With Call of Juarez: Gunslinger set to release on digital platforms in Q1 2013, Techland have moved across from retail to explore marketplace opportunities across XBLA, PSN, and virtual distribution platforms on PC and Mac.
As International Brand Manager Blazej Krakowiak told Dealspwn last week at an Ubisoft Digital event, Techland are looking to deliver a game that raises the bar for what digital games can achieve and deliver. But even beyond that, he suggested that going digital has allowed Techland to make the game that they themselves really want to make, and given them a freedom that they never had at retail level.
"We knew from the start that we wanted to tell a really immersive story, and digital gave us the freedom to do so," said Krakowiak. "With retail, you're often going through a checklist, ticking off boxes of features that you don't want or don't need, like a bloated multiplayer with a huge number of modes competitive, co-operative, and lots of other features as well. It can distract and divert resources to the point where the game to end up with is perhaps not as good as it could have been had it been more focused. We just wanted to focus in on what was important to us, and this format lets us do that."
But Krakowiak was also adamant that the time has come for more and more studios to be trying to push digital marketplaces forward and look to create AAA experiences normally associated with retail on digital platforms.
"Ubisoft really believe in the digital format, they were one of the first big publishers to really set apart digital games of high quality and we're happy that our brand is part of this digital revolutions with a high-quality offering," he continued. "But we have high ambitions, we really want people to look at this game and see that it stands out because of its high production values, content offering, and high standards for digital. Someone needs to do this."
"Well, we now have a chance to deliver the game that we want to deliver. We have an opportunity to move the series forward and raise the expectations for digital games. We shouldn't be happy treading water on the same level, we need to be pushing the barrier in terms of the quality that digital can provide. The future is digital so somebody has to make this leap with a big, interesting series, which Call of Juarez is, so we hope it works out."
Check out our Call of Juarez: Gunslinger preview here.