Sucker Punch’s superhero series Infamous was originally supposed to be an Animal Crossing-like city builder featuring superheroes.
We’ll let you process that for a bit.
Sucker Punch co-founder Chris Zimmerman revealed the strange origins of the Infamous series via a PlayStation Blog post celebrating the twenty-year history of the studio.
“At first, we were building a superhero version of Animal Crossing,” writes Zimmerman. “You roamed your city, tracked down criminals, helped out the citizens, and did some light zoning work along the way. The best superheroes have alter egos, right? So your alter ego was a property developer, deciding where to put the pet shops and tiki bars the citizens were demanding.”
Wow, that sounds awesome. According to Zimmerman, it wasn’t.
“Sounds awesome, right? Well, it wasn’t,” writes Zimmerman. “After six months of experimentation we gave up on property development and focused on superhero action.”
Unfortunately, Zimmerman didn’t elaborate on why, exactly, the concept didn’t work. If we had to guess, Sucker Punch probably discovered that it’s surprisingly hard to make a fun game about deciding where to place a tiki bar. It probably didn’t help that the superhero action likely made that aspect of the game seem especially dull.
Zimmerman also revealed that Infamous‘ karma system was partially inspired by Sony’s constant questions regarding whether the game’s protagonist was a hero or not. That means there is at least one instance of corporate meddling resulting in artistic brilliance.
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