You guys have your own processes, your own tech and everything, so trying to merge with another organization as a studio, just even in another part of Europe, who have their own way of working; that's complicated to an extent, depending upon how much you want to collaborate, but you have languages and geographic boundaries.
NJ: That is always a challenge, but there is a lot of respect everywhere for what all of the individual studios and branches bring to the table. So far, I think we've been sharing some experience about processes, technology, and a lot of different things; for us, it's really exciting to get a different perspective because the gaming experiences are very different from region to region. There's a lot we can learn from each other.
I'm, so far, I think, doing things in a different way, and that's not a problem for us at all. I don't think that there are two studios that do things in the same way anywhere in the world, so doing things differently is part of our business. I don't think that that's a problem at all.
There's a lot of respect for talent within the group, and people are really talented within this group. Especially at Io, we have a lot of respect for the Final Fantasy team and what they have done; it's a big, big franchise, and they are really doing some amazing things with it.
You talked about IP generation being a strength of your studio. Does that come from the creative side, or does that come from a sense that that is beneficial to the business?
NJ: I think it's because we have a very strong creative heritage. We have a lot of people that really feel that they have so many stories to tell. Denmark is probably well-known for Hans Christian Andersen, the writer, and I think that storytelling is just part of Danish culture. We really like to invent characters and tell good stories, and that's one of the things that inspires us the most.
So far, we've been successful with it, and we really appreciate that we can have the opportunity to continue to do that. So exploring new ideas is something that we always like, and we have a lot of people in the studio that constantly come up with new ideas for new projects, so it's great to always have a pool of things to debate.
Is it one of those situations where basically anyone in the studio can sort of pitch, or is it restricted to that core creative team we talked about?
NJ: We always encourage people internally to pitch to the creative director of the studio; so he frequently has meetings with people, and they come up with different ideas. We encourage everybody to come up with ideas -- because who knows? It might be the cleaning lady who has the best idea for the next game. You never know.
That also results in a lot of different ideas. At the end of the day, of course, we need to filter that down; only very, very, very few game ideas will ever be produced. That's how it is. But we really encourage people to be part of that process.
Given how long it can take to produce a game these days, particularly a full-fledged next-generation game like Kane & Lynch, the number of ideas that can actually make it to production is very small.
NJ: It's frighteningly small, right? And that's how it is, but I also feel that, when we have these creative processes and there are a lot of pitches, sometimes one idea will just stand out so strong that you almost immediately know there's something in here that's very unique that you've just got to do.
So far, we've been privileged to have the ability to produce a lot of different IPs; that's been really, really fortunate for us. It also helps us to keep young and keep fresh because, when you get stuck on one thing only, sometimes that gets people a bit tired. Having the luxury of working on different projects is really strong and inspiring. It keeps you on your toes.
Just in the sense of the variety of ideas: do you guys have any digital initiatives as a studio? Is that something that you're looking at?
NJ: Right now, we are only talking about Kane & Lynch 2, so I can't go into specifics; but I think that it is going to be interesting to see how the digital market evolves over the next year. I think that will be very interesting. I also really am fascinated with the whole 3D world, both with the TVs and now also with 3DS.
Which are very different.
NJ: Yeah, very different, but yet I think both are very interesting as well -- some of the things that I found very interesting to see at E3. But I think we are considering all options, and it's also going to be interesting to see with digital distribution how that works.
At the end of the day, we're content providers; we'll be sure to make something that entertains people whether it's on digital or a boxed product or whatever it is. We'll be sure to fit it into whatever medium is the relevant one because we just want to entertain people.