Making Their Mark

Making Their Mark
Proud To Be Different

Shannon "Vandemar" Drake | 16 Oct 2007 08:18
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"Like the team, the Postal series is also a true anomaly," he says, when asked about their flagship franchise. "Historically, we've done very well, with over 1 million units sold worldwide, with most sales coming from the international market." The remarkable part, he says, is most of the work has been done in-house. "We have basically co-published the series ourselves, had zero budget for marketing, and never really been on the retail shelves in North America. That's pretty amazing." The upcoming Postal III will make the company and series' debut on consoles, he says, and they're all very excited about it. "Nothing is better than getting emails from anxious fans awaiting Postal to be on 360."

He describes Postal fans as older, saying, "Originally, we thought our audience would be the hardcore gamer. After all, the first Postal was an arcade-style game. As it turned out, mainly because of the humor, satire and overall political correctness or incorrectness of the game, our audience is much older." Postal fans tend to be "30-plus in age, highly educated and socially and morally libertarian," he says, "[but] we never really set out designing with a core audience in mind. Actually, we design based on what we like, and we figure if we like it a lot, then there will be others who feel the same way, and I think that's proven to be true. Let's face it, in the game, we target everyone." Indeed they do. One of the series' strengths is no group goes un-skewered, even Running With Scissors themselves. "I really think that's why it does so well, why it hits home, if you know what I mean."

A lot of what the company does seems designed to antagonize, from the names of their products (the Postal Fudge Pack, for example), to the games themselves, to hiring Uwe Boll to direct the Postal movie, but at the same time, pulp can have power, too. Sometimes, being provocative can say more than all the nice words in the world. I asked if they were trying to make a statement in the artistic sense, or if they were just trying to make fun games. "I do believe that videogames have risen to an art form level," Desi said, "but, personally, I still think [that] first and foremost, they are games, a form of entertainment." He says he's been making games for over 20 years, "and for me, a videogame is still a game, not a movie, not a novel. It's something you play and should have fun [playing]." At the company level, he says, "I think RWS has a very pure and objective view of things, and that's reflected in our games. The fact is, we include everyone, gender, religion, race, size and attitude. The main problem has been [that] we were labeled and positioned as the scapegoats of the industry from the very beginning. I don't think for a second it's based on content. It's much more to do with the politics of retail and distribution. That's why I love digital distribution."

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