When a studio brings together more than 20 game characters from different IP owned by different studios around the world, it can be easy to lose track of the characters' origins and what they stand for. The team behind Sony's upcoming PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale were careful to avoid that, according to SuperBot's Omar Kendall.
Speaking with Polygon, Kendall said that it was very important for the developers behind PlayStation All-Stars to respect every character that joined their roster. The studio even had Irrational Games' co-founder, Ken Levine, write the script for the Big Daddy and Little Sister characters from Bioshock who appear in the game.
"We worked really closely with Irrational on the development and getting Big Daddy and Little Sister into the game," Kendall says. "But when it came to the script writing, Ken Levine, who is the creative director at Irrational, actually took over writing duties and wrote every line of script and dialogue for Big Daddy and Little Sister in the game.
"To me, it sort of speaks to the respect and acknowledgement we have for the IP holders. We take this very seriously, and sometimes the IP holders know best, and obviously we want to present the characters in the best way for the developers and the fans."
"If I want Drake in the game, I still have to go to Naughty Dog and the IP holders in Foster City and get permission to use the character."
Kendall says this attention and care to ensuring the characters remain true to their IP has played an enormous role in the development on PlayStation All-Stars. He says that part of respecting a character is understanding that they existed before All-Stars, that individual creators spent a large part of their careers bringing these characters to life, and so it is not only a responsibility but also an expectation to pay these characters the proper respect.
Kendall also says he is particularly proud of the team's ability to amass such a long roster of characters and to have all the IP holders agree to letting their characters be used in the game.
"There's never really been a game quite like this done at Sony," he says. "I don't think a lot of people know how Sony works, but each IP holder is really an island at Sony. It's not a case of if I want to use Nathan Drake in my game I can use Nathan Drake and do whatever I want to that character. The creators, Naughty Dog, have a very large say in the way that that character is treated up to and including that character's inclusion in the video game.
"If I want Drake in the game, I still have to go to Naughty Dog and the IP holders in Foster City and get permission to use the character. And they have complete, 100 percent approval on what we do with the character.
"So to be able to amass the roster that we have in the game and pull all these characters off while working with both first and third party developers ... that's never really been done at Sony before. I'm very, very proud of that."
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is due out on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita on November 20th in North America, November 21st in Europe, November 22nd in Australia, and November 23rd in the UK.