About a week ago, a company named Beamdog managed to catch many of us off guard by announcing a remake to BioWare’s Neverwinter Nights. Remakes are hardly avante garde these days. At the helm is Beamdog, purveyors of numerous classic RPG enhancements, including Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2 and Planescape: Torment. The $20 price point is enticing to those of us that look fondly at the epic mod community NWN heralded from launch. This instantly piqued my interest. The Neverwinter campaign and mods may ring a bell to newcomers to Dungeons & Dragons gamers and old fogies alike. Remember the ye ol’ Foundry, a playground of user-generated content for Neverwinter (and Star Trek Online)? Well, it’s gone, but NWN Enhanced will include all of its mod glory, including some packaged with the Enhanced game.
There could be something there. Something for Beamdog and Cryptic Studios to contemplate. Could this be one of the moments that opens the market? Could the two games set in the same universe and campaign enable the respective communities to cross pollinate? Assuming they would, cloud the subset of players actually stick to the other title at all? I subscribe to the world view that likes to believe the idiom that a rising tide raises all ships so there’s no reason Neverwinter can’t continue to be successful and NWN Enhanced to rekindle some of the glory of the original.
That’s certainly what I’d like to see happen. The developers and publishers working together to bring out the best in their respective products, while ultimately looking to deliver an even better experience between the two games. “How?” you ask? Outside typical marketing bumps on Twitter and Facebook, the tandem could highlight the most well-designed user-generated content and put them together in a March Madness style bracket. Assuming the Foundry makes a return.
Options and opportunities abound. That doesn’t mean the companies will execute. But a fan can dream, right?