Warren Spector is treated like a legend by many gamers, and with valid reason; he's been involved with some of the most influential and acclaimed games of the past few decades and can count System Shock, Ultima, Wing Commander, Deus Ex and Thief among his credits.
However, speaking to IGN, Spector revealed that the 2010 Wii exclusive Epic Mickey holds a special place in his heart for a wide range of reasons, and he considers it to be one of the "high points" of his illustrious career.
During the interview, Spector reveals that Epic Mickey's influence has been felt in unexpected ways. The game marked the return of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, an almost-forgotten Disney character that hadn't been seen used by the company since the middle of the 20th century. It also introduced Ortensia, Oswald's girlfriend - an entirely new character created for the game.
Spector reveals that he recently received an official Disney mug with both characters on it, and mused that Disney's merchandising team might not even be aware that Ortensia isn't an original Disney character, and in fact came from a video game. He also credits the game with making Oswald popular again.
Spector goes on to state that he's had more fan mail for Epic Mickey than any other game he has worked on, and that he's been told by some fans that the game has helped them get through periods of serious ill health.
The fan mail that gets him most of all involves an autistic girl who really connected with the world Spector and his team at Junction Point had created:
Here's the one that kills me. I got an envelope in the mail and I opened it up and out came a coloured pencil drawing of Oswald and Mickey, Oswald with his arm around Mickey, Mickey with his arm around Oswald, legs dangling off a cliff, looking up at a starry sky. And it looked like it an 8 or 9 year old kid had drawn it - I'm getting chills thinking about this - and then I pulled out the letter and the letter was from a father who said, 'My sixteen year old autistic daughter doesn't interact with the world but she played your game and drew this, and it she insisted that I send it to you - she engaged with the world because of your game.'
Screw Metacritic. Screw the gamers who didn't like our camera. Screw everybody. I am really proud of that game. I am really proud of the team that made it, and nothing is ever going to sway me from feeling that was one of the high points of my career.
What are your memories of Epic Mickey? Let us know by posting a comment.