Retrospective Analysis of A Plague Tale Shows Uncertain Development
Kevin Choteau, the director of the A Plague Tale series, claimed that the first game had a difficult production period. While A Plague Tale: Innocence initially had a niche following, the game quickly gained popularity, resulting in a sequel, with reviews for A Plague Tale: Requiem showing how much the series has expanded. A Plague Tale’s dreadful ambience, grim tale, and stealth gameplay create an emotional experience packed with gut-punch after gut-punch, according to reviewers and fans. However, prior to the game’s success, there was a genuine possibility that it would all be cancelled.
Choteau told this tale in a retrospective interview with Eurogamer. He said that the first game, A Plague Tale: Innocence, had modest beginnings, all thanks to the Microsoft Hololens. Choteau said that after creating the Fragments game for the gadget, the team wanted to work on something unique that wasn’t related to promoting another product. The Last of Us had a significant effect as well, since its emphasis on character development, tone, and morality resonated with the team, creating the groundwork for the game.
Hugo and Amicia were created as a reflection of the dynamic in games like ICO and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and how rats became the disease spreader were among the plot concepts that the team began to develop as a consequence. However, external reviewers were called in during production to go at the game, with most of the critique being very critical. Choteau points out that many of these comments effectively informed them that nothing was holding together, even predicting that the game would only get a 55-60 per cent rating.
Choteau recalls that this was a significant setback for the team’s morale, particularly after two years of preparation. As a consequence, the director made a radical choice, instructing the whole crew to rerun the game and effectively redo the majority of the work. This involved revising speech, story developments, and gameplay in order to create the greatest product possible. This led to an extra nine months of development time being allowed before the release of A Plague Tale: Innocence in 2019.
As a result, Innocence would not get a second internal review, and the first outside comments would come from reviewers a month or two before the book’s publication. Up to the game’s final release, there was cautious hope about it, and many were surprised that it managed to score so well in the end. This gave the developers renewed drive to create A Plague Tale: Requiem better than Innocence, absorbing every piece of negative criticism and addressing what didn’t work.