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XBLA Lead and Gold isn't happening, says Paradox CEO


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In a recent conversation with Paradox Interactive's Fredrik Wester, the CEO told Joystiq that while he'd like Lead and Gold to shoot up Xbox Live Arcade, in addition to PSN and Steam, he doesn't think it's going to happen. "It seems like we have to put it on the backburner," Wester said. "We're not really putting any more effort into releasing on XBLA, so I would say if you want to play the game, you should do it on PC or PSN, because we're not really sure that we can ever release it on XBLA. Or that we're ever gonna release it on XBLA. It's unfortunate, but you know, things happen. We love XBLA and would love to be on it, but with Lead and Gold, we just have to move on."

And that's unfortunate, as Wester (no, not Wesker) said DLC is in the pipe for L&G, and early issues with lag in the game have been amended. He's also excited for the next console release that Paradox has planned: Magicka. "When I first played it, I was like, 'Shit, this is a great game!' So we put more effort into it and we're gonna make it into a really good project," Wester told us. While the game is built using XNA and intended for an XBLA release, Wester's not sure where it'll end up (though he offers up the XBL Indie Marketplace as another possible destination).

Wester also teased something new coming from Paradox -- Paradox Connect -- a service he recently talked about with Gamasutra. While he wouldn't get too specific, he did tell us, "Steam has a few elements which Paradox Connect is gonna have as well, and a few other services do as well. Stuff that gives the players more options to connect with each other and gain bonuses online." So, it's DRM then? "The first thing people said was 'Oh! It's DRM! It's DRM!' And I'm like 'Come on, people! It's not DRM.'," Wester corrected us, laughing.

Wester also sees a bright future on the digital horizon. When we asked if Paradox would pursue retail versions of its digital titles, specifically with regards to console releases, he stood strong behind his company's digital approach. "For us, digital is 'bigger,' both revenue-wise and in terms of units as well this year. I think we're totally skipping the disc-release stuff for consoles. It's gonna be two or three years from now, we're not gonna see that many disc releases -- I think! If PlayStation and Xbox are willing to take the step -- so it's all in the hands of the console makers, basically." He believes services like Gaikai and OnLive could help to move up the arrival time of our digitally distributed future.

"I called Dave Perry [Gaikai CEO] a few weeks ago just to discuss. We've both been really busy, so the discussions haven't ended up in anything so far, but we'd love to be on OnLive and Gaikai. I think these types of services really have a chance to change the way people play games and perceive PC games as well. It might be a console breaker, even." Unfortunately, when we broached the subject of ongoing litigation with embattled publisher SouthPeak Games, Wester wasn't as open to discussion -- mostly because he's not legally allowed to comment. "If we turn [the recorder] off we can talk more about that. [laughs] No, but seriously, I can't really comment on that."

Regardless, Wester has big plans for Paradox in the future -- a future he hopes fans will continue to experience alongside him and his company. "In the coming year, we're gonna do some new stuff that we haven't been into before. We're not really leaving the niche, because like I said, we're doing good business in our niche. But more games like Lead and Gold, for example, more online stuff -- I hope people will continue following us!"

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