Jon Hare's Sensible resurrection • Page 3

"FPS gameplay hasn't evolved substantially for 20 years!"

Eurogamer: Is Codemasters in a similar position whereby they've given the thumbs up to anything you want to resurrect?

Jon Hare: No, no - it's a slightly different situation. With Codemasters, we opened a conversation last year and they said to us let's keep on talking if you want to do something. We're not that mature in our talks to say anything is definite.

Also, I have to weigh up whether it's what Tower needs at the moment. Although it's very attractive to people to see old IP come through, it doesn't really add value to our company - new IP does. As much as I like Mike [Montgomery], I don't want to just be building up his IP! Ha ha.

Eurogamer: You mentioned recently that you were investigating getting Cannon Fodder and Mega-Lo-Mania onto iDevices. How's that quest going?

Jon Hare: This is the Codemasters conversation. Codemasters haven't moved on these titles yet on iPhone, certainly to my knowledge, with anybody else. They could become a reality...

Let's take the ultimate situation where we decide to do five Bitmap games and three Sensible Games - or maybe four or five Sensible Games - all at once. That's 10 games. At the moment, until the market decides that it likes Speedball as a game, we can't commit. We're in the perfect position to do it; the only thing that's stopping us doing it is knowing we can get the money back. Only time will tell.

If people really want good quality on these platforms they've got to be prepared to pay a bit - it's only a few quid anyway, not a lot of money, and it makes a huge difference to us guys.


Eurogamer: Did you hear about Cannon Fodder 3 being made for Russian markets by developer GFI?

Jon Hare: I think it's quite funny. To my knowledge Cannon Fodder has hardly sold at all in Russia. I've seen all the royalties for that game since 1993, and I can't remember seeing any sales in Russia.

I started working on the design for Cannon Fodder 3 in 1999. We took it into development three times ourselves at Codemasters, but unfortunately it never got finished. So I'd be interested to see what they do. I would actually be happy to go and talk to them about it, you know, to make sure they don't mess it up.

I just hope they do a good job. We had one version of Sensible Soccer on PlayStation technology that was really bad. We don't really want another example of that, where a good old licence gets diluted by a bad conversion.

But also I'm working on new games; I've got a word game coming out soon, which is a brand new game. I'm a game creator. I enjoy most of all working on the brand new things.

I've got 10 game designs that have been accumulating. There's not been an outlet for original games for a long time, commercially, so I've been designing them and basically shelving them. From my point of view, in the long term, if this keeps on for a number of years - I'd like to get maybe one a year of these original games out.


Eurogamer: Are these new games in concept as strong as, say, Sensible Soccer?

Jon Hare: It's hard to tell. I like to think so, yeah.

There's a game called CCTV that we announced two or three years ago with Nikitova but that never came out in the end, mainly because we couldn't get it signed. That's a great little game and I hope we get the chance to work on that going forward.

And there's this word game...

Eurogamer: What kind of word game is that: crossword, word search...?

Jon Hare: It's taking word games, particularly crosswordy kind of games, to a new level. I know there is space for the kind of approach we used to have for games in the 16-bit era, the pre-console era, on iPhone and some of the download platforms. We can re-introduce old-style game concepts to a new bunch of users. There's so much that can be done.

Sony's already signed up for two of our products, one of them being Speedball. I think you're [also] likely to see this word game from Sony.

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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