and my character design instincts and make the very best game I know how to make. That’s what I’m all about, and there are some guys that lose your trust. Old fans leave, new fans are made. Somehow we survive.
When we have an artistic idea and we remain true to it, people will respond to the artistry and support the project. However, if we then try to pander to the audience we’ve already won by giving them more of the same, we are in effect doing them a disservice instead of a service.
Let fans follow the art, and not the other way around. (George Lucas, I’m looking at you.)
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