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Dawn of War II Interview

February 17th, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 4 Comments · Interview, THQ

Having written a column last week that said the RTS was dead, Tom Chick now has an interview with THQ’s Jonny Ebert that addresses how some developers are trying to rescue the genre through re-design.

We decided if we continued on our current course, we weren’t going to succeed. RTS sales had plateaued and are actually declining. We need to expand our player base or eventually we’ll lose out to other genres and die out. So right at the end of Dark Crusade, we sat down and started comparing RTS to other genres. Some of the things we started to come up with were pretty obvious and shocking at the same time. Most genres, like first person shooters and massively-multiplayer and free-to-play games, the ones that are experiencing strong growth, were constantly working to simplify themselves and make themselves more approachable, where RTS is going in the opposite direction. It seems like each one was more complicated than the last. The other genres were having constant breakthroughs in pacing, reward structure, drawing players systematically into the experience, whereas RTS had stayed the same across the board. To us, it felt obvious that we were falling behind for a reason.

Like all great interviews, it’s about asking the right questions and getting out of the way of the answers. I now have to order my copy of Dawn of War II.


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