Brian Fargo says he decided to use Kickstarter to fund a long-planned Wasteland sequel after major publishers rejected the idea as being unfeasible in the era of BioWare.
Brian Fargo's plan to Kickstart a long-overdue Wasteland sequel might seem on the surface like an opportunistic cash-in on the runaway success of the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter, which has so far raised over $2 million to fund a new point-and-click adventure from Tim Schafer's Double Fine Studios. And hey, maybe it is, but the idea for a Wasteland sequel has been kicking around in Fargo's head for nearly two decades and this looks like his best chance to actually get it done.
Fargo had actually done preliminary work on a Wasteland sequel with Fallout lead artist Jason D. Anderson and Wasteland co-designer Mike Stackpole, but he couldn't drum up any interest in it. "Publishers just had no interest in a party based RPG and they felt like they would need to go up against the production costs of Bioware which are in the tens of millions of dollars," Fargo told No Mutants Allowed. "It was frustrating for both of us as we had fans on one side pinging us constantly for a new Wasteland but we just had no way to finance it."
He acknowledged that making RPGs on a small budget is more difficult than other genres because of the need for a large amount of assets to support "cause-and-effect" gameplay, much of which won't even be seen on a single play-through. On the upside, the "base mechanics" of the original game are already there and the assets created for the rejected pitch won't go to waste either.
"Jason did a fantastic job on the design and story material so you can bet we fully plan on using it in this game. I'm fortunate to have had Jason spend close to a year on design materials," Fargo said. "We really had a great time envisioning what it could be and I'm excited that it might finally become a reality... but of course that is about to be up to the public's support."
The Wasteland 2 Kickstarter is expected to open to the public in March.