Crimson Alliance Post-mortem

Gamasutra has transcribed some of the highlights of a longer and in-depth post-mortem from Certain Affinity's product development Phil Wattenbarger on their recently released Gauntlet-like action-RPG Crimson Alliance, released exclusively on the Xbox 360, published on the November issue of Game Developer. Here's a couple of paragraphs on how he feel they failed to set the right expectations for the title:
"Crimson Alliance is neither Diablo nor Torchlight. As discussed previously, we knew this from the onset, but we didn't do a very good job of letting the world know about this before release. Because the in-game art style ended up being very much like Diablo, comparisons were inevitably drawn to this beacon of the genre (which always flattered us). Our fixed-perspective isometric camera and the fantasy tropes that we indulged further reinforced this impression. In fact, the game is much more similar to a modern version of Gauntlet than it is to a classic loot-based dungeon crawler. Monsters don't explode like pinatas when killed, and the character advancement is streamlined for fast-action and couch play.

Unfortunately, Diablo and Torchlight have such a terrific following that many fans and reviewers felt betrayed when the RPG mechanics that they expected around loot and leveling turned out not to be a focus for Crimson Alliance. While many players and web sites have written that they love the game, others have panned us based on what the game is not. The amount of vengeful passion behind some of the more polarized scores and forum posts have led us to conclude that to many people, we've committed a nearly cardinal sin in the RPG world: We let them believe they were getting a 'real' RPG, when in fact, they were getting an action game with RPG trappings."