At E3 a few weeks back I got the opportunity to speak with Reinhard Pollice, the product development director over at Nordic Games, to talk about the Darksiders and Red Faction franchises. Pollice was able to confirm that Nordic Games is in fact exploring new ideas for sequels in both franchises, even indicating that Darksiders III is a bit further along in the process than a new Red Faction.
We also touched on the early development process, including what game mechanics could possibly be included, as well as what involvement some of the original developers of the Darksiders team would have on the game. Go ahead and make the jump to check out our full interview.
Mases Hagopian: Two months ago you guys released the new Darksiders collection bundle. Has there been any new developments with where you are going with the series. Are you guys looking for a partner?
Reinhard Pollice: We’re right now at the stage where we are looking at all possible design directions for the Darksiders franchise. I think the Darksiders franchise is well lined out, in terms of what gameplay mechanics worked out really well. Darksiders I and II teased certain things and obviously we don’t want to disappoint people. So we really want to sit back a bit, take a look at what possible angles we can take for the next Darksiders game, and also work with the right people on that.
Mases: Are you guys still in contact with Joe Madureira, David Adams, and some of the guys that have moved on to Crytek USA?
Pollice: They still love Darksiders. I don’t know if they will tell it publicly, but they do. We are talking to those guys, but that’s all I want to say right now.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: It has been clarified that Nordic Games is in touch with team members that worked on Darksiders and not necessarily Joe Madureira and David Adams]
Mases: Do they have any input on it? Their long term plans, is that something you are encompassing?
Pollice: Actually, the thing is, they never had a fully lined out plan, it was just ideas. They tried to incorporate them into Darksiders I and II, but it was never fixed that they have to go that route. There was never really a concept for Darksiders III, in terms of gameplay. They are all pretty open to what it can be. I think there are multiple angles that are good, and obviously we want to find the right one where everybody is pleased.
I’m a fan of the series myself, so I picked it up in 2010. I didn’t hear too much about the game before a friend of mine told me I should pick it up. The game was awesome, it was exactly what I was looking for. I was also a big Zelda fan at the time and it has those certain gameplay mechanics… and I’m still a big Zelda fan… and by the way, the Zelda announcement they did, it just blew my mind. I’ll just get off the show, buy a Wii U, and wait for Zelda.
Mases: I know that David Adams had hinted at one of his endgame goals was to do a Fury, Strife, War, and Death in one game – Is that a vision you share at Nordic?
Pollice: I’m not saying that we should do it, but it is one possibility. I honestly would love it, but I think it shouldn’t be a fixed four-player thing, it also needs a good single player. A lot of Darksiders fans want to have a single player experience as well.
Mases: Is there anything we can look forward too? Are you close to any sort of announcement?
Pollice: Definitely don’t pull it off the radar. Just watch out. Check out what we’re announcing. There will be a future for Darksiders. There has to be a future for Darksiders…
Mases: There has to be a future for Darksiders.
Pollice: …and it will be awesome. Darksiders is always awesome and it will continue to be awesome. It’s a rule. That’s like a rule. In the rules of the world, it is written, Darksiders must be be awesome, or is awesome.
Mases: Can you comment at all with Red Faction. Is there any plans with that series?
Pollice: A couple of months ago we were playing with the idea of doing a Red Faction Guerilla 2. We are not… open world kind of our thing with a lot of destruction going on. I think we have also some ideas on how to draft it further. We are not there to announce something about that as well. We are at a similar phase as with Darksiders, but probably a bit behind compared to Darksiders. I wouldn’t say it’s not happening… it could happen quite fast.
For Red Faction, the whole series has undergone many changes. Part I and II were very… level geometry, deformation, and destruction… Red Faction Guerrilla and Armageddon were mainly just about destroying objects that were not too key for gameplay. I think there needs to be a way to combine those two angles and takes on Red Faction.
The problem also is there are a lot of shooters out there. It’s a very crowded market space, but I still believe that a Red Faction will have a big impact.
Mases: I know you guys are predominantly, or exclusively a publisher.
Pollice: That’s not true. We also have internal development teams and studios. We actually see ourselves not entirely as a publisher, we see ourselves more as a production company that has publishing and distribution. We never want to be dependent on a third party partner. We always want to be able to bring it down to street ourselves if we have to, and we will continue to do it for certain things. But we want to go more in the direction of… we are producing content and we can pull a lot of things off on our own.
Mases: With Red Faction or Darksiders, have you guys thought about internalizing the development, or are you looking for an external partner?
Pollice: All things are possible.
Mases: Thanks for taking a few minutes to talk with us.
Pollice: No problem.