When Peter Molyneux’s latest magnum opus Black & White was released in Europe earlier this year, it went straight to the top of the charts in most countries. Except for France, where a real-time strategy game from a little known Ukrainian company called GSC Gameworld held resolutely on to the number one slot.
The Art Of War
A relatively small army by Cossacks standards Cossacks was the second chart topping release in a row for German publisher CDV, and its success wasn’t just limited to the notoriously weird French market. “Cossacks was a big hit for us in the UK”, PR bod Spencer Low told me. “It went straight to number one the week before Black & White, and sold around 100,000 units.”
The man behind this surprise hit is Sergiy Grygorovych, and we met up with him in London during a recent press tour to find out what his company has up its sleeves for the future. Unfortunately Sergiy’s English isn’t very good (although it’s certainly a lot better than our Russian), so the interview was mostly carried out through a translator.
Our session began with a demonstration of The Art of War, the expansive Cossacks mission pack which is already available in France, Germany and Russia, and should be released in the UK and America early next year. With five new single player campaigns, six stand-alone missions and another half dozen historical battles to re-enact, it’s every bit as big as the original game. A lot of attention has also been focused on extending Cossacks’ already excellent multiplayer support. A bewildering array of new options now allow you to limit which units are present in a battle, to adjust how big an army (if any) players begin with, set a “peace time” truce at the beginning of the match, and select whether or not unattended peasants can be captured and converted by enemy troops…