Just like last year, there are two major RPGs being released this fall. In 2008, it was Fallout 3 and Fable II. In 2009, it's Alpha Protocol and Dragon Age: Origins. Is there room for both? Sega president and COO Mike Hayes expressed extreme confidence during a phone interview last week about Obsidian Entertainment's upcoming spy RPG, which drops on October 6th.
"The thing we're most excited about really is it's the first RPG of the season to come in," said Hayes. "I think we're well placed and also being a modern day spy RPG, I think there's a very good point of difference that [means] we're certainly getting a lot of interest from consumers in general."
Clearly, Hayes is pleased that BioWare and Electronic Arts chose to delay Dragon Age: Origins by a few weeks, moving the massive fantasy RPG out of the October release schedule and into early November (the PlayStation 3 version has an unspecified release date later in November, however).
"I think there's enough space between [both games]," he said, pausing. "Well, I mean, it's never perfect but I think that it's spaced out quite well. But I think we're so encouraged with the progress we've made on the product that Alpha's turning out to be one of our big launches of the period, so fingers crossed on that one."
I asked Hayes whether Alpha Protocol would be the game that finally helps Obsidian Entertainment break into the RPG mainstream. The studio was given a chance with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, but since then, it's been a niche couple of years, despite a continued hardcore PC following. Obsidian's relationship with Sega has even had ups and downs, with Sega canceling the Aliens RPG that Obsidian spent several years developing for Sega.
"They're a hugely talented outfit," said Hayes. "I think what we've been so pleased with is the concept [behind Alpha Protocol] from day one has been easily understood and I think it's been readily taken on by fans, so I think with there ability to create something pretty special I think with the rapport we've gotten, we've got something to your point, which will be in an RPG world, something more mass market."
Are you making a choice between Alpha Protocol and Dragon Age: Origins this fall?