Spark Unlimited was given the job of developing Lost Planet 3 because "'good' developers" wouldn't have wanted to work on the IP, the game's producer has suggested.
"We really needed to find a developer that could work on a collaboration," Andrew Szymanski told VideoGamer.com, while explaining the reasons why Capcom chose to outsource Lost Planet 3 to Spark. "I think that what a lot of people don't realise... is, some of the best-known developers - or quote, unquote, the 'good' developers, if you want to call it that - for good reason they want to work on the stuff they want to work on.
"So let's just say, completely hypothetical, a Bungie-class developer comes to me, much as they would do with Activision. They're not going to say, 'Hey Activision, let's work on the next Call of Duty'. They're going to say, 'This is what we want to make, take it or leave it. If you don't take it I'll give it to somebody else'. Once again that's just a hypothetical example, but I can imagine for instance that Bungie, when they left Microsoft they said, 'Well, we want to move on from Halo. We want to do something else.' So a lot of those developers would not be a good fit for a game based on an existing IP."
Szymanski says that it fell to him to find a developer which had "the skill and the drive necessary to do this game while also making a collaboration, so that [he could] bring in the guys from Capcom Osaka who made the first two games and have them throw out their ideas at the developer.
"Bring their ideas and work on something that is greater than the sum of its parts, so to speak."
Spark previously developed critical flops Turning Point: Fall of Liberty and Legendary. But Szymanski claims that the studio's days of developing bad games are over.
"I had the same questions you do when I went to meet [Spark] for the first time," he says. "They've had some rad ideas but the execution's pretty lacking.
"But I got a chance to really hear a lot about why that was and how they weren't necessarily supported in achieving their vision. [And] they learned a lot from their mistakes. They've changed the team and brought in new management, brought in new leadership and a new creative direction and everything like that, and I saw an unreleased prototype that they had done internally and I was like, 'Okay, now we're talking, now we're getting somewhere.'
"So it was a combination of that with their passion and their ideas and what they wanted to bring to Lost Planet that I think brought that all together, and enabled us to sit down and discuss the concept to come up with a shared vision."
The previous two Lost Planet games were developed internally at Capcom Osaka, which Szymanski suggests is co-creating Lost Planet 3 with Spark.
"My hope was that we could use Capcom's strengths, not only using the gentlemen that made the first two games, but also as somebody who has a large internal development staff to say, 'Here's some of our best practices, here's some of our knowledge, maybe we can use this to help Spark achieve what it hasn't been able to achieve in the past'," he continued.
"It was that collaboration thing where we would suggest something, they would suggest something, the stuff that we couldn't agree on would get tossed out, and the stuff that we could agree on would get put in. I think it's a really creative, cohesive whole...
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but as somebody who's looking at it from the inside, it still feels like Lost Planet," he adds. "It still feels like it's in that vein and in that world where you have those recognisable elements, but it is a very different experience and I think we've done well."
Capcom announced last week that it would be altering its business strategy to shift towards internal development for future projects, stating that it had seen a "decline in quality due to excessive outsourcing".
It also confirmed that it had cancelled projects currently in development at external studios "that are no more compatible with the current business strategy".
Source: VideoGamer.com Interview