Waiting for Farming Simulator 17, let’s have a talk with Giants Software.
Farming Simulator is a game with a very particular theme. How can a game with such a particular “topic” become a cult and a commercial success?
Even though it’s a very particular theme, it is one that many people can relate to. Agriculture is a huge industry in a lot of countries across the world. If you are in any way connected to this, then everything in our game will immediately look and feel familiar to you. Then there is the passion for big machines and strong brands. We have good relationships with many agriculture industry manufacturers, and we’ve continuously grown the vehicle fleet in the series. In Farming Simulator 17, you will now be able to choose from more than 250 vehicles and tools, from over 75 licensed brands.
Having such a strong core fan base with deep background knowledge, it’s important that the game is authentic but still fun to play even for newcomers to the farming world. We take farming seriously, but a core part of our games is that you can have a good time no matter who you are. Growing your farm and bringing in the harvest always feels rewarding! Of course, it gets even more fun when you play with up to 16 friends in the online multiplayer on PC.
Then there’s the large, talented modding community, who constantly add new user-generated content to the Farming Simulator games. When you buy our game, you get the Giants Engine SDK included with it. You can start by just playing around with it, adjusting the game however you want, before getting more serious by creating complex mods and sharing them with the community!
In terms of sales, which countries are the most important for your brand?
Germany, France, UK, and Poland are traditionally very important European markets for us, but the Scandinavian markets are also becoming a major part of our audience. Overseas, we’re having great success in the USA, which has especially grown since the series has been available on consoles. South America is also very interesting for us, with a particularly large player base in Brazil.
This year, unexpectedly, your product will have to face a strong competition. That’s quite strange, because you have always been the undisputed leader in this type of games. What’s your idea about this situation? Could it be a threat or simply a way to improve even more your game (for the benefit of the players)?
Competition is always good for the market. Like you say, the players benefit from more options, but also more awareness of the genre in general. It also shows that more and more people are taking notice of Farming Simulator’s success – they aren’t just curious, but also take the genre seriously now.
During all these years, how have you assimilated all the agricultural and technical information in order to realize Farming Simulator?
Several of our developers also have a background in farming, with knowledge about the machines and agricultural processes. We are also in tight relationships with the manufacturers themselves, which helps us represent the machines as authentically as possible in the game.
We’ve mentioned the great modding community before, and once again they have been a great resource. In fact, over one-third of our current development team have been hired from the community – people with both agricultural and technical knowledge, who once created content for the game as a hobby.
Farming Simulator 17 will be released on October 25. What are the main innovations of this chapter?
Farming Simulator 17 will add extra layers of complexity, offering many more options and opportunities for players.
There’s the previously mentioned vehicle fleet of over 250 vehicles and tools from over 75 licensed brands, the most that’s ever appeared in a Farming Simulator title. There are also more crops to choose from, more animals to take care of, more transportation methods and extra levels of realism. For example, you can now also harvest sunflowers, soybeans and poplars, but also use oil radishes to fertilize your fields. You can buy and sell pigs, and transport your animals either with your own animal trailer or get them delivered for a small fee.
Vehicles can now be customized with many options like different wheel setups, colors, engine power and more. There is an in-game radio, which you can listen to while driving around your farm. We’re also very proud of our brand new map, Goldcrest Valley, which looks stunning during both day and night thanks to the improved graphics. The GIANTS Engine now supports improved textures and many more dynamic lights than before – one tractor alone can have more dynamic lights now than a whole scene in Farming Simulator 15.
You can now drive trains to transport large amounts of goods around the map. Tension belts are a small but great addition to help you transport goods such as wood or bales. There’s no need to worry about having them fall off your trailer anymore!
Our console players can now look forward to user-generated content, as Farming Simulator 17 will be one of the first games to support mods on both PS4 and Xbox One. These are just a few of the new features in Farming Simulator 17. It would take too long to mention all of them, but we aim to introduce many in greater detail via dev blogs and other posts on our social media channels.
Have you ever thought to add a “story mode”? Maybe with a subplot, multiple choices and additional management features?
We have actually added a few more ‘story’ elements in Farming Simulator 17! The new mission system means there are other farmers in the world who give you reasons and equipment to help them, in exchange for money and loyalty. Discussions about a more ongoing and connected plot do come up, but we have so many ideas for the future that we really can’t say or confirm anything at the moment.