505 Games discuss Sniper Elite V2’s success, how it came about and where the series goes next
Last week Rebellion’s Sniper Elite V2 rocketed to the top of the charts in the UK and elsewhere, proving that niche genres can still succeed in this hugely competitive era of big budget AAA games. PS3 Attitude caught up with John Merchant, global brand manager at 505 Games, to find out his views on Sniper Elite’s success so far, how it came about and where the series goes from here.
[PS3 Attitude] It’s been just over a week since Sniper Elite V2 launched. What is the feedback telling you so far?
[John Merchant] The feedback has been brilliant and overwhelmingly positive. People absolutely went head over heels for the demo, so we knew that they would love the full game even more. We set out to make a sniping experience that gamers could really get their teeth into, with as much realism as possible, and people have really responded to that. Our Facebook page, Twitter account and Forums are alight with happy consumers wanting more – so job done definitely.
[PS3A] What were the sales expectations before launch and are the actual sales on course to meet those expectations?
[JM] We were always bullish about the sales potential of this game – and with number ones across the world, we’ve proven we were right.
[PS3A] Was there ever a concern that a sniping game would be too niche to be a commercial success?
[JM] It was a different world back in 2005 when the original Sniper Elite launched, but fans have stuck with us because of how original the game felt to play. Call of Duty and Battlefield pushed sniping out there into the mainstream in recent years, and we knew that there was a real want for a game that could deliver a more complete cerebral and realistic shooter experience.
[PS3A] What is unique about the game that has allowed it to succeed?
[JM] The killcam had to be special – and if you have seen it, you know that the team delivered on that breathtakingly. More than anything we positioned the game NOT as a run and gun, but a world where every shot mattered, rather than spraying random bullets running through a level.
[PS3A] The game has launched in the quiet spring period. Was this deliberate or is it simply how the production calendar panned out?
[JM] We wouldn’t really say there are any quiet periods anymore as great games are being released all the time – for example in this period: Prototype 2, Diablo 3 and Max Payne 3 and Ghost Recon en route, but of course release date targeting is important for any game release. Most important was giving the team enough time to make the game brilliant, and ensure that we had all the different marketing/PR elements in place.
[PS3A] How long will you be supporting the game post-launch?
[JM] We already know consumers want more and we want to keep them happy… so watch this space. It’s very important that we really keep delivering what the community want and we’re talking to them via Facebook, Twitter and the official Forums to keep them informed.
[PS3A] Is there now enough momentum behind the series to ensure we get more Sniper Elite games in the future?
[JM] It was seven years since the first Sniper Elite game and hopefully it won’t be that long again until the next one…