Making a sequel to a fairly obscure game that's nearly 25 years old isn't an easy task. In the case of Wasteland 2, it's the spiritual predecessor of an entirely different property, the Fallout series. InXile Entertainment Is now working on the game at long last, and company CEO Brian Fargo has talked about some of the struggles as he tried to get the project through the traditional publisher model.
Fargo told Ripten that he was rejected by "every major [publisher]," and that sometimes pitching itself was an exercise in frustration. "There was one guy who couldn't stop texting in the middle of the meeting, and I'm sitting there with Jason Anderson and I was outraged. Other times they would send in these junior guys that were maybe 19 years old, never had heard of Interplay, hadn't heard of anything."
Perhaps more frustrating were the ones who sounded committal, but then pulled out after a few weeks. "I would ask why they passed, so I wouldn't bring them the same kind of project again, but they could never tell me why they passed," he said. "Two weeks before Kickstarter I said, 'I give. I don’t know what to do.' And, then, Kickstarter happened."
Now that the project has hit its goal (and then some), Fargo's attention is turning to how he can balance expectations and fan feedback when the fans themselves have invested money in the project.
"Now, I'm on the front lines, looking eye to eye with the fans, and they're telling me, 'Brian, this is what we want. You better deliver,'" he said. "Sometimes, you have to be careful. For me, this really helps close the loop, making sure that we're working on the things that people want. The last thing that we want to do is go work on a feature only to find out that no one wants it. I don't want to do it either, if no one wants it."
That said, he's careful not to put the fans in charge of minutiae. "What we're not going to do is run specific dialog by them or have them approve every single piece of art. Then it starts to become craziness. As far as the core tenets of the game, they should know what it is. They’re helping back this thing, and they deserve to know."
[Screenshot from the original Fallout.]