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Interview: Magicka's producer talks about reaching the 200,000 sales mark and more

If some people still need prove that the PC game industry is not dead they only have to take a look at the sales success of Magicka. The humor-filled fantasy-action RPG from developer Arrowhead Game Studios was released in late January via download sites by publisher Paradox Interactive. Today Big Download can exclusively reveal that the game has now sold over 200,000 copies in its first 17 days on sale.

While the game took some hits from game reviewers with bug issues (indeed the latest bug patch was released via Steam today), that hasn't stopped many from professing their overall enjoyment of Magicka. Big Download got Paradox's producer Mattias Lilja to talk about the game reaching the 200,000 unit sales mark and what the future has in store for Magicka.
Magicka has now passed the 200,000 unit sales mark. How are sales of the game doing in comparison to previous Paradox titles?

Magicka is doing very well, we are really happy with it. It's hard to compare Magicka to most other Paradox titles, though, mostly because of its genre. We have a few action-type games out right now (Lead & Gold, Mount & Blade: Warband), and so far Magicka is holding its own or even beating them. The affordable price point of Magicka is also a huge factor; how can you say "no" to a gem like this priced at just $9.99?

Why do you think this game has touched a nerve with gamers?

I think it's the combination of a kick-ass gameplay and the retro, fun looks. The unforgiving friendly fire gets a lot of praise as well; hot seat co-op is just such a bloody joy. It's even fun to die, as long as you have friends there to steal your loot... I mean, revive you.

Does the company see Magicka as being a game that will constantly sell well even months after its release?

All signs so far point to Magicka being a long seller, and we will do our best to keep improving it as well as producing DLC that adds to the experience.

Much has been made about the many bugs in the game that were found after release but Paradox and Arrowhead have been quick to release patches. Are you close to where you want to be in terms of fixing the issues that are affecting gamers?

Close, but not there yet. The basic tech design of Magicka sets some limits to what we can realistically do, but there's still stuff we can and definitely will improve upon. I am super impressed with how the team responded to the early – and well-founded – criticism; they just put on their robes on and got to work fixing things.

Will we see any free and/or paid content updates for Magicka and if so what hints can you give us about what will be included in those updates?

Yea, the release plan includes both free and paid DLC. The Arrowhead team asked if they could be a bit daring when it comes to the DLC and we told them yes. They really did go off the reservation with some stuff, and I bet my Wizard's survival kit most gamers will love it. The team is set up in such a way that some guys can keep patching the game while others produce DLC, without getting in the way of each other or stealing resources from one another.

Is Arrowhead already working on its next game? If so is Paradox going to publish it and will it be a Magicka sequel or something different?

Yes... and no... Okay, I'm not going to answer that until I can commit to anything. Let me just say this: we love the team and they don't hate us, so I see great things ahead.

Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Magicka?

Buy the game before the Internet runs out of copies!


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