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It's time again for one of the legendary interview as preparation of our cult RPG "Gothic".
This time, we choosed a partner that again and again is a victim of taunts and flame posts: the publisher. There are an uncountable amount of threads that blame the publisher for all sorts of things. They allegedly are responsible for bugs and for delays, they enslave the poor developers our of greed etc.
They muzzle the developers and are to blame for the catastrophic information policy, they create a pressure of time which result in a lack of a proper error checking. They even bar KaiRo from publishing the official Gothic 3 webpage in the first quarter as he promised. So they are the bad guys, the dumb ones, the mean ones, the grabbers and the incompetent ones. So why do our Gothic gods work with such a gloomy, greedy publisher?
We wanted to find out and faced the evil incarnate. And here they are, the questions and we hope that they will actually answer. We are talking to Stefan Berger (Brand Manager) and Johann Ertl (Community Manager). As usual, the questions are posed by meditate.

World of Gothic:
Actually, you look rather normal. After my rather unflattering introduction, I expected someone else. You look normal people who someone could even trust. Tell us what you are doing.
Stefan Berger:
Stefan Berger focused
I accompany the procject Gothic III from beginning till end and beyond. Everything created by the developers is first reviewed by me before it is released to the public. I and my PR colleagues are also evaluating ideas like special editions or goodies. I also carry out presentations on exhibitions and for partners. I accompany the Gothic series since the second part and of course was a fan of the first part before that.
Johann Ertl:
Johann Ertl also very focused ;)
As part of job as community manager, I took over the support for the gothic series recently. My job is to take care of the fans both in the official forum but also on fanpages. A CM delivers information and assets to the fans, accept wishes and suggestions from the fans and is the "boss" of the team that is moderating the official pages.
KaiRo:
Hi folks. Stefan and Johann explicitly invited my to this interview to comment the statements from the developer's point of view. Well, was this really a good idea? *grin . Of course, I accepted gladly this free ticket to slandern in public. Actually, this invitation reflects rather well the cooperation between us the the publisher because most things aren't happening without the approval or constructive collaboration of the other party. BTW, in the introduction, JoWood is accused of barring me from launching the Gothic 3 page. This is not entirely true, the page is not ready yet and had to stand back my work on the gamemusic. The recording with the symphony orchestra are about to start and I spend most of my time with composing.
World of Gothic:
How did you become the publisher of the Gothic series? After all, the first part was published by Shoebox.
Stefan Berger:
We took over Gothic II as publisher/distributor from Phenomedia, the former owner of Piranha Bytes. After Phenomedia's financial problems, we decided to take over Gothic II completely and to continue the brand because of the uncountable many fans, the great game design and the great game. The first part was published by ShoeBox / Egmont Interactive.
World of Gothic:
Recently, there were alarming news about the financial situation of JoWood. Is it possible that these will effect the game?
Stefan Berger:
By no means! The mistakes that were done in the past will not be repeated. We want to publish only the best games and not before the developers, we as publisher, our partner and the costumer are completely satisfied...
KaiRo:
The JoWood building in Rottenmann, Austria
Of course there are certain losses that the publisher and the developers have to deal with, especially in the areas advertisement and marketing. We probably will have to do without movie trailers, ads in print medias, TV promotion ("the lotto numbers are presented by… Gothic 3") and similar things. Because of that, you, our fanatic communites are godsend. Still, I am able to undersign Stefan's statement that JoWood is doing anything possible to reach our high goals.
World of Gothic:
Who is setting the deadlines, you or the developers?
Stefan Berger:
Deadline are decided as team. This way, we can make sure that both parties are satisfied and the best results can be achieved.
World of Gothic:
So it is not true that the publisher is applying too much pressure resulting in a lot of bugs in the final product?
Stefan Berger:
No, not at all! After all, it is very important for the publisher that the games - and especially extraordinary highlights like Gothic 3 - have as few bugs as possible.
World of Gothic:
What will be the system requirements for Gothic 3?
Johann Ertl/Stefan Berger:
The besser the game, the better the graphics. Thanks to continuously adjustable graphic effects, Gothic III will run on an usual computer (e.g.. Win XP/2k 2 GHz + GeForce 3 (not G4MX!) 512 MB RAM or more). However, every gamers is surely aware that more power will allow higher resolutions etc. and therefore make the game "better". You should be on the safe side with this configuration: CPU around 3 GHZ, 512 MB Dual Channel (1 Gig is of course better), a good graphics card like the GeForxe 5900 or 6600GT or the Radeon 9800 Pro or X600, a rather fast HDD and of course a good soundcard.
World of Gothic:
The PBs said something about porting G3 to other platforms. Can you tell us more details?
Stefan Berger:
At this point, we cannot tell you anything about that, sorry.
World of Gothic:
Will there be an extensive betatest before the release?
Johann Ertl/Stefan Berger:
Naturally, Gothic III will be tested intensively, that is guaranteed. However, if you are asking about an open or semi-open betatest - that still has to be decided.
World of Gothic:
How does the time schedule for the completion of Gothic 3 looks like?
Stefan Berger:
We have agreed on over 25 different milestones with the developers. Milestones are e.g. the delivery of graphics, animations, levels. Listing all of them would be extremely boring to read.
KaiRo:
JoWooD resides on the 2nd and 3rd floor. Well, at least the landscape is nice.
At this point, one can see a big advantages of working with JoWood: JoWood is trusting us. Most publishers are control freaks that want to be informed about every mouse click.
World of Gothic:
What did you plan for the E3?
Stefan Berger:
Gothic III will be presented at our E3 booth. One of the specials is a gigantic wall that is bigger that 10 meters. We also created a trailer which will also be released after the E3. Promised!
World of Gothic:
KaiRo, is JoWood giving you any guidelines. Do the PBs e.g. have to refrain when displaying violence to avoid a high rating?
Johann Ertl/Stefan Berger:
The guys from PB never hold back. After all, this part of the special charm of the Gothic series. There is no censorship from our side.
KaiRo:
Complete affirmation from my side. BTW, the violence never was the main problem because there are no blood orgies in Gothic games. The Americans gave the game a "mature" rating because of generous presentation of the female anatomy, the consumption of weed and the explicit language of some NPCs.. :-)
World of Gothic:
Will there be a spezial Limited Edition of G3?
Stefan Berger:
Yes, there will be one but we do not know when yet.
World of Gothic:
There are rumors about an impending release of the English version of the addon. Can you give us more details?
Stefan Berger:
English versions will be released, we at JoWood took matters into our own hands.
World of Gothic:
Did you bring us a little present?
KaiRo:
The date shortly before the E3 is actually rather unfavourable. All images are already packaged as presents for the print magazine and websites. WorldOfGothic will of course also receive a package but at the same time as the others and not before the E3. However, we follow with interest your reactions to the screenshots that were (or will be) published in the PC ACTION and PC GAMES. To support your discussion about the appearance of the orcs, I give you a concept video with the title Design Orcs und Scavenger, Monster-Monster-Interaction. Have fun!

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