Schafer: Gamers Worry Too Much About Sales


Worried that Brütal Legend might go the way of Psychonauts – critically acclaimed, but lukewarm sales? Well, Tim Schafer isn’t, and he doesn’t think you should be, either.

Ah, Psychonauts. Beloved by most of those who actually played it – including some notoriously hard-to-please critics. Sadly, despite critical acclaim for its originality and funky aesthetics, Psychonauts‘ mediocre sales hardly lived up to the game’s critical success.

So, this begs the question: What’s to stop Schafer’s upcoming face-melting heavy-metal adventure Brütal Legend from suffering the same fate as its mind-bending predecessor … and what are the ramifications for Schafer and his studio Double Fine if it fails? MTV Multiplayer caught up with Schafer in San Francisco and asked him precisely that.

As it turns out, Schafer isn’t concerned. “Fans worry too much about sales, to tell you the truth,” he told MTV’s Stephen Totilo. “As long as you make a cool game, publishers want to talk to you… [They say,] ‘We liked Psychonauts. and we think we could have sold it better.'”

Fortunately, Schafer sees Brütal Legend as a game with far more commercial appeal than Psychonauts, though he stressed that the decision was made for creative reasons – a desire to vary the studio’s games – than from commercial market pressures. Whereas Psychonauts‘ bizarre visual style and mechanics might not have grabbed the eye of Joe Q. Customer, Brütal Legend “is a game that naturally has more commercial hooks, like hot babes and Jack Black.”

I can buy that, though I don’t quite believe that at no point anybody ever said “Hey, you know what – let’s make sure our next game makes money.” But hey, it’s all relative, right?

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