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Just Cause 2

Christofer Sundberg, boss of JC creator Avalanche, answers our questions...

We can't quite put our finger on it, but whenever we mention Just Cause 2's huge success, hardcore gamers go all goofy on us.

It could be that it was a relativity unfancied franchise before its No.1 triumph - slinking along in the shadow of Rockstar's open world epics.

It could be that it's made by a small(ish), very likeable independent developer at Avalanche - with a team that remains resolutely true to their core values.

Or it could be that it's such bloody great fun.

Yes, the seriousness business of hunting down a grizzled Wild West gangster over 40 hours is an important landmark in gaming.

But it's not flying helicopters into oil rigs or causing havoc with a wrecking ball, is it?

We caught up with Avalanche boss Christofer Sundberg to get his views on the JC2, the future of the series - and plenty more besides...

Just Cause 2 shot to No.1 in the UK chart - outperforming its predecessor. Were you expecting such a great performance at retail?
We were completely overwhelmed, so we were very humble of the challenge releasing the sequel. The first game was rightly criticised for some very important flaws - and it has been a challenge to improve what was right (grappling hook, parachute and stunts), invent some new and throw out what was bad (lack of incentive for players to do anything except the main missions).

Do you think the success of JC2 and the likes of Crackdown show that GTA isn't quite the 'king' of the the open world genre as it was in the past?
GTA will always be GTA. It's almost a genre of its own so it's a little hard to compare the two. We've never wanted to head-to-head with GTA like Saint's Row did.

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We've always looked upon Just Cause as a crazy action game and a playground for the player. It'd be insulting to GTA to call that a crazy action game or a playground when there's such a HUGE production value in that game.

Do you have plans for a third game in the series? Is this something currently under discussion, and are you hopeful it will be out for this generation of consoles?
It's all in the hands of the publisher really, but obviously since the original Just Cause concept and the game was created by our team here back in 2003, there is a strong emotional attachment to it.

I can't really comment too much on this one more than that.

I don't think the next generation of consoles will be around for another four - five years so I don't think the Just Cause fans are prepared to wait that long.

You made the JC2 demo freely available. In future, do you expect the payment model to stay the same in this regard - or will consumers begin paying for longer tasters of full products?
You can't call it a demo if you force consumers to pay for it. Games have become a luxurious form of entertainment and piracy has scared the market to start implementing ridiculous DRM solutions that only limits the consumers that actually pay for their games, not stopping the pirates.

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I don't think longer tasters with a cost associated with them are more than a waste of time and money. Let's focus on creating better games and better planned demos instead and not try to invent more ways to squeeze more money out of the consumer for one game.

You mention DRM there. I take it you're not a fan of it as a solution to piracy?
I'm not a fan of DRM solutions that only punishes the people who actually pay for our games. As PC sales constantly dropping, they are a small group of very dedicated PC players who deserves a game designed for them and I strongly believe that PC games and console games are two completely different games.

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