with Charles Cecil, of Revolution fame. Responsible for such crimes against reality as Beneath a Steel Sky and the Broken Swords.
Some choice excerpts:
VideoGamer.com: Do you see a future where digital distribution leads to no more publishers, maybe no more retailers?
CC: I think it's going to be an awfully long time before there's no more retailers. Certainly those games selling for £40 that cost $100 million to develop, they're going to go through retail aren't they? Part of the problem is a retailer, they talk about Best Buy or whoever, the fact that you have X number of slots, I think they've got 40 slots on DS. So what happens to that 41st game and the 42nd and the 43rd? Clearly these big retailers say we don't care. But they're always going to go for Kung Fu Panda aren't they? They're always going to go for the obvious ones because that is what they know they will sell and they can rely on and is no risk. So it cuts out a lot of innovative products. What digital distribution allows, as well as bypassing retailers which is a different matter, is the ability to offer choice. What's really exciting is it creates an indie scene among consumers who are very happy to go and buy their games digitally. Then they expect to do it for the fraction of the price, they expect to pay £5 or $5 rather than £40 or $40. But if you look at the maths the retailer's taking 40%, the publisher gives a percentage so in the end the developer's getting a percentage of a percentage. They can afford to sell an awful lot less if they go directly.
VideoGamer.com: For you personally the Broken Sword series is the one that everyone is looking to the next iteration. There is a petition online for a return to the series. How's that worked out?
CC: The petition for the DS was extraordinarily flattering. I was rather a little bit miffed because somebody wrote about it and said we'd organised it.
Broken Sword DS? Shurely not! But wait!
VideoGamer.com: So given the petition would you consider a DS version remake like it calls for?
CC: I'm going to have to be really boring now and just say that the petition was really inspirational. But I'm really not allowed to say any more than that.
VideoGamer.com: Is this what you were talking about with Ubisoft?
CC: I can't... no. I think that the DS is an ideal platform for a point and click adventure. I think it's actually better than point and click in many ways in the interface, because it's so tactile.
VideoGamer.com: Obviously you have an army of fans who are completely in love with the titles which you've made in the past and the DS and indeed the Wii seem like platforms that have potentially allowed the genre to enjoy a renaissance. Is that something you'd go along with?
CC: 100%. Again I just wish that we were having this interview in about a month's time. Then you'd be asking me much more direct questions!
VideoGamer.com: I guess for a game like Broken Sword keeping it 2D especially on the DS it seems like a natural fit.
CC: Of course.
VideoGamer.com: So the message to fans is?
CC: Watch this space, yes. There will be an official announcement. Not there may be, there will be an official announcement. I'm really sorry to be so vague about it but that's just the way it is.
Sounds quite encouraging considering he's not actually said anything!