Electronic Arts and Syndicate developer Starbreeze believe that rebooting Syndicate as a first-person shooter was “the right choice.”
The decision to adapt the Syndicate intellectual property to another genre was controversial among fans of the original, something that Starbreeze says added significant pressure to development. However, EA believes that it was the correct decision given how old those games are, and that they’re still around.
“It's been nearly 20 years since the original Syndicate came out back in 1993,” said EA producer Jeff Gamon to Eurogamer. “So a lot of people playing this game would probably have heard of the original Syndicate but not necessarily have played it. Obviously we get asked a lot about the reaction of fans of the original to us taking it into first-person direction. But we have to maintain that was the right decision.”
“Why remake that classic in its original form when it's still out there? So with a whole new audience and tastes in video games, and a whole new suite of platforms to develop for, the game we made was the right choice.”
Starbreeze’s Lars Magnus Lang added that he believes recreating Syndicate as a tactical game would’ve only made a small niche of fans happy: “I knew that no matter what we did people would have strong opinions about it.”
“Unless we made it into an RTS [people] would not be happy. But if we had made it an RTS we would have made only those people happy.”
“I'd rather make a really good game for our players and make them really enjoy it, than just make a copy of an old game with updated graphics. That's not that super fun for either the end user or us. That game already exists.”
Lars notes that there was a similar furore over Fallout 3, a game that changed the intellectual property from an isometric RPG to an FPS-RPG, but went on to win widespread critical acclaim.
Syndicate currently enjoys largely positive reviews, with critical averages of 75/100 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and 78/100 for PC.