（Fatshark CEO Martin Wahlund分析为什么《战锤:末世鼠疫》会成功以及其它游戏的失败原因）
原作者：Haydn Taylor 译者：Willow Wu
如果要说游戏行业中有哪类产品名声很差的话，那就是IP授权游戏了。从不靠谱的电影捆绑销售游戏《美国队长：超级战士》（Captain America:Super Solider）到渣优化游戏《落水狗》（Reservoir Dogs），这类游戏给人的印象就是名声大，质量差。
90年代发行《战锤:角鼠之影》（Warhammer:Shadow of the Horned Rat）时，开发者们只是想将桌游移植到主机以及PC上；而《战锤40k：星际战士》（Warhammer 40,000:Space Marine）的目的是创造快节奏、暴力的游戏体验，该系列也成为了Games Workshop的代表作，成为了IP授权游戏中的“异类”。
在《战锤:末世鼠疫2》发行之前，GamesIndustry.biz成功约到了这家位于斯德哥尔摩的游戏工作室CEO Martin Wahlund，谈谈制作IP授权游戏的挑战，以及《战锤》系列改编成功的秘诀是什么。
从Fatshark以往的“怪游戏”来看，比如《逃离死亡岛》（Escape Dead Island ）和《玫瑰战争》（War of the Roses），实在是很难想象这个“局外人”是如何说服Games Workshop授权个这个类似《求生之路》（Left 4 Dead）的第一人称多人合作游戏的。
“从第一天起，Games Workshop就感受到了我们对这个IP的热爱，”他说，“我们的制作人和总监是《战锤》系列的死忠粉，他们非常了解这些游戏，能够说上一整天。虽然我也经常玩，但是我的知识储备还达不到他们的水准。总而言之，这就是Games Workshop授权给我们的原因之一。”
然而，签协议和做游戏是两件不同的事，而且还有一个问题需要解答——同是IP授权游戏，为什么《战锤》能够成功而其它游戏接连遭遇失败？ Wahlund表示，其实这很简单：一是开发团队和授权商之间有良好的合作关系，二是开发团队有足够的自主权——Games Workshop在这一点上做得尤为突出，Fatshark甚至能够自己决定发行日期。
If there’s one thing in the industry that has a bad reputation, it’s licensed games. From the shonky movie tie-ins of Captain America: Super Solider through to the remarkably tone-deaf Reservoir Dogs, licensed games have a legacy of being bad.
But throughout the industry’s long history of poorly received licensed games, the Warhammer franchise has been silently putting out games that do more than just sell, but actually appease fans and receive a warm critical reception.
From the early days of Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat when developers were simply trying to translate the tabletop game into a virtual experience, through to Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine where the goal was to create fast-paced, brutal action, the iconic Games Workshop franchise has been an anomaly in the world of licensed games.
Warhammer: Vermintide is the most recent and perhaps best example of a licensed Warhammer game done right. Fatshark, the studio behind the co-operative first-person hack ‘em up, managed to find genuine success selling over two million units since the game’s launch in October 2015, and even getting a console port in early 2016.
Ahead of today’s release of Vermintide II, GamesIndustry.biz caught up with Martin Wahlund, CEO of the Stockholm-based studio to discuss the challenges of making a licensed title, and what makes the Warhammer franchise so well suited to game adaptations.
There is an established approach when it comes to developing Warhammer titles that, aside from a few notable examples, leans heavily towards strategy games, as demonstrated by the recent success of the Total War: Warhammer series. But not only did Vermintide break that mould, offering up an entirely new Warhammer experience, it was also a critical and commercial success.
How then does a relative outsider like Fatshark – with a back catalogue of oddities such as Escape Dead Island and War of the Roses – persuade Games Workshop to relinquish the license for a first-person co-operative title in the realms of Left 4 Dead?
“It felt good to do something that was not like the games that had come before,” says Wahlund. “We knew that those games kind of satisfied the classic Warhammer player. I don’t think Vermintide would have worked as the first Warhammer game, because it needed to be something similar to the actual board game. But with that satisfied in the market already, we felt that going in a different direction with this was more appealing, and I think Games Workshop felt the same.”
While market forces certainly played into the decision, Wahlund says that a deep understanding and genuine love of the brand helped Fatshark press for a game that defied conventional wisdom.
“From day-one Games Workshop saw how passionate we were about the IP,” he says. “Our executive producer and game director are super fans of Warhammer, they are so into the lore and knew so much about it. Even though I had played a lot, I felt like a junior when talking to them, so that was one of the things that ticked their boxes.”
However, making an agreement and making a game are two very different prospects and the question lingers still, why does Warhammer enjoy success where other licensed games repeatedly fail? Well, according to Wahlund, it’s as simple as giving the studio autonomy and establishing a strong working relationship. But perhaps the most significant and obvious freedom Games Workshop grants developers is the ability to set their own release dates.
“Controlling your release dates is so important,” says Wahlund. “We self-funded our game, and self-published it, which gave us the freedom over our release dates. Like now, we feel the game is really fun to play so we can release it.
“The biggest issue with licensed properties is that you have to fit in with a book release, or movie release, or start of a TV series, and you often end up releasing the game, no matter if its good or bad.
“That’s the key thing Games Workshop has learned over the years; those games do well really if they are good games and that takes times to do. They have learned that pushing stuff out too early is the best way destroy a game. Just a couple of months extra can be all it takes.”
Ultimately, the difference between a successful licensed game and a fiasco on the scale of the infamous Atari flop, ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, comes down putting a license in the hands of a studio that understands it, and giving that development team the autonomy to make it. Given how many licensed disasters we’ve seen over the years, who would have thought it was that simple?（source：gamesindustry.biz ）