Gamasutra caught up with Crate Entertainment's Arthur Bruno for an interview about their decision to shelve Black Legion and license the Titan Quest engine for a new PC-exclusive action RPG.
"I think we've reached a point in the PC market with digital distribution where it is possible for a small developer to be profitable catering to a relatively niche audience," said Bruno. "Titan Quest did not generate enough early sales for Iron Lore to earn royalties, but I've learned that [publisher] THQ recovered their investment and even made a small profit off the game. Titan Quest together with the Immortal Throne expansion have purportedly broken a million units sold."
Crate's new project will be "small-scope," and will launch at a price "significantly below normal retail," Bruno said. It may be exclusively digitally distributed, and by now you may have guessed that there will be no massive marketing campaign for the game. Crate holds no big hope that the unannounced title will have the same kind of sales as Titan Quest.
"I think the anticipated release of Diablo III may even act in our favor, so long as we don't release close enough together that we're totally eclipsed," he said. "I think Diablo III will help revitalize the action RPG subgenre, and PC gaming in general."
He added, "I'm sure there will be a certain segment of the hardcore audience that buys Diablo III and plays it exclusively for the next 3 years -- I may even be one of those people. However, I think a majority of players will put 2-6 months into it and, if they've really enjoyed it, go look for the next closest thing. If we position ourselves correctly, we should be able to attract some of these players. If we're able to release first and do a good job, then I think we'll have fans going off to play Diablo III and recommending our game to new players there."