\"Oddworld\" Creator Calls It Quits

Plus Fancy-Schmancy Interview

The Hollywood Reporter: Your games -- beginning with "Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee" in 1997 and continuing right up to your most recent, "Oddworld Stranger's Wrath," this year -- have all taken place in the wacky Oddworld universe that you and [CEO] Sherry McKenna created back in 1994. They've all been solid hits, but this last one was frustrating for you.

Lorne Lanning: Yes, it was very critically acclaimed but it wasn't advertised or marketed because Electronic Arts couldn't get its PlayStation 2 port of our Xbox original to run and if EA isn't on all SKUs, it just won't promote the game. It was very disheartening to us that we could have a title with a Metacritic.com user metric of 9.6 [out of 10], a game that was praised as being a fusion of filmmaking and video games in terms of being less 'gamey' and more story- and character-driven ... and then to see that the largest publisher in the industry had no interest in marketing it regardless of how innovative it was.

Okay, fine, that's just one statement about a Publisher I obviously have an axe to grind against.

THR: Is this situation going to worsen as games become even more expensive to build?

Lanning: Absolutely. Costs are going up, but not because the quality expectation is higher. Costs are going up because of the design of the next-generation hardware. The code that just one guy used to write on the Xbox is now going to take five guys. It's as if the movie camera that you started shooting with 10 years ago has improved some features and now you need 12 people to operate it instead of one. So you ask yourself, what is on the horizon as a content creation company, which is always how we've seen ourselves. We've always released our properties in video game form, but when you look at the terms and conditions of the next-gen platforms versus what's happening in other media -- like movies and TV ...

Doom, gloom, you've heard it here people! Prepare for Tekken 45!