Looks like the wait for TimeGate's upcoming sci-fi shooter Section 8: Prejudice will be shorter than expected. TimeGate Studios CEO Adel Chaveleh recently confirmed a release window of Q1 2011, though the biggest news is actually the game's surprisingly tiny price tag. Despite offering more content than the first Section 8, Prejudice will be priced $45 lower than its predecessor for a grand total of $15, or $14.99 to be exact. The original Section 8, if you'll remember, was fully priced at $60.
During a live chat last week, Chaveleh was eager to talk about development, stating excitedly that Section 8: Prejudice is actually his studio's biggest project to date both in scope and budget, and they have complete control over the entire endeavor:
“We’re living the indie dream. TimeGate 100 percent owns and controls this IP, and we’re fully self-financed. One interesting fact there is that this project is our largest production to date, in our 12-year history, and our largest development budget to date. So we’re invested heavily into this thing and hopefully it’ll pay off. We’re really excited about it, been getting a lot of good feedback. As you may have seen in the last couple weeks, we are bringing the product to market ourselves across all platforms, and it’s a big step up for us. In a way, we’re doing this for all the indies that wish they could.”
The new Section 8 will also be released simultaneously across all platforms, whereas PS3 owners previously had to wait several months. This time, however, TimeGate is going digital-only, as in no box copies at your favorite local/online retailer. Why? Chaveleh is eyeing the market very carefully:
“We examined the market pretty extensively when [starting] the project and have really identified a solid corner of the market that we’re looking to own with the release of Section 8: Prejudice. That corner is the online FPS market, and more specifically, we are going to be the first premiere FPS on a full retail scope that’s going to be digitally distributed on day one. We’re going to be releasing the game in Q1 exclusively via XBLA, PSN, and PC online storefront, like Games for Windows Marketplace [and] Steam. In addition to that, TimeGate has also launched a web storefront on our own website, where we’re able to sell our own PC products.
“It’s our position that Prejudice could easily command a $60 price point for this game; however, given the fact that we’re going digital, we are looking to build a very large critical mass for the product and be the dominant premiere digitally distributed FPS out there. So we’re selling the entire game for $14.99, the equivalent of 1200 Microsoft Points. I think with that price, we’re going to have many happy fans.”
He's pretty confident the low price and promise of greater content will draw a substantial audience “not previously seen in Section 8." Most of the competition within the same price range are "all just multiplayer with a couple maps, no offline components, or they’re puzzles games and that kind of thing."
When asked why they chose Games for Windows LIVE over, say, Steamworks, Chaveleh explained quite simply that the client "fulfilled all [their] needs." He also reassured us that any unpleasant messiness we remember from the first game's launch won't be happening again, in no small part thanks to GFWL.
"We know we had some problems with the launch of the original Section 8. Every one of those issues has been completely resolved, and we’ve even added functionality that was not there in the original one. It’ll be obvious why we went in that direction.”
Keep an eye out for our Prejudice walkthrough with Game Designer Mark Yetter, who takes us through the new and improved multiplayer segment. We'll be delving deeper into the now separate Swarm Mode and the character customization system. For now, check out the shiny new screenshots.