Raphael Colantonio on Weird West and Leaving Arkane Studios

WolfEye Studios’ founder Raphael Colantonio recently had a phone chat with PC Gamer. The conversation focused on his upcoming isometric immersive sim Weird West and some of the reasons for his departure from Arkane Studios, another company he founded two decades ago. The whole thing is quite an interesting read, but here are just a few sample paragraphs to get you started:

"Our passion and our ambitions are very high, and we want to succeed and we want to make a game that people enjoy," he said. "But at the same time, we can take more risks, and we are less worried about the market than we would be if we were doing a triple-A game. Because the numbers to recoup a triple-A game, you're talking about numbers that are so high that, then you're not making a game anymore, you're making a product."

That's what he was looking to leave behind when he left Arkane. He said he'd accomplished what he'd set out to do with the studio—"My dream when I started Arkane in '99 was to make Underworld for the rest of my life"—and after the release of Prey, with plenty of critical and commercial acclaim under his belt, he was feeling "creative anxiety" about what to do next.

"Plus I was so tired in general, I just wanted to take a break and focus on other things," he said. "So it was extremely, extremely liberating to leave a company that, in spite of all the passion and love I had for it, at the same time it had been an 18 year chunk of my life."

And while the urge to make games returned after some time away, a desire to go back to big-budget productions has most definitely not. "There was no way I wanted to come back to triple-A, making another thing where you focus 90 percent of your efforts on having the feet not sliding on the floor," said Colantonio. "This is not what I'm making games for."