Erwan Le Breton is a video game producer employed at Ubisoft who currently helms the Might and Magic series. He was credited as associate producer for Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, and has produced Heroes of Might and Magic V: Tribes of the East and Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes. Alongside Richard Dansky, Le Breton conceptualized the world of Ashan, the primary setting for future Might and Magic products. I spoke with Erwan at Gen Con to discuss three releases in the franchise new to the United States.
Michael Tresca (MT): Welcome to Gen Con!
Erwan Le Breton (EL): Thank you. This is our first time at Gen Con.
MT: First time? Wow!
EL: It’s been four years since we talked with Ubisoft PR and marketing teams that this was an event we should attend but we had to wait for a critical mass to be reached – meaning enough projects to be shown at once. That’s what happened this year so we’re here at Gen Con to explain to the audience what Might and Magic has become since 1986 and what are the new Might and Magic projects that Ubisoft will publish in the coming month.
We also want to get in touch with the consumer base in the U.S. The brand is still very strong in Europe but in the U.S. the market has evolved and PC games aren’t found in shops, it’s mostly digital download. We know for a fact that some of the Might and Magic fans are not hardcore video game players. They like to play pen & paper, board games, card games – they play maybe one or two video games per year including Might and Magic titles. So their habit would be to find the boxes in the shop, which doesn’t happen anymore with PC games.
MT: Can you give us some background on Might and Magic?
EL: Might and Magic was created in 1986 by Jon Van Caneghem. He’s still in the video game industry, but no longer working for Ubisoft. He created his company to create his Might and Magic games, and then they were bought by 3DO. In 2003 3DO went bankrupt and Ubisoft acquired the license. I was involved very early on with the Might and Magic IP and one of my first missions was to create a universe that would be the setting for all the Might and Magic games developed by Ubisoft. So try to analyze the Might and Magic brand, capture its DNA, write it down, and also find a new setting that we could control. We wanted a common setting with the world of Ashan, working with writers, designers, and artists. One of my jobs is to make sure all the Might and Magic games respect the rules of that universe.
MT: This is a different universe, right? I know there were sci-fi elements in the first iteration.
EL: Pure fantasy, right. We tend to call it High Fantasy. We take ourselves seriously. We have all the fantasy archetypes of elves in the forest, dwarves in the woods, knights in shining armor, but we give it depth and certain twists. When you really play our games and discover the lore it may seem stereotypical but if you dig deeper you’ll discover every creature in the game has a reason to be here, has its own culture, and is explained little by little in the various lorebooks you find or biographies of the creatures in the game or in the story’s telling.
MT: What about the Might and Magic franchise makes it complementary to gaming?
EL: Our universe is split into various factions, a direct inheritance from the Might and Magic Hero series, in which the world is divided into various nations striving against one another. Factions are really clear cut. Color code, symbol, creed, philosophy, reason to be in the world, reason to strive against the other factions, allies and enemies changing the timeline – we have a strong history to back up the creation of the factions and how they evolved. If you know Magic: The Gathering they have colors, if you know Legend of the Five Rings they have clans, we have factions.
For the rest of the interview see the list.
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