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Syndicate reboot 'was a lost battle from the start,' says dev

Starbreeze CEO reflects: "But I'm proud of what the team did"

FPS reboot Syndicate was "a lost battle from the get-go," Starbreeze CEO, Mikael Nermark has said, but the Riddick studio boss is still "proud" of his team's work.


Speaking to Edge, Nermark said he always expected a backlash following EA's decision to turn the classic strategy series into a shooter.

"Yes, I'm still proud of it," he said. "To have the courage to reboot the franchise... We knew from the get-go that there was going to be a small but very vocal [group] of gamers and journalists that was going to hate us whatever route we took.

"If we didn't do an exact copy of the game, they'd hate us. If we did do an exact copy, they'd say we didn't innovate. They were never ours to win; it was a lost battle from the get-go.

"But I'm proud of what the team did and what we made, and I'm especially proud of the co-op; I think that really shows what we wanted to do with the game, and Starbreeze's DNA."

Syndicate sold poorly - an estimated 150,000 copies worldwide - which prompted EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau to tell CVG "it didn't pay off - it didn't work."

"I don't have any response to what Frank said," Nermark told Edge. "I think both EA and Starbreeze can look back at it and say that we could have done stuff differently. [But] if you ask anyone about any game in production they probably would say the same thing.

"In comparison to other triple-A teams, in terms of people and money, we're very small. I'm not going to tell you exactly what Syndicate cost to make - I can't due to NDAs - but it was substantially less than what the big in-house publishing studios would have spent, definitely."