Insomniac CEO: We Had to Grow ‘New Muscles’ to Deliver a Game of the Size of Marvel’s Spider-Man
Insomniac Games, the studio headquartered in Burbank, California, just celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. Originally called Xtreme Software, Insomniac delivered plenty of great games in the Spyro, Ratchet & Clank, and Resistance series before developing Sunset Overdrive. Its biggest hit though is also the studio's latest release, Marvel's Spider-Man, widely acclaimed by press and fans alike in addition to its considerable commercial success (it already sold over nine million units).
It wasn't easy to deliver a game of this size, anyway. In an interview with Variety, Insomniac Founder and CEO Ted Price explained how the studio actually grew to be able to do it.
We have had to grow new muscles in terms of how we produce games to actually handle delivering a game of this size. We had to figure out can we improve to deliver this with a team that is probably not as big as some of the internal teams at larger publishers. We had to get scrappy. We had to communicate consistently. We had to try things that we didn’t think would work and then fix them when they broke. And that was another growth moment in our history.
All those things have to be done well at the beginning of any production. And I think we’ve learned a lot about how to do it better during Spider-man.
With regards to the supposed dichotomy between narrative focused single player games and online multiplayer games-as-a-service, he said Insomniac decided to focus on the former but both models definitely work and ultimately the studio is just interested in making quality games.
I think both work. Having a strong narrative that affects people on an emotional level is incredibly important. It’s what we look for in all forms of media, from the TV to films and books to comics, to games. And being able to share our experiences as people, not just developers, as people who others and find common ground is really gratifying. But it doesn’t preclude having content that is games as a service, content that continues to live on. As we move ahead, everybody’s trying to untie the knot of how do you combine the two in a way that keeps giving players more of what they love. What we challenge ourselves with is just making a good game, period.
The future of Insomniac seems bright, though what exactly they'll do next is a bit unclear presently. A sequel for Marvel's Spider-Man is a given, of course, but beyond that fans of the developer are split between another Ratchet and Clank or a sequel to Sunset Overdrive. What would you like to see from them, dear readers? Tell us in the comments!