CVG have an interesting story from EA’s games chief, Frank Gibeau, discussing their history of games and the potential for reviving old IPs. It’s interesting because it’s Gibeau who points out that some of those classic games we all remember loving, well, he says, they might not actually be that good. Dare you admit the same?
Gosh, the sacrilege. This is all in the context of discussing whether older series might be worth bringing back for fresh versions. While series like Burnout and Need For Speed are still huge sellers for the publisher, what about Road Rash or Dungeon Keeper? Gibeau told them,
“We constantly look at ways to grow the recent category of titles like Burnout, Need for Speed, Road Rash are constantly things we think about. It’s the same thing with the old Bullfrog IPs like Dungeon Keeper, Populous, Powermonger, Magic Carpet, I can go on. So we do look at that stuff and are very cognisant of our past.”
Yay! Old games from our childhood! They were all brilliant, weren’t they? Possibly not says Gibeau.
“The key thing for us is, if we do bring [any of those] back, the game has got to be good. I don’t know about you but when I look back at GoldenEye, I think of it as this amazing game and the you go and play it and are like, ‘Oh. Really?’. From our perspective we have to manage that element which makes things look nicer in the rear view mirror compared to what you have to do now in the modern day.”
Heavens, he questioned GoldenEye. Which was perhaps a little cheeky, being a Rare/Nintendo game, and thus nothing to do with EA. Clearly he meant to say “Magic Carpet”, which was always rubbish, no matter what Billy off of Neighbours may have thought.
Another interesting aspect of this is the list of Bullfrog games he names. Not mentioned in there is Syndicate – a game that’s often been rumoured, though never confirmed, to be receiving a modern-day update. That may mean nothing at all, but it looks a little conspicuous in its absence.
So, what classic games do you love that you’re too terrified to return to in case they’re horrible? Or have you recently gone back and discovered that when you were young it turns out you also had no discerning skills or taste? Go on, confess. Say those names.