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New Dan Connors Interview

posted by numble on - last edited - Viewed by 597 users

Shacknews recently did an interview with Dan Connors:
http://www.shacknews.com/extras/2007/031907_danconnors_1.x

Pertinent parts (well, it's all pretty good, but these are probably of most immediate interest):

Shack: Do you have any sense for how Telltale's own sales have been versus how many people are playing through GameTap?

Dan Connors: Well, the deal is that we got rid of some risk but in return we had to give up some of the audience [to GameTap]. There was a tradeoff in that GameTap did a real marketing push behind Sam & Max, so we felt like that was a good tradeoff--or a reasonable tradeoff. I know that it is one of the most played games on their service. Their service has I think tripled in subscribers since we've been there. I don't think that's all because of Sam & Max, but it's one of their drivers along with [Myst Online:] Uru [Live], and we know that people who are there are playing it more than a lot of the other games. Our goal has been to get the top five most played list to say all Sam & Max episodes. Maybe Uru can be in there too. [laughs]

We're probably about 60% of the way to our projections for sales, and we haven't finished the season yet. It's already a profitable experience just from our site, which is a huge thing for us.

---

Shack: Do you forsee continuing on with GameTap after Season 1?

Dan Connors: I see it as very possible. They've been very positive so far. If it looks like it will stay a win-win deal, we'll stay with them. Now, there are other people out there who are interesting too, and the value of that exclusivity is something we'll be discussing with everybody.

Shack: Regardless of partner, are you expecting a Season 2?

Dan Connors: Yeah. I don't think we'd miss out on that opportunity. We'll be able to make that happen for sure.

---

Shack: One common criticism, despite the positive reaction to the games on the whole, has been that environments are getting repetitive. I imagine this would be difficult to address in the middle of a season given the schedule you describe, but are you looking to improve in that area going forward?

Dan Connors: Yeah, I think that's something we're going to sit down and look at our strategy for. We've already sat down and made small tweaks to it that made a big difference already, like going back and putting in new jokes and putting in ongoing stories about Mr. Spatula and things like that. I think if this were a regular adventure game, it wouldn't really be a shock to return to the same unchanged place after four hours of gameplay. We've put some extra pressure on ourselves to make it a unique experience each time, but I think solving that is going to give us a lot of good idea about storylines that evolve over time, and what can be changed that adds to the story and the experience. I think the problem-solving part of it is going to be a good thing to sink our teeth into creatively.

---

Shack: Much ado has been made of your job solicitations for Wii and Xbox 360 programmers. What can you say about your plans there?

Dan Connors: Well, we're hoping to get on to both consoles, with Live Arcade and Virtual Console--I'm sorry, on all three consoles! But we're starting with Wii and Xbox, on both of their online services and retail as well. We want to open as much distribution as possible and reach as many people as possible, so when we go out and talk to a license holder we can say, "Hey, we can get your license in front of all these people. Come with us and we'll make sure it's a great product." The distribution channel drives a lot of that, especially if you're independent and you're an emerging media publisher. I think there's some room for us to grab a stake.

Shack: Have you had much discussion with the platform holders?

Dan Connors: Yeah, on and off. We're definitely talking to them about it. They talk to a lot of people, so getting their attention is a bit of a challenge, but it's always nice whenever there's an article going across the headlines that people want more Sam & Max. There's also a lot of interest in the episodic thing, and Sam & Max has gotten a lot of interest from the critics, so that helps too.

19 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Nice interview. I agree with Dan that the writing in sam & max is funnier than most tv shows. It's clearly the funniest game on the market today by a long way..

  • Hey numble, I wrote the story on Mojo before I saw this thread.

    No Credit For You!

  • @jp-30 said: Hey numble, I wrote the story on Mojo before I saw this thread.

    No Credit For You!

    :(

    I guess I should've PM'ed you. P=

    edit: I wrote something here, but... nah, nevermind...

  • Hmm, they've reached 60% of projected sales after 4/6=~66% of episodes finished. That doesn't sound particularly stunning, especially if season subscriptions make up a lot of the sales made so far. Is it expected that many people who are waiting now will buy the whole season after ep6 is released?
    Luckily, at least we know that TTG is making a good profit on this, especially considering that there is revenue from retail sales to look forward to as well.
    And I'm nitpicking; I guess that being 60/~66=~90% on schedule is quite good in this risky business. Maybe it's just that I was expecting sales to exceed expectations :p

  • Well, I imagine about 20% of the people who will buy it are holding out until the whole Season is done before they will buy it. And it can still keep selling for a good year after it's done. I bet they will at least get twice more sales as what they have now before they sell the last copy.

  • @AdamG said: Well, I imagine about 20% of the people who will buy it are holding out until the whole Season is done before they will buy it. And it can still keep selling for a good year after it's done. I bet they will at least get twice more sales as what they have now before they sell the last copy.

    This. And, the games will find their way to real-world (as in, offline :eek: ) stores, where they will get exposure to a different audience than they have now. This too will translate to quite some sales.

  • And don't forget there are still no translations available. Once the Season One is spread over Europe, it's going to turn into a huge success. :D

  • @Harald B said: Hmm, they've reached 60% of projected sales after 4/6=~66% of episodes finished. p

    Don't forget 'projected sales' is just a magic number plucked from the air. It's not like they've still got 40% of stock sitting on shelves or anything.

    The best bit is that they're happy with sales and it's already profitable. :)

  • 60% is great.. once the seasons is complete I think they will triple the sales they've already got

  • Why do so many people think that this interview confirmed Sam & Max for Wii? I read "looking into a new distribution channel" but the rest of the internet seems to be reading it differently.

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