Nermar told Gamasutra about how EA approached them to make Syndicate due to their expertise in the FPS genre: “We’d been asked by EA – they came to us, and this is what we know; this is where our expertise lies. So that’s why we made it an FPS.”
When asked about competition in the sector, he replied by saying that the team isn’t in competition and that they are playing to their own strengths while creating the game: “You have to trust your own skills and realize what your strengths are. I think we did that, and I’m extremely proud of the studio and the guys working on the team. But it’s definitely a hard genre to be in, no doubt. I’m not saying that, if we do a shooting game, we have to go and compete with the Battlefields or Call of Dutys, but we have to have the right kind of shooting for the game we’re making.”
EGM’s TAKE: Starbreeze has the right outlook towards game development, if you try and chase down the market leader then you lose your game’s identity. Syndicate is in a whole other world compared to Battlefield or Call of Duty and the game should reflect that. Fans will have more fun playing a game with heart, soul and an understanding of a franchise than they would playing another clone. Nermar sums this up perfectly towards the end of the interview:
“When we look at any project, when we look at any games, we don’t look at genre. We don’t look at it like we’re making a game; we’re making an experience for the player which is competing with whatever he or she would do – spend time with loved ones and things like that. So we have to make a great experience so that you think it’s worthwhile playing our games. If we put shooting in our game, it has to be top-notch shooting, and it has to be competing there, and it has to be right for the game. If it’s driving, it has to be right for the game.”
Anyone that expects Starbreeze to go toe to toe with the likes of Infinity Ward, Treyarch or DICE is slightly deluded, and the team should never be expected to do so. Hopefully they will create their own identity and fans of the franchise will love what they produce.
EA recently released a new batch of co-op screenshots for the game.
Should all FPS developers copy the big two? Or aim for their own niche? Leave your thoughts below.