The Metro series is somewhat of an oddity. Video games based on comics and film properties are a dime a dozen but video games based on books are a rare thing. Rarer still are western games that are set outside the perspective of American or English protagonists.
Adapted from Dmitry Glukhovsky novella, the Metro series is set in a bleak post-apocalyptic Russia allowing the players to navigate a nuclear wasteland infested with enemies and mutants. It isn’t the most jaw-droppingly original concept for a video game, but the shifted cultural perspective and bleakness give the series a distinct flavor.
That is why some fans were worried when Deep Silver CEO, Dr Klemens Kundratitz, told Joystiq that though the series is looking to have more sequels, it will try to look at “making it more accessible for a broader gamer audience.” To many gamers, this is poison to their ears as making a game more accessible to a broader audience often suggests a gravitation towards what is popular, instead of forging or maintaining a unique identity.
Due to gamer concerns, Metro developer 4A Games decided to address the issue head on in a blog post. Talking about the possibility of Kundratitz’s comment meaning a ‘dumbed down’ version of Metro, the post said, “we would like to reassure the Metro fanbase that Deep Silver has absolutely no intention of compromising Metro’s unique DNA.”
The team then went on to clarify the comments, explaining that in order to appeal to a broader audience they intended to go the route of better spending and more platforms:
Deep Silver will seek to make the world of Metro more accessible to a broader audience – through a commitment to ever higher product quality; through greater strategic investment in the brand; and, in the immediate term, through the release of dedicated Mac and Linux versions of Metro: Last Light.
It is rather refreshing to see a development team decide to appeal to a broader audience by touching new platforms and accessing a whole new audience, instead of trying to copy what is popular and steal another franchise’s player base. Many feel that other horror series like Resident Evil 6, with its now action-heavy gameplay and Dead Space 3, with its microtransactions, have tried to pander to a broader audience and have come off worse for it. It is understandable why the Metro fanbase were fretting for their beloved franchise after Kundratitz’s comments, but such a public clarification means that they can sleep a little easier for now.