Joining the ZeniMax family puts me in a situation where I can leave the more boring details of that to other people. I'm trying not to expect too much, but I do feel that this is a chance for me to keep working in the front lines of development."
"Another big factor," he continued, "was in the way they are willing to wait for good games to happen. They basically said to me 'Make what you want to make the most, because that's what will sell the best,' and I really appreciated that. They can say that because they've had so much success with that approach. If you didn't have experience with making that work as a manager, that's when you start meddling with projects and trying to protect your investment -- which I can understand, since these are multi-million dollar projects. Having the patience, however, to see projects take their own course, is what makes a managerial team truly great."
"I had been looking for a new business partner before all this, so I contacted ten or so companies during E3, both Japanese and elsewhere," he told Famitsu magazine this week. "Bethesda was the best match among them because they gave us the most independent development environment to work with as we pursue our goal of producing Japanese games that work worldwide -- that, and their track record when it comes to overseas sales."
The way that Mikami puts it, working with Bethesda was a decision he didn't lose any sleep over. "Playing their stuff, you can really tell that they're willing to take whatever time is needed to make great games," he said. "It shows that their management and financial strength is such that they're able to let that process happen. That was my first impression, and it was a positive one. Development costs are important, of course, but there's always a risk you have to accept when you're trying to make something good and also sellable. Hedging your risks and concentrating strictly on the known factors is one thing, but seeing a company continually try to push the envelope really fits what we're trying to do."
Hearing all this, it's no surprise that Tango is working on a new project for Bethesda -- the sort of AAA title that the publisher's known for, of course. "That's the only sort of title we're interested in," Takahashi (from Bethesda) said. "Any such project is going to involve tens of millions of dollars either way, so instead of cutting dev time and features and hoping for a million copies sold, it's better to take your time, make something great, and aim for five million instead. We believe that there's actually less risk when you do it that way."
"Knowing that, of course, makes me want to put all of my experience, my energy, and everything else I've got into this game. I'm pretty lucky that [ZeniMax] was willing to accept that, too. Too many publishers are only interested in the very near future, after all."
Hopefully they don't bare their fangs later in the development, but what we've heard so far, the freedom they are offering, their philosophy regarding publishing games, their track record in marketing, all sounds good! Mad props to Bethesda!
http://www.1up.com/news/shinji-mikami-d ... g-bethesda
http://www.1up.com/news/shinji-mikami-d ... ident-evil
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2010- ... s-director