After months of waiting, Genesis fans were finally able to get their eager little hands on Super Fighter Team’s Beggar Prince. The 32meg RPG is truly a watershed moment for the console, marking not only the first commercially released game in almost a decade but also undeniable proof that it is quite possible in this day and age to manufacture such a product and bring it to market.
But now that Beggar Prince is a wonderful reality and in people’s homes, what does this mean for Super Fighter Team? Will it be a one-shot deal, or does this open the door to future localizations? Sega-16 recently spoke to company head Brandon Cobb, who shed some light on the whole experience of Beggar Prince and his future plans for the Genesis.
Sega-16: It’s out, shipped, and people are finally enjoying Beggar Prince. What are your thoughts on the project now that it’s done? Was there anything you wish you had done differently, or did everything meet your expectations?
Brandon Cobb: I am quite the perfectionist, as my team quickly learned. Nothing is done until it’s done right. I am very pleased with the outcome of Beggar Prince, and based on most of the responces I’ve received from customers via e-mail, they are too.
Sega-16: What was your favorite part about working on Beggar Prince?
Brandon Cobb: The absolute best part of the project was the satisfaction I received from making a brand new game available for the Sega Genesis. Super Fighter Team was founded upon a dream of mine that stems back to my childhood: I yearned to produce and release great games for systems that I had always enjoyed. Since middle school I talked about it, and no one figured this talk would ever manifest itself into an actual product. I believed in myself, and I believed what could be accomplished if I worked hard toward my goal without paying any heed to the comments of naysayers.
I had some great people working with me on the Beggar Prince project, and it made the development process that much more enjoyable. Despite the setbacks we faced, we rose above and delivered a quality product. I would gladly go back and do it all again.
Sega-16: How well has it sold so far?
Brandon Cobb: We produced 600 copies of Beggar Prince, selling just over 500 of them so far. At this point, we have received orders from the following countries: USA, Canada, Japan, England, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, and Ireland. I’d like to give special mention to those who purchased copies of the game in bulk to help import it into their countries.
Sega-16: After the problems with Older Games, some people thought the game would never ship at all. Was this ever really a danger?
Brandon Cobb: OlderGames was going to foot some the production bill and help advertise and distribute the game, but all of the actual production arrangements had been made by me. At one point I realized it would be feasible for me to supervise the production, advertising and sales of the product my own, in a manner which I preferred to that of OlderGames’ approach. Since all people involved with the production of the physical product were acquired through my own research, there was never a risk for the game not to appear.
In addition, the fact that Super Fighter Team published the game made for a much higher quality product at a lower price. OlderGames had pressed me to release the game before bugfixing had been completed and wanted to include just a one-page instruction card rather than the 27-page instruction manual that we ended up shipping the game with. Even with these remissions, their suggested price tag for the game was $50 per copy. Publishing the game through my own company, I was able to provide everything I originally envisioned, as well as adjust the price to $40. The end result was a win-win situation for myself and for the customers.
Sega-16: You’ve been hitting the gaming forum circuit for months now, in an effort to take orders and answer questions. What’s the reception been like?
Brandon Cobb: Aside from the few people who don’t completely understand just what we’re trying to do here, the response in gaming forums has been very energetic, warm, and optimistic. There has been a ripple of energy and interest from hobbyist Genesis programmers and sincere appreciation from Genesis owners around the world. My original goal for Beggar Prince was to have it awaken the community a bit, as a sign of things to come. That’s been accomplished, and I hope it will inspire others to try their hand at similar projects.
Sega-16: Some people have criticized the box art, quality of translation, and even the size of the insert! What would you say to them?
Brandon Cobb: People criticize everything; it’s human nature. In the gaming industry, criticism can often be a powerful tool; you can learn from any shortcomings you may have made and hope to please more people the next time around.
Sega-16: It must have been quite a challenge to get this project off the ground and out the door. What has this whole experience been like for you?
Brandon Cobb: The Beggar Prince project has seen me through many days, many changes in my life, people coming and going… it’s really something surreal to take in. Even though the game has been shipping to customers for over a month now, it’s still hard for me to believe that it’s over and done, that it’s now a closed chapter of my life. It’s surely a time that I’ll never forget, and I learned a great many things from the process that will stick with me forever.
Sega-16: Has C&E or any other Taiwanese publisher expressed an interest in allowing other properties to be rereleased?
Brandon Cobb: Of course, I have been talking to C&E and to other Taiwanese video game companies, to see what we may be able to accomplish through future collaboration. The interest is there, sure, but before I can decide for sure what we will or won’t work on, I have to go over the product with a fine-toothed comb and weigh the costs and development time. Only time will tell for certain what we do next.
Sega-16: Do you think the commercial release of Genesis games could eventually grow to be as big as the Atari or ColecoVision scene?
Brandon Cobb: That all depends on what the people who love and support the Genesis decide to do about the future of their scene. I am certain of one thing: We’ll see more new products for the Genesis, after Beggar Prince. That’s a given.
Sega-16: What’s next for Super Fighter Team?
Brandon Cobb: We’re finishing work on an action-puzzle game for Symbian-based mobile phones, called Super Fighter Block Battle, which I designed and produced many of the graphics for. We’re cooking up some other neat ideas in the mean time, which are also sure to delight.
We’ll be anxiously awaiting Super Fighter Team’s next announcement. In the meantime, Beggar Prince has us firmly glued to our seats. Our thanks to Mr. Cobb, and we wish him and his company the best for the future.