March 29th, 2012 | By Chris Priestman
Brain Fargo has spoke out about how publishers treat game developers, saying that in some cases it is “abysmal”. Now that he is pursuing the indie lifestyle he finds he can connect with fans and have fun again.
Since the Double Fine Kickstarter proved that companies could make a game fans and developers aline wanted and without the need for a publisher’s money, a steady line of breakout developers have joined in with what some are deeming an indie revolution…something like that anyway. One of those developers is Brian Fargo who started up inXile and launched a Kickstarter campaign for a sequel to an RPG he created back in the 80s, Wasteland. Fan response went through the roof once again and the project received the asked for funding in mere hours.
Fargo spoke to Ripten about the whole scenario which led to him shooting down the appalling conditions that some developers work in when under the scrutiny of publishers.
“There is more tension than you can believe,” he claims. “You would not believe the stories you hear about how developers are treated by publishers these days. It is abysmal.”
Fargo then went on to explain as to why developers experiencing such issues have not really discussed or even brought them up before in a public forum:
“Because they are afraid to talk, because they’ll never get another contract if they do. That’s why. You cannot believe…it’s awful. It’s really bad,” he said.
Of course, Fargo didn’t want to blanket term every publisher out there with such a dismal perception, but he wanted it to be known that there are many “horror stories” out there. Moving to lighter discussion, Fargo then turned to the radiant glory of indie development, which he and his colleagues are currently experiencing now that they are free from the shackles of publishers.
“Normally, when you’re working for a publisher, you’re trying to get your own vision across, of course. You’re also jumping through hoops to make some guy or group happy, and it’s not necessarily what the fans want. It’s what we have to do in order to get paid. There’s a bit of a disconnect. Now, I’m on the front lines, looking eye to eye with the fans and they’re telling me, ‘Brian this is what we want. You better deliver.’ I like the process better. It’s more personal and more intense.”
We’re not sure whether we should instruct all indie developers to join hands and sign Kumbayah or shove masks over their faces and break into the nearest publisher guarded development studio and set developers free. Maybe that’s a bit much, we’ll just go with a simple “Hooray” in the name of indie development.
Wasteland 2 is expected to release for PC around October 2013 and you can read the whole interview with Mr. Fargo over on Ripten.