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Romero Games interview: Building the Empire of Sin

John and Brenda Romero speak with us about their upcoming Prohibition Era-inspired strategy RPG.


There was once a time in America when a group of folks convinced the representative government to abolish the production and sale of alcohol. Everything went smoothly and things are fine and dandy to this very day. That last sentence might not be true. The Prohibition Era United States was a tumultuous time in the country’s history, with the decision to outlaw alcohol having broad effects across society, as well as fostering crime and corruption. This version of America is the backdrop for Empire of Sin, the new strategy RPG from Romero Games.

The brainchild of gaming legends John and Brenda Romero, Empire of Sin tasks players with working their way to the top of the organized crime ladder in 1920s Chicago. During this weekend’s PDXCon 2019 event, we got the opportunity to speak with John and Brenda about the project and its development.

The official Empire of Sin website outlines the features that potential mob bosses can expect from the game:

Build A Crime Empire

Raise your criminal empire from the ground up by selecting your racket of choice (be it speakeasies, union protection, or casinos) and building a team of loyal mobsters to make your mark on the streets. Once you make a name for yourself, expand your influence by taking over rival territory and add more endeavors to your repertoire.

Defend and Expand Territory

If it comes to blows, hypothetically of course, and your posse needs to send a message, face off in brutal turn-based combat. Strategically recruit your goons and build a strong chemistry within your crew to maximize combat damage and help secure your hold on the city.

Living, Breathing World

Explore the streets of vibrant 1920s Chicago and interact with a full cast of living, breathing characters each with lives of their own that inform how they react to what you do (or don’t do). Schmooze, coerce, seduce, threaten, or kill them to get your way.

Wield Your Influence

Make and break alliances, bribe cops, and trade on the black market to raise your faction rating and expand your crime family. But always keep your enemies close and ensure you have a mole on the inside and eyes everywhere.

Multiple Victory Strategies

Whether you make it to the top with violence, social influence, or city-wide notoriety, there are a number of ways to become King or Queen of Chicago. With various starting conditions and constantly changing crew dynamics, no two playthroughs will ever be the same.

Players can get their hands on the game for PC and Nintendo Switch sometime during the first half of 2020.

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Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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