SYBERIA 3 FEATURES
‘All Uncharted and Tomb Raider fans will love Kate Walker’s latest outing’ With Syberia 3 hitting shelves later this month, 12 years after the last iteration in the series, Marie Dealessandri catches up with Anuman Interactive CEO Stéphane Longeard and marketing exec at UK distributor PQube Anne-Lou Grosbois Favreau to talk about the evolution of the franchise
fter its golden age in the 90s, the point-and-click genre could have easily gone the way of the dodo in the modern games industry. With increasing demand for fast-paced action titles, it seemed like the genre was no longer aligned with players’ expectations. That is, until former LucasArts staff Dan Connors, Kevin Bruner and Troy Molander created Telltale Games in 2004 and managed to almost single-handedly revitalise the entire format. Of course, Telltale wasn’t the only studio to bring point-andclicks back from the brink. Double Fine played its part with 2015’s Kickstarted-title Broken Age, and so have Square Enix and Dontnod with Life is Strange. Thanks to those titles, point-and-clicks now encompass a much broader genre that’s synonymous with adventure and story-driven games.
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The Syberia franchise is part of this trend and has steadily evolved over the past decade alongside the point-and-click’s renaissance. “The first instalment of the Syberia saga, released in 2002, was hailed as an international success,” Stéphane Longeard, CEO of French developer Anuman Interactive, tells MCV. “The second chapter was also critically acclaimed globally when it was released two years later. Over a decade later, we were still receiving messages from fans all over the world asking us a sequel. After several years of discussions, [creator and artistic director] Benoît Sokal and [Anumanowned adventure publishing label] Microids have joined forces again to offer players a brand-new Kate Walker adventure.” Syberia 3 takes place a few weeks after the end of the second opus, with heroine lawyer-turned-
adventurer Kate Walker stuck in the middle of the Siberian steppe in pretty bad shape. However, this brand-new title didn’t come to life without a few setbacks. Originally announced in 2009, Syberia 3 was due to release on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC in 2010, but disappeared from radars until Sokal himself said a year later that work on the title hadn’t even begun. Eventually, a partnership was signed with Anuman Interactive in 2012 with a planned release date in 2015. “To give you all the details, [the original 2009] announcement was made by the previous company who acquired Microids before Anuman Interactive,” Longeard explains. “At this time, they announced a sequel of Syberia but the project had never started at all. Later in 2009, Anuman Interactive bought Microids but Syberia 3 development started in Q3 2013.
“The game is Microids’ greatest ambition so far and seeing the expectations it created 12 years after the release of Syberia 2, we want to deliver the best game experience possible. That’s why the development took some time.” Syberia 3 is now releasing on PS4, Xbox One and PC on April 21st, with a Switch version currently pencilled in for Q4 2017. THE NEXT STEPPE In French-speaking markets, the name of Benoît Sokal is enough to be a strong selling point for Syberia 3, as he’s not only known for his involvement in the games industry through Microids but he’s also as a best-selling comics author and artist. However, in the UK, Syberia remains a niche series, so bringing new players to this third iteration could prove tricky. “We work closely with PQube, our distributor in the UK,” Longeard
April 7th 2017