High Voltage Stakes Their Claim And Starts The Wii Renaissance

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We interviewed High Voltage CEO and Founder, Kerry Ganofsky about their upcoming title, The Conduit. Finally someone is actually using the Wii hardware to make something beautiful. I hope High Voltage and Sega can send a message out to all those other 3rd parties who are trying to cut a steak off the cash cow by putting out poor quality Wii titles. The Conduit will be the first Wii game since launch that will have hardcore gamers turning their heads. Here’s the full interview:

Torrence Davis: Tell me about The Conduit

Kerry Ganofsky: The Conduit is a Wii specific FPS due out in June 2009. You play a secret service agent named Ford. Agent Ford discovers an alien conspiracy in our government about the aliens taking over the planet earth.

TD: How long has the game been in development?

KG: Over 14 months

TD: Do you see a problem with a lot of the Wii games that have been released as far as quality goes?

KG: Everyone’s aware that a lot of the Wii product that’s been moved over is an afterthought. There’s the front line PS3/360 and then there’s a Wii port if you will or as publishers like to call them, ‘port pluses’. What we set out to do is actually create technology from the ground up and create a product from the ground up that’s Wii specific. We took the opposite approach and I think everything you’re seeing here shows it.

TD: Graphically, this looks better than anything I’ve seen in most Wii games. Was it difficult to get this kind of power out of the Wii?

KG: We have a very talented engineering staff back at High Voltage. They’ve rung out every ounce of power that they can and I think there’s still room for improvement. This is typically something you see on an Xbox 360 or PS3 and we are bringing this home to every Wii consumer. There’s 50 million people out there clamoring for a title like this.

TD: Do you think a game like this is going to hit all those hardcore gamers that are just dying for something like this on the Wii?

KG: Yes, this is a hardcore demographic, but I think with the control, the type of game(it’s teen rated) and a compelling storyline, it makes it accessible to the average Wii user. I think that your average Wii user does want to see this type of fidelity in their product. I’m a hardcore gamer myself but my two kids play the Wii all the time in the living room and I wanna play the Wii. I wanna play a product that’s worthy of my time. That’s why we made this.

TD: My kid won’t touch the Wii anymore. He saw Madworld and said, “Whoa we gotta get that!” because he loves the hardcore stuff, but he’ll like this too because he likes FPS games.

TD: Now that you’ve created this game, if it’s a big hit, could it possibly go over to the PS3 or 360?

KG: I wouldn’t rule anything out. There’s definitely a market there. There’s been companies doing PS3/360 shooters several revs deep now. There’s a time and a place for everything. If Nintendo, Sega and High Voltage come to an understanding, I think The Conduit could become the Halo for the Wii.

TD: Is there multiplayer?

KG: Yes.

TD: Do you need a crazy friend code to play?

KG: (smiles) I won’t comment this time on what’s required for multiplayer. I will confirm 16 player deathmatch, capture the flag and all the usual things mp fans crave we will have.

TD: You guys are going for broke then.

KG: Yes we are!

TD: Do you think you will have the upper hand this year as far as Wii titles, seeing what else has come out and seeing what you’ve done?

KG: I think that every title has it’s place…every genre, but for an FPS fan, yes!

TD: Do you think that after this comes out you’ll see more Wii games like this?

KG: I previously wanted to say that yes, I think we are the definitive title. Yes, I think certain people will try and play catch up. It makes sense. You’ve seen large publishers making a commitment to the Wii all of a sudden. I think that bodes well for consumers and competition. If people take the platform seriously, more people will buy Wii’s and more people will buy our game. I think it’s good for the consumer, Nintendo and every publisher.

TD: It was just last week when I was saying I wish someone would use the power of the Wii and come out with something great. I tripped out when I saw this and have high hopes for it.

KG: I hope we meet your high level of expectations. We look forward to your feedback.

TD: Thanks for your time. Any last words?

KG: I wanna say thanks to the team. They’ve worked really hard to bring this experience to the Wii. I wanna say thanks to Sega and their executive team for sharing the same level of dedication as we do. Thanks to Nintendo for making a great platform and showing that a product doesn’t have to be $600 to get into everyone’s living room. Lastly I’d like to thank people like you who’ve supported us and reached out to us and have said great things about the platform needing this type of title.

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