Traveller’s Tales, developer of the iconic Lego games, doesn’t get the recognition it deserves in the games industry, according to head of design Arthur Parsons.
In an interview with Trusted Reviews ahead of the launch of Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2, Parsons spoke about whether or not the studio received enough credit for consistently delivering quality Lego games across multiple IP.
“The way I look at it, sometimes, people look at it and go ‘oh, it’s just another Lego game’ without realising just how much effort we put in. The team that worked on Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is largely the same team that worked on Lego Marvel Super Heroes, which was obviously four years ago, and when we came to do this, we started with a blank bit of paper and we said ‘right, we need to make every single bit of that game better by a long way’.
“Even doing that, people don’t necessarily see the advancements, see just how much care and love and affection goes into it. We want to make the best possible game we can do every single time. The first game was more successful than we thought it was going to be, so this one is kind of extra special where it’s got to be better because there will be a lot of people that played that one, there’ll be a lot of new kids that maybe watched Thor: Ragnarok or Guardians of the Galaxy 2 this year and are new to the Marvel universe, so it has to be good.
“So yeah, maybe we don’t, I wish we did, but it’s a series that’s sold a lot of copies of games and we don’t expect everyone to play every game, you play the game you want to play.”
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A common criticism upon the launch of a new Lego game is that the core gameplay can feel similar to previous entries in the series, which Parsons’ notes has been described as the “tired old formula”. He argues that it’s a brand, rather than a formula.
“I think it’s one of those things: Lego games are an entity and they’re very much an entity like, say, Mario games. A Mario game has Mario and coins and Goombas and everything else that comes with it, so that makes it a Mario game. A Lego game has Lego bricks, minifigures, humour and quirkiness and that makes it a Lego game. So that to me is like, it’s not necessarily a formula, it’s a brand of game and it’s a brand of game that means that they’re trusted, they’re good value, they’re fun, they’re family friendly and they’re open for everyone.
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Parsons goes on to note that review scores do not matter as much as the response from the core audience and young children who’ll be playing the game.
“It’s not really a criticism and we’re all very thick-skinned. When we make a great game, we know it’s a great game, it doesn’t necessarily matter about the review scores at the end of the day, because as long as our consumers love the game, the people that are actually going to pay the money, then we’re happy.”
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