Eurogamer: Third-party Wii titles continue to under perform – Red Steel 2, Dead Space, even Epic Mickey. Is there a big enough market there to turn a profit?
Kevin Sheller: The install base is large – we all know that. Though we also talk about the demographics of that install base. It is difficult to know for sure, but certainly by all the feedback we see – on many sites we're in the top five "games you're excited about" lists - we can only hope that the audience is out there and they're excited about it.
Eurogamer: Who do you see as your key demographic? Who is the typical Conduit player?
Kevin Sheller: It's that 10 to 18 age range, for sure. But because there's so much customisation and so many gameplay elements familiar to folks on the HD consoles, I expect the demographic is a little wider this time.
Are we looking to pull in gamers from HD consoles? If we can, absolutely. If anyone wants to have crazy sci-fi weapons and a fun online experience with a control scheme where you actually have precise control over where you're shooting, rather than trying to get there with the thumbstick, then I think you might be pretty excited about it.
Eurogamer: You've got some ambitious ideas for the game and want to make as deep an experience as possible. A lot of people will be looking on and asking why you're bothering to do this on the Wii, rather than on the PS3 or Xbox 360?
Kevin Sheller: There's a bunch of different reasons. One of those is we have this foundation we put together on the Wii, so to just go, "Well, this is secondary, so let's just go and work on these other platforms," I think is an insult to Wii gamers. We have generated that fan base and they are excited about it. They're clamouring for something like this, so it's awesome to be able to provide that.
Keith Hladik: When we started making the first one, the competition on the Wii for these sorts of games was nil. Whereas on Xbox 360 you've got the Call of Duties, Halo – the competition is fierce. So we were striking while the iron was hot.
Kevin Sheller: And obviously we're not the only guys who believe the Wii is worth doing something like this for. There are the GoldenEye guys too, for example.
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Eurogamer: Is there stuff that you want to do with the franchise but are held back by the limitations of the tech or by cost issues?
Keith Hladik: We would have loved to do DLC maps. That's one of the things fans call about all the time. They always talk about a party system – that's one thing we've looked at but couldn't physically do.
Kevin Sheller: Going sky-high crazy, it would be awesome to do the full campaign in multiplayer. That's quite the undertaking. That's a whole new way to look at things.
Keith Hladik: Online co-op!
Kevin Sheller: Yeah right!
Eurogamer: Regarding online, there were hacking and exploits going on with the first game. How are you managing that for the sequel?
Keith Hladik: Of the exploits that people found and did YouTube clips of, we fixed those. As for the hacking stuff, I obviously can't divulge exactly what we've done but our network guys have spent hours making sure it's fairly hack-proof. Fighting hackers is always a losing battle – every game suffers from that – but we're doing our best to thwart them.
Kevin Sheller: And then there will be downloadable patches, which we couldn't do in the first game. Now we can see what people are doing, make modifications and if you want to play online you'll have to download the patch.
Eurogamer: What else does High Voltage have going on at the minute? Is The Grinder still a going concern?
Kevin Sheller: Yeah, we probably can't talk a heck of a lot about that right now. I wouldn't feel comfortable.
Eurogamer: But you've got more original IPs in the works?
Kevin Sheller: Absolutely. Oh yeah, lots of things.