Reply To: The Colonel’s Bequest-Game Extras

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(re: Colonel’s Bequest) I asked Roberta – and she said that it was me who should answer this question, not her. She says that she would have been happy to work on whatever the company wanted, and that we never asked her for a third Colonels Bequest, so she didn’t do one.
So.. since Roberta wanted me to answer, I’ll give my thought:
Roberta was only one person, and games typically take 2-3 years to produce. She could only do one game at a time, without quality suffering. In other words, if she were to do three Colonel’s Bequest games, she would be unable to do a Kings Quest for 6-9 years!
I don’t remember exactly, but my guess is that we looked at the sales forecasts from marketing, and decided that Roberta was “worth more to the company” working on a Kings Quest than on a third Colonel’s Bequest.
With Phantasmagoria II, Roberta wanted the company to hold off until after Kings Quest VIII to start the project. Unfortunately, Phantasmagoria was such a HUGE hit (over one million copies!!!!!!) that marketing wanted Phantasmagoria II right away. Roberta also thought that it was too soon after Phantasmagoria I to do Phantasmagoria II anyhow. She was worried that the introduction of II so soon after I would kill sales of I (which is exactly what happened, and worse).
We decided to give Phantas II to Lorelei Shannon to do. Lorelei’s style is different than Roberta’s and customers aren’t dumb. They quickly decided that Phantas II was a VERY different game than Phantas I, and some bought it, and many didn’t. Phantas II was not the hit that Phantas I was. Lorelei did a great job, but her style, and Roberta’s are very different. You really can’t continue a series without the original designers involvement.
-Ken W