e3 2014
Sony Makes It Easier for the Little Guys, Says Paradox CEO

Greg Tito | 19 Jun 2014 15:00
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Microsoft's Xbox One wanted to tout their independent games at E3, and had a strong showing from Ori and Blind Forest. Wester admitted that both manufacturers courted his company for this generation, so why did Paradox decide to go with Sony over its competitor?

"I really like the Xbox One and its offering as well," Wester said. "It was a really tough call for us but in the end it was a gut feeling that we had, like, where do we think our target audience would want to play this game most of all?' Because we didn't want to go on both platforms at the same time with the technology risk and the limited experience that we had with releasing multiplatform games, when it comes to different consoles. So it was basically a gut feeling and a little bit of chance. Sony was a bit more aggressive as well.

"And now afterwards as well, I think Sony sold a bit more than Microsoft, so that feels good, too," Wester said with a laugh. Yeah, you backed the right horse there.

For now, Paradox is starting with a title seems custom-fit for console play, the wacky coop and sometimes competitive play of Magicka. If you're unfamiliar, Magicka puts up to 4 players in wizard's robes and sends them on a tongue-in-cheek adventure. The unique gameplay schtick is that the wizards can mix and match 8 different elements like fire or "shield" to create any number of magical spells in combat. "It's more action-oriented at the moment. Better for the format, so some co-op games," Wester said. "We are working mostly with already well-established developers."

The development of Magicka 2 will not be by the original group who designed it, but another studio called Pieces Interactive. Pieces is no stranger to the franchise though; they've worked on numerous expansion to the original game and will bring the humor and gameplay for which Magicka is known. And there's a healthy respect for the game in the Paradox offices, and not a few original team members.

"We have a few guys from the old Arrowhead team," Wester told me. "The brand manager at Paradox was one of the founders of Arrowhead, so we carry the same Magicka tradition. Of course, when we produced Magicka, Paradox was heavily involved in everything like making the game ready for the market."

What Wester would love is if there would be some kind of Magicka ecosystem between the PVP-centric title of Magicka: Wizard Wars and the sequel on the PlayStation. "What we want to do is tie in Magicka 2 a bit with Wizard Wars as well. Like you buy a robe here, and maybe you can use it there, see what we can do between the brands. If we can have one team working on both games going forward after we're releasing the game. That's an interesting thought."

Pillars of Eternity title art

For those of you worried that Paradox is abandoning the PC, don't be. Wester was adamant in stating that the PC gaming market is the focus for the company and they would not be pulling resources from any of the PC development teams.

The future is wide open for Paradox on the Sony PlayStation. There are a few games in the pipeline that would be great to put on the console, like the RPG Runemaster from the internal development team and the game they are publishing for Obsidian Entertainment, Pillars of Eternity (check out our E3 preview). Will we see PoE on the PS4 soon?

"It would be great if we made a game together with Obsidian for PS4, but that's not in the pipeline for now," Wester said.

Well, a guy can dream, can't he?

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