When Microsoft demoed Kinect Star Wars during its E3 2011 Press Conference a collective groan rang out among the attendees. Not only did the demo fail to impress, it looked near unplayable and did nothing to capture a Star Wars fan's enthusiasm.
Then, when the game continued its marketing push and elements like the Stormtrooper dancing reared their ugly heads, it turned nearly every Star Wars fan into what Lucas has inevitably made them: a cynic. However, having a cynical outlook isn't necessarily a bad thing, in fact that's what Microsoft was looking for when they were developing the game.
According to Kudo Tsunoda, the Creative Director for Kinect, the development team tried to bring on the most passionate of Star Wars fans in an effort to make a motion controlled game that appealed to a wide age group. Obviously the game skews a little younger, but Tsunoda felt that if the team could get some cynics, or as they like to call them passionate fans, on board then that would boost the appeal and quality of Kinect Star Wars.
"We made sure we had 'cynical' Star Wars fans on the development team - although we just prefer to call them 'passionate'. We approached the game will a level of care, crafting and love that fans would want to put into a product like this."
What's most interesting about this news is how it counteracts Kinect Star Wars' Product Manager's claims that the game would not be for core gamers. Some on the development team clearly knew what they were making, while others had delusions of mass appeal.
Now that the game is available to the public, though, it appears that the hiring of "cynics" didn't do much to alter the kid-friendly quality of Kinect Star Wars. It's still too early to label the game a success or a failure — it only released two days ago — but in Star Wars fans' eyes this is yet another disappointing product from LucasArts.
Props to Microsoft for trying to make a game that would have broad appeal, and going so far as to hire passionate fans to serve that purpose, but in the end the game speaks for itself.
Have you had a chance to check out Kinect Star Wars? Do you think that Microsoft hiring cynics was merely a ploy to convince fans that this game would be worth checking out?
Kinect Star Wars is out now for the Xbox 360.