Thursday, 12 February 2015

James Marsden Owner and Director of FuturLab

Hi guys,

I am very happy to bring to you all today an interview with the wonderful James Marsden, owener of FuturLab. He is the reason we all have the wonderful series that is, Velocity. There is no excuse for you not to have played it as it is truely amazing, and it has been part of PS+! I hope this interview gives you an insight into the working mind of James and FuturLab, I would pay particular attention to the last answer!

1: Was it daunting taking the Velocity series onto next gen?

It was a little daunting trying to find the right people, but honestly once we hired the team there were no worries, at least from me.


2: Is there any more DLC planned now Critical Urgency and Dual Core have been released?

That’d be telling…


3: How did Velocity 2X come to be part of the Instant Game Collection for the PS+?

Our goal has always been to make our partners look good, and in the case of the Velocity series, it’s been making PlayStation look good. Of course we care about the players, but our business relies on companies like PlayStation coming back to us for great content. Velocity 2X, which was predicted to be a GOTY winner by us, and ultimately proved to be, given away for free made PlayStation Plus a really great deal. That makes Sony happy, and ultimately leads to a stronger relationship between PlayStation and FuturLab. There’s also the benefit of huge exposure that we couldn’t have created by ourselves.


4: All the games you have released have been on Playstation platforms, have you every thought of making the console jump?

We’re interested in building long term relationships based on quality and trust. Up to this point we’ve found Sony to be the most welcoming of all platform holders, so it’s been easy for us to make a call about who to work with. Doors have opened to us since the success of Velocity though, so we’ll never say never.


5: Have you thought of expanding Velocity into other areas, such as graphic novels, or maybe a film?

We’d love to do that, but really those kind of things need mainstream success and a huge amount of financial backing; neither of which we have!


6: Where would you like to see FuturLab in 5 years time?

We are good at generating new ideas with relevance, depth and artistic integrity, so I’d like to see a portfolio of successful game franchises under our belt, not just Velocity.


7: What academic route did you take to end up in your current position?

I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school. I followed a friend to Art College purely by accident, and discovered that I had some value for the first time. I followed that path to a Fine Art degree, but I’m no artist as I can’t draw very well. It was only after leaving University – completely unemployable – that I realised there was a huge opportunity in web and Flash development. So I taught myself how to write code, and started FuturLab to make Flash games. It was a golden era for creative people back then, as there was so much advertising/marketing money sloshing about as people fought for attention on the internet.


8: Did you ever feel you had bitten off more than you could chew with the Velocity games when you co-wrote and co-produced the soundtracks as well?

Nah, I had at least a decade of untapped burning passion, and it flooded into my work. I was so excited to be working on music with Joris de Man.


9: How did you find out you were getting the GOTY award for the PS Vita category from Gamespot? How did you then feel?

I just saw that someone had tweeted about it. After sticking my neck out about it just a few months earlier, it felt good! Confirmation that we know what we’re doing! =)


10: When can we expect the next major announcement from FuturLab?


There you go guys, what do you think the announcement will be? Thanks again to James for doing the interview with me, and thanks to you all for reading it!

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