Since the last week we heard many rumours about Sir-Tech Canada. On the one hand, there were speculations about future projects of Sir-Tech (including Wizardry 9 and Jagged Alliance 3), while on the other hand, there were even rumours about Sir-Tech's closing doors and Wizardry 8 cancellation! Today we are talking with Sir-Tech Director Ian Currie to confirm or deny all these rumours.
DTF: So, the first question is: what happened with Wizardry 8? Why doesn't Wizardry 8 have a worldwide publisher for now?
Ian Currie: We had attempted to combine a deal for Wizardry 8 with Wizardry 9 (so that we'd have funding to develop the next game). We have been unable to do that with today's industry shift to console games. Now we're no longer actively pursuing funding for Wizardry 9 and simply concentrating on publishing Wizardry 8, which will be a lot more straightforward.
DTF: Well, Wizardry 8 still doesn't have a publisher, does it?
Ian Currie: There has been interest from a number of parties, but we haven't reached any signed deal yet.
DTF: What if Sir-Tech will not find funding? What will happen to the company and to its employees? Do you plan any actions to prevent this situation from getting worse?
Ian Currie: Unless we find funding in the next few weeks, the company will close its doors.
DTF: About three years ago the Big Sir-Tech announced its tumbledown. We remember by this time you've had a well-made demo of Jagged Alliance 2 and had Wizardry 8's advertising campaign at full speed. Then you spent a long time searching for a publisher and Jagged Alliance 2 hit on shelves much later then planned beforehand. And now this situation seems to repeat itself. What explanation can you find for such things? Signs of the fate?
Ian Currie: Perhaps. Our business model was to create the games we felt people wanted to play and present publishers with a finished product. The advantage to publishers was they knew the quality of the game - there was no risk as with typical development contracts. The advantage to us was to be able to develop the game in the manner we felt appropriate. Unfortunately, this business model didn't work as marketing wasn't being done by either us or a publisher.
DTF: Have you got proposals from Infogrames or Interplay (there was rumour that these companies were interested in Wizardry 8)? Why did you refuse it? Or maybe it was just a gossip?
Ian Currie: These are simply rumours. I don't know where this information comes from.
DTF: Our russian readers were very happy when Buka Entertainment stated that Russian version of Wizardry 8 will appear in stores in time. But there were several questions about your next projects... for example Wizardry 9, or maybe Jagged Alliance 3. Can you give our russian and worldwide readers hope?
Ian Currie: I don't believe I can give them hope at this time. I could talk about how Jagged Alliance 3 was progressing, but that would almost be a cruel tease.
DTF: There are several more rumours flying around Sir-Tech Canada now. Can you confirm or deny them? Maybe you'll give detailed comments that will put an end to such speculations and unqualified guessing...
Ian Currie: Okay, let's try.
DTF: Rumour #1: Sir-Tech's web-master left the company about two months ago after long time because of noncreative work. That's why the official site of Sir-Tech Canada wasn't supported for a long time. True or false?
Ian Currie: We laid off our webmaster about two months ago because there wasn't any work for him. We wouldn't start an official JA3 site until we had a signed publishing contract and since Wizardry 8 had been finished, there wasn't anything else to say (other than make a publishing announcement when we had a signed agreement).
DTF: Rumour #2: Some of Sir-Tech's employees left the company about week or two ago because they hadn't had their wages for quite a time. Can you confirm this rumour?
Ian Currie: Simply untrue. No one worked without wages and employees were warned in advance of the possibility of lay-offs. Nobody quit.
DTF: Rumour #3: A good solution for Sir-Tech is its purchase by Electronic Arts. What do you think about this deal? Can you confirm this rumour?
Ian Currie: What deal? There is absolutely no pending deal between us and Electronic Arts.
DTF: Thank you, Mr. Currie, for your time. We would like to wish Sir-Tech the soonest "financial cureness" and the massive worldwide release of the Wizardry 8!
Ian Currie: Thank you. I hope my answers will help you to clear the situation.