Lorne Lanning is pretty upset at the lack of marketing EA put behind Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath.
The Xbox’s Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath was released in 2005 to critical acclaim, but it may not have sold as well as its creators envisioned. Oddworld Inhabitants co-founder Lorne Lanning recently bashed EA saying that the game’s inadequate sales numbers were due to the “crappy job” the publisher did with marketing.
Lanning calls Stranger’s Wrath a “major achievement” for the time. It diverged from the side-scrolling/platforming formula of previous Oddworld games to put players in the shoes of a bad-ass bounty hunter that used an array of strange critters as ammunition.
“I’m thrilled EA did such a crappy job distributing it back in the day,” Lanning told Eurogamer. “It’s a title that hasn’t been exposed to the world. My personal feeling is Stranger was the best game we ever made.”
Lanning says that EA “sabotaged” Stranger’s Wrath by giving it no marketing budget. Once Oddworld Inhabitants learned of this fact, it killed the company’s prospects for the title and its interest in working with EA any further.
“Our story is not unique,” Lanning added. “This is common in the development community. Business decisions are made and the developer’s faucet is turned off as a result.”
Luckily, the Oddworld series has new life with the help of developer Just Add Water, which is remaking Stranger’s Wrath in HD for the PlayStation 3, in addition to working on other projects such as the once-cancelled Oddworld RTS called Hand of Odd. Lanning reveals that the PlayStation Network releases of Oddworld: Abe’s Oddyssey and Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus sold “hundreds of thousands of units” in 2010, and hopes that Stranger’s Wrath will also get a “second wind of life” now that having a publisher’s huge marketing budget behind a game isn’t necessary anymore.