The gaming industry feels incredibly secretive at times, while many people on social media like to pretend they know everything there is to know. Often it is only some of the information, or even worse completely fabricated in order to drive views. Sometimes, however, we get great insight in interviews with developers that shines a light on a variety of different factors of development. From the actual inner workings of how a game works, to the business that goes into funding and marketing a game. It is truly special when we get to see the inner workings behind the games we love.
The Xbox Expansion Pass hosted by Luke Lohr had an in-depth interview with two of SteamWorld Build’s developers earlier this week. Lohr spoke candidly with Thunderful’s SteamWorld Franchise Director Brjann Sigurgeirsson, and Adam Vassee the producer of SteamWorld Build. They covered a lot of ground in the just over an hour interview, from a variety of different aspects to building a game as well as building and expanding an IP such as SteamWorld. One of the most interesting tidbits shared during the interview was surrounding creating a new IP and using services such as Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Plus, and Epic Games Store deals and how helpful they are to developers.
Negating Risks In A Competitive Industry
Lohr posed the question of how does a studio like Thunderful decide the best way to release their game whether it be through services, or through a more traditional copy purchase route. Sigurgeirsson explains with the SteamWorld franchise it is about reaching as many players on as many platforms as possible. “If you went to your favorite gaming website and found out a new Steamworld is coming out, but it’s exclusive to this or that platform and that platform is not your platform. It would be the worst, you would start hating the franchise. When it comes to SteamWorld we will always keep that open, so that every game comes to as many platforms as possible.”.
Sigurgeirsson goes on to explain that new IP benefits from services like Xbox Game Pass. Sigurgeirsson states “It can be a really strong way to start an IP, to forge a partnership with someone like Game Pass. Who I think have been very active and generous toward developers since its inception. I think it’s a great way to launch an IP. If you form a partnership like that, make sure to make a good business deal. To make sure that development is paid for, or development is paid for plus some. Just so that you can develop the game at your own pace and create a really great product.”
It is no secret that with how competitive the gaming industry is, getting guaranteed coverage on the costs of making your game is huge. While we don’t 100% know what goes on behind closed doors with these Xbox Game Pass deals, a few things can be discerned from these comments. The first is that Xbox has been more than generous with their deals given the positive feedback from several developers over the past few years. Secondly, perhaps Xbox Game Pass and services like it will help to cultivate the elusive new IP that so many of us yearn for. More and more big publishers don’t want to risk new IP due to the rising costs of development and one dud could very well sink your studio. If platform holders are willing to continue to make these sorts of deals to help circumvent these risks, it only seems like a positive for the industry. Here is hoping we will hear more about these deals in the coming years. I highly suggest listening to the full interview on the Xbox Expansion Pass, for more insigh in regards to all different aspects of games development.
XEP Interview: SteamWorld Build
Do you often try out new games on Xbox Game Pass? Will you be checking out SteamWorld Build? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check back for the latest gaming news and information.