Master of adventure Tim Schafer has been having a little chat with Edge this week, and talk soon got round to Brutal Legend, Double Fine’s best selling yet polarising heavy metal ‘em up. Despite being at the end of some acidic opinions due to the game’s odd/interesting use of RTS elements, Schafer would still love to return to his rocker universe for a second outing. One that would still involve real time strategy, too.
Don’t hold your breath though, it’s not likely to happen without $30million landing in Schafer's lap. Don’t mention Kickstarter, either.
"Whenever someone's like, 'Hey, do you want to do a sequel to this game?' I'm like, 'Yeah, sure, dude!' Given the opportunity, I'd do a sequel to any game,” said Schafer to Edge. “If someone was like, 'Hey, here's a bunch of money - make a sequel to that game,' I'd probably have ideas for whatever game they're talking about."
"Now that we've shown that we can make our own opportunities with Broken Age, people are asking again if we can do that," Schafer continued. "But I don't know if I could Kickstart a $30m game, which is roughly what Brütal 2 might cost. But while we could do that sequel, we also have a bunch of new ideas that we want to make instead, which has been the main reason we haven't done sequels.”
Broken Age was considered a runaway Kickstarter success when it raised $3.3million, so asking ten times that amount would likely result in a failed campaign, especially when the die-hard adventure crowd that Broken Age attracted may not necessarily be interested in Brutal Legend. Still, even if a return to Jack Black’s axe-swinging roadie will never be on the cards, it doesn’t mean ideas for a sequel have never been dreamt.
“I think there's a lot we could do to make the RTS elements better, and better explained, and I would love to get the opportunity to do that. But there are some people who would be like, 'I just wanna do the story and I really don't want all these other elements,' and the question would be to what point I'd allow those people to change the game.
"Part of me just likes [the idea of] fixing what's there and being true to the original. Because the original idea for the game happened all the way back when I played the first Warcraft. I wanted to do a version with big daddy rock demons and hot rods. It's so core to what the game is to me that I can't imagine getting rid of that.
"And I also feel that most of the people who complained about that were the ones who didn't necessarily really give it a fair shake. I mean, I still go and play that game online with people and I love the staged battles, so I really wish that there was a way to make them easier to enjoy for everybody."
So despite half of Brutal Legend’s players claiming the RTS elements ruined the game, Schafer still sees them as important to Brutal Legend as it’s metal album cover-inspired aesthetic and real-life rockstars taking on fantasy roles. That’s kind of admirable, although clearly suicide in the wider marketplace. So unless Double Fine can discover $30million on their lonesome, I wouldn't expect any publisher to be jumping on the idea anytime soon.
Thanks, Total Xbox.