Catching Up With Gearbox's Randy Pitchford
June 13, 2008 Page 2 of 10
Your company trajectory now... was Blue Shift your first commercial product?
RP: No. Blue Shift was, I think, our third. Our first thing was Half-Life: Opposing Force. We did a few of the Half-Life add-ons, and we helped bring the game to the consoles back in that generation.
You did the Dreamcast port, didn't you?
RP: Yeah. There's some folks out here in San Francisco who did most of the technical work, and then we did some help with that, and we created Blue Shift as new content for the Dreamcast version.
Then the Dreamcast went away, and we moved Blue Shift to the PC. You know, I have a gold master of Half-Life for Dreamcast. It went through certification. It was finished.
RP: They had printed the boxes and everything. It was awesome.
I've heard that. It's funny, because it's just another typical example of Sega being ahead of its time, but being unable to capitalize on it.
RP: Sega's awesome, man. I think the Dreamcast was a great system, but yeah, I think it was a little bit ahead of its time.
They had Quake III on Dreamcast with mouse and keyboard support and online --
RP: Can you believe that?
Sierra/Gearbox Software's Half-Life: Blue Shift
And they almost had Half-Life. And now, that's exactly where the market is. But at the time, it was not at all where the market was.
RP: Yeah, they were way ahead of their time there, for sure. They also had Samba de Amigo, which is one of the best games on the platform! When we first heard about the Wii, it was like, "Okay, there's these two things, and you move them -- and that's how you play with the Wii." And the first thing I thought of was one of the games I loved on the Dreamcast. Like, "Dude, we already have the interface. You can totally do that."
So we talked to Sega about it, and it was actually Marc Tardif, one of our biz guys, that was able to put that together and say, "Dude this is so obvious. We should do that."
He started talking with Sega about it, and it was kind of tricky, because it's a Japanese game made by Sonic Team, and we're a western developer that makes shooters. So we had to convince them, and we did. And it's working out great.
So that came from you guys? It did not come from Sega?
RP: No, we pitched them! We had to talk them into it. It was easy to communicate the idea. The hard part was, "Why should we be the ones who do it?"
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