Forspoken, the latest game from developer Luminous Productions and publisher Square Enix, was released last month to a mostly underwhelming reception from fans. A lot of criticism was pointed at the game’s writing and gameplay, but the story was divisive with some either loving it or hating it. According to one industry veteran Gary Whitta who worked on the original concept for Forspoken, his story pitch wasn’t anything like the final game.
During a recent interview with Alanah Pearce, Whitta noted the original story for Forspoken that he and his “hand-picked” writers pitched to Square Enix and Luminous Productions was nothing like what we got in the final product. He added that Amy Hennig, who is listed as one of Forspoken‘s writers, probably didn’t have as much say in the final game as many assume. Whitta was then asked by Square Enix to elaborate on his “gem of an idea” and continue working on the game with his writers.
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After spending some time refining Forspoken‘s story with his writers, Whitta was approached by Square Enix and told that everything they worked on would be rebooted. Whitta explained:
“Some months after that, they came back to me and one of the other writers and said, ‘We’re going to start over and completely reboot the story, we want it to be this now.’ And what they pitched us was something that’s very closer to what they actually have now which is about a girl from the real world that gets sucked into this fantasy world. That wasn’t anything; the version we did was nothing like that. They [Square Enix] said ‘We want this girl from the real world to get sucked into this fantasy universe’.”
It sounds like Whitta’s original pitch for Forspoken didn’t have your standard “isekai” story about a real-world protagonist being warped into a fantasy land, which begs the question of what the original story actually was. Luminous Productions sold Forspoken with Hennig and Whitta as “some of the talented writers behind this game”, but it seems like they had little input in the end. Whitta also noted that only the word “Athia”, the name of the game’s world, was retained from his original story.
Whitta was only credited as having worked on the original concept for Forspoken and not listed as a writer in the final game’s credits.
Forspoken is currently available for PS5 and PC.
Source: Alanah Pearce