Syndicate isn't what anyone in the industry might consider a successful game. While EA's FPS reboot of the classic strategy title made it onto top sellers charts in various regions after launch, sales were mediocre. Despite the high profile shooter's poor performance thus far, Starbreeze CEO and president Mikael Nermark says he isn't disappointed with Syndicate. Though he isn't exactly thrilled with sales, he doesn't seem to be letting numbers dictate his feelings.
"Sales? What can I say? So many things depend on whether sales are good or not good. And it can always be better, right? You always want it to be better."
Not that Nermark is the sort of developer who pats himself on the back for no reason. The guy has high standards, and he doesn't excuse himself from them. In fact, Nermark claims that he's never satisfied with his own work.
"Personally, I've never been satisfied with any games I've worked on. I never play my own games. I was brought into Starbreeze two and a half years ago, and the first year I worked on other things than on production. But what I saw coming out of this long production time, I'm proud of what we did at Starbreeze."
Interestingly, the Starbreeze boss doesn't consider Syndicate to be an AAA title. "Those really high production value, high budget productions" just have an easier time picking up better reviews and scores, Nermark believes, and Syndicate really isn't on the same production tier. Even so, he likes how the game turned out, especially the cooperative aspect, but laments that the developers may have lost sight of the player base in making the cooperative experience too difficult.
Despite all the changes the new Syndicate underwent, Nermark insists that he never forgot about the fanbase, the truly diehard Syndicate lovers like himself. Yet those expectations left a lot of room for disappointment, and ultimately, he doesn't feel Starbreeze "could've ever lived up to some people's expectations."
Though he enjoyed the original Syndicate and all the games like it, Nermark felt that it was important to "add your touch to it," to make the game theirs in some way.
"I love the original! When I got into the industry way back, RTS and that kind of game were my kind of game. But you always wanna add your touch to it, you wanna make it your game even though it's built on a great franchise. So I think that's hard. Overall, we're happy."