GOG.com has posted their interview with Crusader series creator Tony Zurovec. There is a ton of fascinating tidbits which I’ve not yet heard from Tony. I’m planning to further analyze what is said in this interview. Nevertheless, here are some snippets:
Regarding “Crusader II”:
The primary reason why Crusader II was never completed was because I was personally promised by a senior Origin executive – before official development on the first game ever started – that I would receive royalties based upon the game’s profitability. After a year and a half of extremely hard work, the game sold far better than expected and, for many months after its release, I was repeatedly assured by Origin?s top management that the royalties would be forthcoming. As I neared completion of the next title in the series, I began to grow impatient with the stalling and pushed for a resolution. It eventually fell to one of EA’s top executives to inform me that Origin management didn?t have the authority to make such promises and that EA wouldn’t honor it. Instead, the EA executive said, all that they could offer me was a new block of options that would vest over a four-year period. I said that rather than accept that offer – which was dramatically inferior – that I’d be leaving the company after I finished No Regret. Leaving Origin was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever done – it had felt like a home – but there was no way that I was going to support such a betrayal with more of my life.
Regarding No Remorse development:
An interesting point about No Remorse’s development is that a debt of gratitude is owed to someone – I never knew who – in the European marketing department of parent company Electronic Arts (EA). The initial sales estimates for the game had been relatively low because the marketers couldn’t point to any similar titles – there weren’t any – and gauge Crusader’s commercial potential. As the game neared the end of its original development timeline, I tried to get those estimates raised in order to justify an additional three months of development time that was desperately needed in order to polish and debug the game. Origin and EA North America’s marketing departments refused to budge, but when some visiting European marketing executives saw the game at that late stage they dramatically increased their sales estimates and that was it – the extension was approved. When the game was released, even those revised estimates were easily exceeded. I have always thought that Crusader would not have done nearly as well as it did had it not gotten those three additional months.