Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning told Eurogamer today at GDC that he only needs to sell 250K copies of New 'n' Tasty to fund a remake of Abe's Exoddus, the next planned project in the series. Selling more will help fund an all new Oddworld game after that, and Lanning believes he can create this offering if New 'n' Tasty shifts half a million units.
Looking at one of Lanning's upcoming Oddworld ideas, the canned The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot, Lanning said, "I don't think it's anything less than a $5 million title. So to Kickstart it I think would be a little deceptive and a risk. But if we sell half a million copies [of New 'n' Tasty], that's not going to be a problem."
"If I'm doing a new Oddworld game, I'm not going to do it for $2 million. I might do it for five or six," he added. "People keep asking me, 'Why don't you Kickstart Oddworld? You could get at least $1 or $2 million.' And I'm like 'What would I do with a couple million on Kickstarter? On a new Oddworld title?' Not much. I could redo Exoddus for a couple million. I could do that. But a new title, which means new characters doing new things and controls that are great - that's where the real time and expenses come from."
"If you already have the game and you're just doing a conversion, it's easier," he noted. "From scratch, I don't think we could do an Oddworld title for a couple million dollars."
Lanning was quite clear about his desire to make The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot, a project he's resurrected to tinker with some more. "Over the last year and a half, I've designed Fangus extensively. And I would like to be able to move into Fangus as soon as a new IP in Oddworld," Lanning explained. That being said, he noted that the studio has other ideas as well, so Fangus Klot is not guaranteed to be the next original Oddworld title if and when the studio gets enough capital for it.
"But no matter what, Exoddus would come first. And then we'd get into expansion packs for those titles," he stated.
Lanning is very confident that New 'n' Tasty will hit its 250K goal as the digital re-releases of the original Oddysee and Exoddus sold a combined total of over a million. Factor in Stranger's Wrath HD, Munch's Oddysee HD and the Oddbox collection and the series has shifted over two million just on digital releases alone - and seven million overall.
Amazingly, Stranger's Wrath HD sold more than the retail release of the original Xbox game. This is despite the fact that the HD release was self-published, while the original retail game was published by EA, who Lanning claims horribly failed to market the game.
"It only sold about half a million units, then I don't believe it ever went into additional manufacturing," Lanning said of the original Xbox release. Conversely, he noted that its self-published, digitally-only rendition of Stranger's Wrath HD sold closer to 600K units across its PS3, Vita and PC releases over the last couple of years.
There will be one major hurtle New 'n' Tasty will need to overcome to see these kinds of sales: Its price. Lanning told us today that he's planning to charge $30 (about Ł18) for it.
That might sound like a lot, but Lanning is very confident about its quality. He explained that unlike most indie games that cost about $100K or so, this remake has a budget of nearly $5 million with about $2 million coming out of pocket, while the rest is based on an estimated $2-$3 million in assets the studio kept from back in the day, then later touched up.
"This game will play better, look better, and you'll have more fun with for more hours of play than games you're paying $60 for," Lanning said. "That's a promise. And I can say that with absolute confidence."
"If this had a publisher, the price would be higher and they'd be calling in triple A."