One of these Statements is Not Like the Other
It appears we have a dilemma.
Sent into us by TSSZ News reader NimMicroSega via comments is an apparent rebuttal by a well known Sumo Digital head on a detail that was a part of our bonanza ASR coverage last night.
The detail concerns a comment made by Sumo Digital’s development director Craig Duncan. He told Fox Gungrave of French site Eversonic that the game’s roster had not yet been finalized, and that more than 10 Sega franchises would be represented in the final product. It is a comment that we received in English translation direct from Fox Gungrave, and a Google translation has held up the authenticity of that comment.
The comment is important, because it gives tremendous hope to fans of the NiGHTS franchise, who to this point have been rallied by their community leaders to believe the character will not make it into the game.
That’s what has prompted Steve Lycett, under his S0L username, to respond to the interview on the Sega forums late Wednesday, saying that isn’t quite the case:
It’s pretty final unless someone can loan me a time machine 😛
Now it may well be he’s brokered some top secret deal for DLC or some such, but don’t take this as a confirmation.
The problem lies within the fact that two different people within the same company are now saying two very different things. Though Lycett did speculate Duncan may have done some PR posturing, it remains quite confusing, and though the detail may be superficially insignificant, there could be much at stake, particularly for the NiGHTS fans.
The timing of all this is critical. We reported on November 10th about an E-mail leak from Lycett to a fan, in which a statement was made that the roster was indeed made final. However, it is our understanding that the PR event Sega France held for ASR came very close, but after the time of that revelation, or or about November 12th. It’s certainly possible that a roster finalization took place in a two week span, but if Lycett is speaking to reaffirm his original statements, the timeline of events may render those comments moot.
Then there’s this: Even if the roster isn’t finalized, it is quickly filling up. Consider the original estimate of more than 20 characters in ASR, and Duncan’s comment that more than 10 franchise representations will be included. So far, 9 of that “more than 10” figure quoted have been revealed: Sonic, Billy Hatcher, Shenmue, Super Monkey Ball, Alex Kidd, Samba de Amigo, Space Channel 5, Jet Set Radio, and The House of the Dead. If Gilius from Golden Axe is included (he was mentioned in the first official development diary) that would be 10. Further, of the “more than 20” characters originally quoted, we know of 15…16 if Gilius makes the cut. The bottom line: there aren’t a lot of slots left.
That’s what makes the back and forth in such a short period of time so strange. Is everyone not on the same page at Sumo Digital, or are these deliberate shenanigans being pulled to keep gamers guessing? In a later post by Lycett on the Sega forums, the former may be in play:
When I’m not out on the web – my day job is Executive Producer. Pretty much my sole responsibility it making the game happen. That includes looking after the entire team, design, art, code, the lot. That’s all platforms for ASR too.
I’m also one of the main liaisons between Sumo and Sega. They ask for what they want – and I do my best to make it happen. If there’s something we’d like to try, it’s generally me who will go to them to discuss it.
So yes, I wield a some influence on this game 😛 Not as much as Sega, we’re making it for them after all, but enough to make a difference.
Craig is my boss. He’s out with all the PR and Marketing folk so it’s entirely possible that when he gets back, there may be things discussed that we’ll be looking at that I don’t know about yet. The main reason Craig is out there doing the PR right now, is I’ve got to concentrate on making the game, previously it would be me and Lead Designer, but we’re way too busy improving the game for all you 😛
Indeed, much of this could be coming down to internal communication problems, deliberate or not. Where do you think the truth lies? Or is good that we don’t quite know what the truth is yet? We’ll keep tracking the truth down for you, but we welcome your thoughts on it all in the comments section.