By John Walker on April 7th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.
The first thing I ever got published in PC Gamer was a reader review of Outcast. In the next issue I was being paid to write, but I can assure you the two events weren’t connected. In fact, having written about why I really didn’t like Outcast, I was lucky to get work at all. “Pixels the size of your fist” I believe I wrote of the not-actually-voxel-based free-roaming action-adventure. Well, I’ve now got a chance to be wrong all over again, as a bunch of the original developers have bought all the rights from the wow-do-they-still-exist Atari, and have just launched a Kickstarter to see the game remade.
Outcast came out in 1999, and while it was a critical darling, it was a sleeper hit for players. Gaining its reputation over the years, it’s now fondly remembered by very many, boosted by a GOG release in 2010 that fixed it up to work on modern machines. However, all that popularity came too late for developers Appeal, who went bankrupt during the development of a never-seen sequel.
Then, back in July last year, former Appealites Franck Sauer, Yann Robert and Yves Grolet bought the IP back from the tattered remains of Atari, and have clearly been plotting ever since. Here’s the pitch video:
They’re after a whopping $600,000, but then there’s a lot of love for the game out there. However, and this seems kind of significant, there’s absolutely no sign of the new version in the Kickstarter. Not a clip nor screenshot. Adding to concerns, they’ve picked $20 as their minimum price for a copy of the game, and that’s only for the first 2000. It’s then a $25 for the entry fee, for a vanilla digital version. Perhaps they’ll sail by on the name alone, but these sorts of pricing levels don’t tend to do nearly as well as those $10 lower. More people pay slightly less, developers.
They’ve got high ambitions – stretch goals are announced on day one, and reach up to $1.7m. For a remake of an old game. It’ll be interesting to see how this one goes.