I wonder how long before Bethesda Softworks tries to sue them.
"The fans started pinging me first," says Brian Fargo, CEO of inXile Entertainment and developer on franchises like Fallout, A Bard's Tale, Wasteland and a host of others.
He's speaking about his recent decision, inspired by the success of Tim Schafer and Double Fine's Double Fine Adventure, to make an all new Wasteland game. Ultimately it was his decision to start having preliminary meetings about the new project, but it started with vocal fans. Wasteland, for those too young to remember, was the 1988 RPG based in a world ravaged by a nuclear apocalypse. They didn't have the rights after making the first game, and thus he and several others went on to create the Fallout universe. Having recently reacquired the rights, Fargo wants to bring Wasteland back to the forefront.
He doesn't know if it'd be straight up called Wasteland 2, but he repeatedly emphasized that, despite having thought about it for only 48 hours, it wouldn't be a crazy genre change up. Wasteland, whatever its called, will be "100% faithful to its roots." This means a Wasteland game that "would be focusing on top-down, probably isometric, party based, skill based -- where if you'd just finished playing Wasteland and moved onto this you'd feel comfortable."
It doesn't escape Fargo that a new, Kickstarter based Wasteland would raise some eyebrows. "A lot of people have forgotten that there would have been no Fallout if there wasn't a Wasteland," says Fargo. But having it be publicly funded by the fans would mitigate a lot of this risk, because they'd know going into the project that the fans, the believers in the original game, were backing them.
Wasteland would also "absolutely" be a PC game first, but he doesn't rule out iOS platforms. The iPhone's screen real estate seems "tricky" and more like a "maybe" to Fargo, but the iPad is something he'd consider.
The big thing Fargo emphasizes, that the fans are often missing, is that "this process means we don't have to do it like the publisher wants." Fans on the boards are worried that the project will start out looking like a hardcore, old-school Wasteland title, but eventually turn into something more "mainstream." Fargo says that they don't have to worry about "will [the audience] get this or get that," they can just be "more like the old days...totally creative."
Fargo has only been working on the project for a mere 48 hours, and he and the rest of inXile are currently working on a production schedule to see if its feasible. But he does think that it'd take at least a million dollars, and hopes that the Kickstarter will go live in the next month.
Like Schafer, Fargo doesn't know that Kickstarter or publicly funded projects are going to change the future. "I think you're unlikely to get funding if you're a new start up with six guys out of Croatia," but "it might be an opportunity to have a development community in that mid-level again," that isn't making tiny iOS games or only AAA, multi-million dollar clones.