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Microsoft deal will help InXile escape 'uncanny valley' of game development

Microsoft deal will help InXile escape 'uncanny valley' of game development

November 19, 2018 | By Chris Kerr

Microsoft's recent purchase of InXile Entertainment will help The Bard's Tale and Wasteland creator escape the "uncanny valley" of game development, according to studio founder Brian Fargo. 

The veteran designer was discussing the acquisition during an extensive Q&A with Eurogamer, and suggested the buyout will allow the studio close the gap between double-A and triple-A development, because it now has the finances to meet the rising expectations of consumers.

"We've always known as a small developer what our goals are, but we don't have unlimited money -- and I'm not talking about going crazy, ramping up to these huge triple-A projects, that's not what we're trying to do," he explained. 

"But we want to step it up a bit because there's this uncanny valley between the double-A and the triple-A. We could come out with a game like Bard's Tale [4] and we could say, 'Hey, it's a 35-person team and it's only $35,' but the people playing it are like, 'Nope. I'm just looking at The Witcher 3 and I don't really care.' We don't get to explain; we just need to close the gap."

Indeed, Fargo said he'll no longer have to spend time negotiating deals, chasing contacts, crowdfunding, and generally dreaming up ways to raise more equity, and explained he'll now be able to think about the long-term and ask for whatever resources the studio needs -- rather than continuously getting his team to punch about their weight. 

"Most people in development know a little bit of extra time goes an incredibly long way towards the end. I know it doesn't seem like it but it's always the case. When you finally get it together, you feel it, you can really focus on iteration," he added.

"I founded Interplay in 1983, and this will be the first time in my career I will be able to focus 100 per cent of my energy on product development."

To hear more from Fargo, be sure to check out the full interview over on Eurogamer.

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