Yesterday we dove into Bethesda, and it was primarily dominated by the idea of a game in their exact, open world style. This series isn't just about ponifying an already existing franchise though, it's also looking for the best developer or publisher to create the best possible pony experience out there!
One company in particular that has broken on to the gaming scene recently thanks to their interesting way of doing things that fights the newer profit driven norm, is CD Projekt Red. They don't have a massive catalogue of titles under their belt, but they are absolutely awesome when it comes to releasing what they do have.
Head on down below the break for some of that!
The year is 2016, and the business side of video games has evolved rapidly over the last decade. New models of profit earning have invaded every corner of our once near-utopian world, with many a feature being cut for the sake of selling it as an addon. The world of Mobile gaming is training an entire generation to accept that a "complete" package may cost thousands of dollars, via sneaky free-to-play models filled with hundreds of micro-transactions. Parents everywhere are staring at their phone bills in terror as terrible Timmy and snotty Sally tapped the "ok" button on hundred dollar in-game currency purchases to build their cities faster or gain an extra life.
On the once safe triple-a front where a 60 dollar purchase is expected to include everything, companies everywhere are "innovating" new ways to turn that purchase into double, or even triple what someone initially invested for a fraction of the content. The era of cheat codes or major feats unlocking silly skins and bonus levels is coming to an end, as more and more companies take those extras and turn them into brand new revenue streams.
In this cloudy mess of investor driven bureaucracy, one company is standing bravely against the storm with sword held high and an army of coders ready for battle! Will they rescue us from the terrifying future of nickel-and-dime gaming? Would they be the best pick for a pony game?
For those that haven't been following the Witcher series, a once tiny little company called CD-Project released the first of now three games way back in 2007. It quickly garnered a cult following, even if the style and controls were somewhat alien to a lot of people. From there they continued into the much more hyped up "Witcher 2: Assassins and Kings" and gained a tremendous following as tales of their incredibly well done voice-work, mechanics, and storytelling became the stuff of internet legend. These guys poured their heart and souls into 100% complete experiences for their fans, and it has payed out tremendously.
Fast forward to 2015, and they dropped the third Witcher installment to a roar of applause as gaming sites everywhere lauded it as the best of the year. Their carefully crafted world has hit the same level of success as the biggest names in the industry, and I wouldn't doubt that the investors and big wigs backing the project are more than a little giddy. It's so rare for a small company like this to break out as well as they did and become so profitable.
So what sets them apart from other triple-a developers? Why should they be the ones to scoop up our pony IP and make it amazing? It's all about their business model. Despite the huge success of Witcher 2 catapulting them to the top of the big budget gaming heap, these guys have still kept the same small developer mentality of embracing and respecting their fans. The pre-order bonuses were completely separate from the actual game, focusing instead of simple physical nicknacks for collectors to scoop up. If you buy any of the Witcher titles, you buy the complete experience. DLC armors and weapons are all completely free with a simple trip over to their steam store page.
Of course, a game like this would probably leave you wanting more, and they don't disappoint at all when it comes to expansions. Their recently dropped "Blood and Wine" DLC has been phenomenally well received, once again earning the company another round of praise from both critics and fans alike. In an era where "DLC expansion" is often a cobbled together pile of cut content from the original for the sake of a few extra bucks, CD-Projekt dropped a full on, heavily fleshed out 30 hour adventure to continue your witching experience in.
When we have spent the last 5 years dealing with Gameloft being our primary gaming outlet, clobbering us with their insane prices and paywalls for the most basic Equestrian experience imaginable, it would be an incredible day to see a company like CD Projekt swoop in and rescue us with something truly worthy of Equestria. One side hopes to milk their dwindling customer base with tiny updates for huge prices, while the other keeps existing people coming back with quality content and word of mouth that would make a Buckingham palace guard blush. I want the latter.
Pony Game Ideas
Since this is mainly focusing on the company's ethics as opposed to specific game ideas, it's really up in the air here! An open world style semi-grimdark adult themed pony thing would be pretty incredible though.
Feel free to recommending gaming companies in the comments, or discuss whatever!
(Find all other companies picked so far over here!)