While most games based on entertainment franchises for lack of a better word, suck, Monolith’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor managed to avoid that pitfall by a mile.
In a post-mortem piece by Gamasutra, Design Director at Monolith Productions Michael de Plater shared some of the development processes behind the third-person action-adventure game. According to Plater, excellent publisher support from Warner Bros. Interactive and its licensors were one of the few key points as to why the game succeeded.
Plater states that the mandate the studio was given was to focus on “quality and innovation,” which is a far cry from “game movies” from the past.
Arkham had shown stakeholders that the right way to approach a license was not to make a “movie game.” It is to make the best game that you can, that plays to the strengths of games as a medium and respects one of the world’s most prestigious IPs.
Within Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and from our Licensors this was the mandate we were given, that is to focus on quality and innovation. Then we were supported every step of the way, for example by having access to WETA Workshop in New Zealand, having a great presence at E3 2014 and strong marketing support at launch.
The level of communication and feedback from executives and partners was clear and well informed and we were able to remain aligned on our goals throughout the project, including our approach to IP and our focus on the innovation of the Nemesis System.
If you liked Shadow of Mordor, you definitely need to read the entire thing since it gives an excellent insight why the title managed to succeed where most have failed.
In case you didn’t know, Shadow of Mordor was so damn awesome that we awarded it as our Game of the Year for 2014.
Were you impressed with Shadow of Mordor? In your opinion, what made the game stand out among its peers?