DuckTales: Remastered Focus Testing Reveals That Kids Don't Know Jack These Days
Posted by Damien McFerran
Capcom speaks on the challenges of selling old titles to new audiences
The original DuckTales NES title is over twenty years old now, and the cartoon which inspired it just as ancient.
While the announcement of DuckTales: Remastered clearly put a lot of smiles on the faces of 30-something players who recall when they first experienced the 8-bit edition, publisher Capcom is clearly hoping that they won't be the only people to download it — hence the need to test the game on younger players.
Speaking to Siliconera, producer Rey Jimenez revealed that trying to sell an old IP to less mature gamers isn't as easy as you might imagine:
Siliconera: A show that perhaps we grew up with, but I don’t think many kids these days know who "Unca Scrooge" is.
Rey Jimenez: They don’t. They absolute do not and that is no joke. We did focus tests when they played the game. They had no idea who the character was and didn’t know what Ducktales was.
S: What did kids say during the focus tests?
RJ: They go who is this "Grandpa Duck?" They didn’t have a real connection to him apart from him being part of the duck family in Ducktales.
S: Did they get the pogo stick mechanic or was that too old school for them?
RJ: It’s pretty old school for them. The kids we focus tested with are Disney fans. They appreciate Disney as it is. They find the barrier for entry is easy enough for them, so they enjoyed the game. But, the concept of a 2D platformer starring this person is very foreign to them.
We did a lot of tuning within it. There was some frustration among kids because they’re not used to playing a game like this, which can be hard if you’re not used to playing a platform game. Easy mode has a lot of tuning and features that were pulled out of these focus tests to make easy mode more accessible for players that aren’t as used to 2D platform games as older games are.
S: What about the secret passages? Ducktales is full of them. Did kids figure that out?
RJ: Kids nowadays do not think that way. That’s why we needed to have a cutscene in there to explain you have to look in the walls for a secret.
Hopefully the game won't be dumbed down to cater for newcomers, otherwise it's likely to lose some of the audience which has been waiting patiently for a new DuckTales title for more than two decades.