Announcing core title Champs Battlegrounds, Quark's Shawn Foust says midcore is a fallacy

You're either core, or you're not

Announcing core title Champs Battlegrounds, Quark's Shawn Foust says midcore is a fallacy
"I don't know what midcore means," says Shawn Foust.

VP at Quark Games, and the lead on its new title Champs Battlegrounds, he jokes it's a meaningless term made up by the media.

"My view is midcore is just a transition to hardcore" he adds.

"Everything starts as casual; games that are quick and cheap to make, but high production values and revenue only come when you go hardcore."

Getting harder

You may not agree with that argument, but it's clear the industry has been moving in exactly this direction over the past 12 months.

Most, if not all companies, are allocating higher budgets to games in core genres - first person shooters, real-time strategy, multiplayer online battle arena etc.

As for Quark, Champs Battlegrounds is unashamedly hardcore.

"We're taking tactics gameplay and throwing away the turns and player versus environment focus, replacing them with real-time strategy and player versus player gameplay," Foust enthuses.

"In this game, you move with consequence."

Working up

The game's release - it's scheduled for July, cross-platform for iOS and Android - comes as the crowning of a new era for Quark.

Previously known as PlayMesh, it operated (and still does) a niche hardcore strategy title Valor, before rebranding as Quark at the start of 2013.

Champs Battlegrounds also marks the company's coming of age in terms of production.

"It's been in development for 8-9 months with four times the staff that worked on Valor," Foust says. "It's about making a statement."

Plenty has been learned from the company' debut title, however.

"It taught us a lot about retention, PVP dynamics and social interaction; how people discuss their tactics, which army to use and why," Foust says.

That's something Quark is looking to encourage within Champs Battlegrounds' more dynamic 1-on-1 battles.

Each session is designed to last 5-7 minutes, with players having access to hundreds of hero characters - or Champs - each with their specific attributes, upgrade potential and item customisations.

There will also be a full single player Campaign mode.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.