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[Pc Games] Smaller games can be 'more creative,' says designer who made one of Ubisoft's most acclaimed games with a tiny team

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Upcoming multiplayer combat foot-racing game DeathSprint 66 looks pretty cool, but I still might be a little nervous if I were responsible for making back its budget. A genre of news story we've become pretty familiar with is "niche multiplayer game was great, but not enough people played it to justify keeping the servers on." Knockout City, for example, shut down a couple years after it launched. Rumbleverse lasted only six months.

At the Game Developers Conference last month, DeathSprint 66 director Andrew Willans told me that he's confident in the game, saying that playtesters are "overwhelmingly finding something which is very fresh." That freshness, he thinks, is due in part to the scope of the project: It's a medium-sized game from a medium-sized team, and will be "sensibly priced."

"I think that [under $70] price bracket … it allows you to be a bit more creative," said Willans. "If you've got a more limited budget than triple-A, and you've got a more limited timeframe to do it, I think you get more innovation on that scale. It's not indie, and it's not triple-A, it's somewhere in between. And when I look at the indie market and the amount of innovation constantly being pushed, there are really exciting things there which you don't tend to see in the bigger triple-A games. And I think there's this lovely middle ground, where we're aiming to be as a studio."

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