We had a pretty good time with Paradox Interactive's upcoming downloadable shooter, Lead and Gold, at GDC earlier this year. We had a chance to talk to developer Fatshark CEO Martin Wahlund, who not only talked about creating a download-only shooter, but also confirmed a PS3 release and plans for downloadable content.
Why make this a download-only game, instead of a fully featured retail game?
Marin Wahulund, Fatshark: Our aim was to create an easily accessible game with a low price, so doing a digital release seemed like a good fit. We also wanted to make a game that we will continue to support post-release. It is easier to do that when your players stay connected.
There are many online-only multiplayer shooters coming to download platforms. Any concerns that the market may be oversaturated?
Of course that is always a fear. You are always nervous when you release a game, but I do think that you get fantastic value in our game in terms of the low price with the high quality of the game. The game is also set in the Wild West and there aren't many good shooters in that setting. In addition, the heavy focus on teamplay and 3rd person view makes it more unique.
As a cartoony, squad-based shooter, many have made comparisons to Team Fortress 2. Do you think that comparison is fair?
We are often compared to Team Fortress 2 and Battlefield 1943, which of course is an honor, as they are two great games. As you say the cartoony style, the fast pace and the HUD makes the comparison to TF2 obvious, but Lead and Gold is quite a different game. As one example, in the fights, the action is much closer to the player than in TF2 due to the old rusty-not-so-accurrate-weapons from the Wild West. In terms of budget, we are much smaller with limited resources and with a different price range to the game than TF2, but we are doing our best, and I am very proud of the result.
Was there ever a single-player component to Lead and Gold?
Not besides the tutorial. We wanted to focus on the mutliplayer aspect of the game. It was not in the budget scope and the timeframe to make a single player game that would be at a high enough quality level where we would release it.
Lead and Gold is coming to PC, PSN and XBLA. Can we expect a simultaneous launch? How much will it cost? Can we expect a demo across all the platforms?
No simultaneous launch. The PC version will be out April 8th on Steam for $14.99. We can now confirm a PSN release and it will go live towards the end of April. We are aiming for a XBLA release, but no dates are set yet.
Will you support the game with post-launch DLC? That's one of the largest criticisms against Battlefield 1943, for example.
Absolutely, we already have some planned and have begun working on the content for DLCs. There is some fun stuff in there already!
What's next for Fatshark? Would you want to pursue a larger retail game, or focus on download only?
Fatshark's main focus is to provide great titles at a fairly low price for gamers. It is usually easier with digital products but we won't rule out anything as long as we feel we can do a great game of the concept. The main focus is to build great games that offer great value to those who play them.