VideoGamer.com: So given the petition would you consider a DS version remake like it calls for?
CC: I'm going to have to be really boring now and just say that the petition was really inspirational. But I'm really not allowed to say any more than that.
VideoGamer.com: Is this what you were talking about with Ubisoft?
CC: I can't... no. I think that the DS is an ideal platform for a point and click adventure. I think it's actually better than point and click in many ways in the interface, because it's so tactile.
VideoGamer.com: Obviously you have an army of fans who are completely in love with the titles which you've made in the past and the DS and indeed the Wii seem like platforms that have potentially allowed the genre to enjoy a renaissance. Is that something you'd go along with?
CC: 100%. Again I just wish that we were having this interview in about a month's time. Then you'd be asking me much more direct questions!
VideoGamer.com: About a month? OK. The PC then, is the genre dead on the PC?
CC: Of course not. What is difficult is selling a game on PC for £40. If you're talking about cheaper digital downloads clearly there's a very healthy market on PC, or indeed even free games, the PC is enormous. What's going to happen, we've been talking about it for years, is when you get real convergence. What you really want is PC games being played on the telly so they can go into the living room. The PC is a fantastic market. Steam is pretty successful. Piracy is quite a problem. Do you know KartRider? KartRider, I mean my God what a model! I think this is going to become more and more prevalent. In Korea, KartRider has I believe 14 million subscribers. You basically play Karting games with people for free and as a micro transaction you can change the colour of your kart, you can put skulls and crossbones. It's absolutely brilliant. The vast majority play for free and yet the few who want to stand out are happy to pay 5, 10, 15 cents. To me that is such an incredible model and I think we need to learn from the way that other territories and indeed other industries exploit their IP. Our big problem has always been that the primary exploitation works very well and it's very difficulty to get secondary exploitation.
VideoGamer.com: Is it a case of watch this space with Broken Sword?
CC: Oh yes very much so. Very, very much so. One has to draw a balance between not trying to push it too hard, but to get back to the petition, I don't know how many people signed it, a couple hundred people maybe more...
VideoGamer.com: 1795 total signatures as of this morning.
CC: It's great isn't it? How can you not be really proud that actually people care enough to set up and then visit this thing? So yes. The big question of course was the move from 2D to 3D which I don't think we've got time to cover. But what I would say when we moved to 3D with Broken Sword 3 it was commercially absolutely necessary. I think the jury's still out on whether 2D works better than 3D and it is among our fans. You go onto the forums and there are raging debates about 2D versus 3D. It's interesting actually because I think it comes down to the very basis, have you ever heard of the Uncanny Valley? The Uncanny Valley's actually underpins, people don't realise it, but it underpins games development so much and if you think of the PlayStation One games where you basically had pretty basic 3D models wandering around in a pretty unconvincing way, if you were really into games and were into your PlayStation actually you loved it. But if you were looking from outside you actually saw this as bang in the bottom of the Uncanny Valley and said well actually 2D is so much better.
I found, I don't know if you ever watch any of the manga cartoons but Akira absolutely blew me away. But then the updates, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, were so beautiful. I think that should be our inspiration if we're going to go down a 2D route. These things that are so incredible. And then on the other side you've got FIFAs which look incredible and for a moment you're not sure if you're looking at reality or not. I think it's very dangerous to go in between the two. In this day and age you should either stick to 2D and do it very beautifully or do 3D really, really well. For adventure games the jury's still out but I am very aware of both sides which are put very articulately by people who absolutely love them or hate them.
VideoGamer.com: I guess for a game like Broken Sword keeping it 2D especially on the DS it seems like a natural fit.
CC: Of course.
VideoGamer.com: So the message to fans is?
CC: Watch this space, yes. There will be an official announcement. Not there may be, there will be an official announcement. I'm really sorry to be so vague about it but that's just the way it is.
VideoGamer.com: What's the latest on the movie?
CC: The latest on the movie is this. I have several small studios in Los Angeles very keen to talk further, but actually everything is turned on its head. I would be incredibly excited to work on a movie but if it's a bad movie then it risks destroying the franchise. So I have no need, the game is successful, it doesn't need a movie. So basically what I'm saying is yes, I'm very interested in talking but what I'm not prepared to do is give somebody I don't know the editorial control, so I'd want to write it. And if it's smaller budget it doesn't matter. But actually we don't need movies. It was John Riccitello who's now saying movies need us more than we need them, and that's very much the case. There might well be a movie but if there is I guarantee that I will have done absolutely everything in my power to make sure that it's true to the spirit of the game, that it reflects it well and it enhances it rather than cashes in on it. So I don't know. I'm in discussion with people, it's not something I need to do. It's something I'm slightly concerned about because of the risk of ruining the brand, but if it does come off it should be spectacular.
VideoGamer.com: That's great Charles. Thanks for your time.
Raise the Game is a £450,000 campaign which aims to help combat the skills shortage and drive growth, collaboration and innovation in the UK games industry. For more information visit www.nesta.org.uk.