Has going back to a small team recaptured the feeling of the early days for you?
It’s risky, but it’s also a little exciting. Epic’s grown because they want to do multiple things for multiple people. They’re at 400 people; I’d like to stay at 60-ish for as long as humanly possible, because right now one of my folks who works at the studio told me this feels like the Gears 1 vibe all over again. We’re a small-to-medium-sized studio, we feel like a family, and we’re making a whole new IP on this new platform together. That’s a pretty cool feeling to have.
You’ve dropped the free-to-play model now – what are your plans for the game?
We’re big fans of Counter-Strike: GO – you pay a small fee that’s like a cover charge at a bar. Everybody’s in there because they want to be in there, and then they have a microtransaction system for cosmetics that’s actually kind of fun with the keys and crates. So for us, $20 to $40, that kind of range is what we’re thinking – what I call an impulse-buy price – and then have a cosmetic system within that. I think that’s the best of both worlds for that kind of middle-tier game. As great as I think Evolve and Titanfall were, I just don’t think they should have been $60 games. And then to put DLC on top of that… I know why they do it: because they want to keep the lights on. But gamers generally tend to smell that and back away a little bit.
So, having sampled retirement, are you now planning to work until you die?
I love creating worlds. I already have a couple of other game ideas I want to get around to doing, maybe dabble in VR a bit somewhere down the line, too. Eighty-five per cent of LawBreakers is locked at this point – it’s not like we’re going to suddenly turn into a dinosaur-hunting survival crafting game at this point. Once the game gets into live ops, I’ll certainly be giving my feedback and a lot of my design sense to it, but creatively the IP is more or less the IP. And I’m already wondering about what the next world is. It’s the thing that gets me out of bed in the morning, the creation of new worlds – just pulling all these new ideas out of my butt, and pitching it to a concept artist and then seeing an image that was in my head on the screen.