The Order 1886 is a title that really appeals to me. Set in an alternate 19th century London with monsters roaming the streets it just looked like a great concept, and it has the potential to be a major IP. Ready At Dawn’s boss, Ru Weerasuriya, gave an interview to Games Industry giving more details about the PS4 title, and his view on the used games market.
The first thing that I noted is that The Order 1886 is not a steampunk title like so many, including myself, labelled it as. Mr Weerasuriya states in the interview that labeling the game as steampunk made it seem to unrealistic.
“This IP is really a recreation of the world and how the world would have evolved into something slightly different, and we really catch it in that moment of post-industrial revolution London. And you still get to experience a lot of the things that really happened in the [real] world. You’ll interact with real people that lived in our world. ”
Not steampunk but alternate history. Ru Weerasuriya also revealed why the game was not multiplatform instead choosing Sony’s machine over the competition. The reason for this was because Ready At Dawn already had a 10 year relationship with Sony, and issues over creativity.
“For us, the number one factor in making our decision was always creative. And to a fault over the last 10 years, we sometimes chose creative over a lot of other things. Yes, of course, there’s an opportunity to make a dual-platform game and there are third-party publishers we can go to, and it’s not something we’ll ever dismiss, but for now since we’ve been so targeted towards working on a single platform it felt natural for us to make that decision regardless of the financial hit we would take.”
The Order 1886 may also make the jump to other media as originally the IP came about before the idea of making it a game. Who knows, maybe there will be books, movies, comics and shows based on The Order 1886.
The used games debate also came up during the interview and Ru Weerasuriya is not a fan of it, but he doesn’t want to see it die off either. Instead he wants to see a model where the developers get a cut of the used sales, much like they would have done had the Xbox One’s policies remained in place. He also accused outlets that dealt with used games as taking people for a ride, and putting customers in an awkward position.
I kind of have to disagree with him there. In the interview the reason he gives for the awkward position is that people will buy used, which means less revenue for developers, which means less games on shelves. Well, in my opinion, the reason people trade in games and buy second hand is price.
Not everyone can afford a full priced game on launch, so some choose to trade games in to cover the cost of a new game or buy it second hand cheaper from a store or a friend. The customers have choices. Personally I think it’s the bloated budgets and unrealistic sales targets to break even that are a bigger detriment to developers. Not against developers getting a cut of second hand sales either, but that’s a system that has to be fair to everyone, so it’ll be tough to figure out.