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IMG Talks with Aspyr, Feral, Omni, & GameRanger
July 22, 2002 | Andy Largent
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Aspyr Media had a large presence at this year's Macworld New York expo, and we were able to sit down with president Michael Rogers to talk about their many titles at the show. In addition to many newly shipping games like Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Undying, and The Sims: Hot Date, they were also showing a number of upcoming titles such as Ghost Recon, Jedi Knight II, and even The Sims Vacation.

Aspyr also quietly unveiled the expansion pack for Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, called Clone Campaigns. This add-on brings a whole new set of levels to the real-time strategy game from LucasArts. Read through the full chat below:

IMG: How is Medal of Honor doing so far?

Michael Rogers: Well, it's our best-selling game here at the show, and I was really surprised because we released Return to Castle Wolfenstein just in May or April, and I thought that putting out Medal of Honor so close to that would hurt sales. But they both have done really well, and we're very happy about it.

IMG: Any chance of seeing a demo of Medal of Honor or Return to Castle Wolfenstein?

Michael Rogers: Yeah, you know we have a few things in the works right now. I think we're going to be doing a Return to Castle Wolfenstein demo, but we are also planning a Medal of Honor demo. We also have Return to Castle Wolfenstein patches, with the official release of 1.33 that's coming soon.

We're working on just a ton of stuff. We have three more, maybe four more games in development right now, which we haven't announced yet. Maybe some of those will be ready in time for Christmas.

IMG: Do you have an ETA on when these future announcements might happen?

Michael Rogers: Hopefully in August. They're in early development, and we want to get some kind of idea about whether they'll make Christmas or not.

I think that all three of those games that we have in development, including Clone Campaigns, should all be out in the September timeframe. Jedi Knight II should be late August, Ghost Recon will be around early October, so around September will be three more releases. That will be eleven titles so far this year, which is by far our biggest year.

IMG: Jedi Knight II seems to be progressing well here at the show.

Michael Rogers: It's really solid. We're running [the demo machines, with two LCD displays] on the new ATI Radeon 9000 cards. I don't know if those are considered the official release boards or drivers, but they've been very solid for us and Jedi Knight II has been playing really well. It's got just a few other bugs, but I think we're just right before beta on that. So if the beta testing goes smooth, then it could be out in the next month or so.

IMG: Undying was a very underappreciated game on the PC, can you give any idea of how it's faring on the Mac?

Michael Rogers: Yeah, we were disappointed that it took so long for us to bring it to market, and that was just a whole lot of different things that happened, but it's a good game and has won many awards. It's downright scary.

We're still committed to the game, and it was important for the guys who did the PC version to see the Mac version done and they are really happy with it. I think it still has some legs, and surprisingly, [American McGee's] Alice was still doing well for us a year and a half after its release. I think at Macworld San Francisco Alice was one of our best-selling games.

It's one of those games that when most people see it they are interested in it, when sometimes just the name and the character art don't do it. We're hoping that that's the same thing that will happen with Undying. It's one of those things that will stay on the shelf for a long time with solid, steady sales.

IMG: How is the port of Ghost Recon doing so far?

Michael Rogers: It's going really well, we're using the same guys that did Rainbow 6. They are really thorough, and the game is progressing well. It's a big, big game and there is a lot to it, but we're showing an alpha version [at the expo] and it's already really solid. We're running on the dual-monitor setup with the ATI card and it's been pretty solid.

We're looking at October for a release. The real problem is the beta, and how long the testing period runs. If they find a lot of bugs, it can add a lot of work, and that's why the release can float so much.



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