Marvel's 'Midnight Sun' director worries card battles will turn off players

Firaxis Games 2022 Games Marvel's Midnight Sun It won praise from critics and loyal players for its crunchy, deep strategy (and surprisingly strong narrative design), but the quality of its gameplay wasn't enough to drive sales. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick told Bloomberg in 2023 The game didn't live up to expectations, and it was stated at the time that the game's December release window might not be “perfect.”

But if anyone has reason to do a postmortem on this midnight sunI'm Jack Solomon, co-founder of Midsummer Studios.Solomon, who Leaving Firaxis in 2023 After the game was released, is the brains behind the game's card battle system.

Discussed in interviews with game developers Zhongxia Studio was established, Solomon looked back on his last project at Firaxis and admitted that his enthusiasm for the system may not have met player expectations. “let me see midnight sun A lot, I think about the card mechanics – I designed them, so I'm responsible for them – I think [discouraged] Gamers won't even try to try the game because they see it and ask 'what the hell is this?'

Hindsight is 20/20, but if you think back to Firaxis and Take-Two's pitching staff, Solomon's observation is important. The game is a turn-based tactical game (targeted at a niche audience), with Marvel characters as the theme (targeted at the mainstream audience). The battle is based on card drawing and deck building mechanisms, and the superhero abilities of the characters are visualized (not a feature) will be familiar to any viewer).

On top of that, Firaxis faces resistance from audiences not interested in Marvel-branded narrative games.Crystal Dynamics Marvel's Avengers strives to keep players attracted to its live service games, and eventually closedand Eidos-Montreal Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy“Protruding jaw” Its launch is expected.

Both games have also been praised for their stellar performance fighting and storytellingdespite the market's lack of interest.

Great games don't guarantee game sales

Solomon has been thinking about the dilemmas studios face in the modern era of massive Steam backlogs and a near-constant stream of great game releases. “I was very naive when it came to the business side of things,” he admits. “You want to believe, 'If I make a good game, everything will fall into place.'” That's no longer the case 20 years ago. There are too many games, too many things competing for people's attention. .

For context, 20 years ago, Solomon was fresh out of college and working on Sid Meier's Civilization III.He remembers Firaxis' anxiety about the recently released Age of Empires: Age of Kings, and how its beautiful 3D visuals were at risk of being surpassed Civilization III2D visual effects.

Then Civilization III Sales were booming, reinforcing his belief that all that was needed to run a game studio was to make great games.

Solomon said he wanted to have a better understanding of what audiences wanted when making Midsommar, and why launching the “life simulation” game into early access would be key to the company's strategy.

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