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May 2, 2007 - It's no secret that several members of the IGN team are big fans of the puzzle/RPG hybrid [Register or Login to view links]. Released in March for the Nintendo DS and PSP, the game was an overnight success with consumers and media. A version has just been announced for Xbox Live, and the thought of scoring Achievements makes us hungry to start playing the game all over again from level one.

We recently chatted with the game's developer, Infinite Interactive, and publisher, D3, about the success of Puzzle Quest, the future of the franchise, and other projects currently in the pipeline. Infinite was even charitable enough to provide some tips and strategies for Puzzle Quest success. Here we go:

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Soccer moms and zombies are big casual gamers.

IGN: Were you surprised by the success of Puzzle Quest?

Steve Fawkner, CEO and Lead Designer at Infinite Interactive: Puzzle Quest is actually the 17th game on which I've been Lead Designer, and I find there comes a point usually about halfway through a project when you know if the game you're working on is really good. Puzzle Quest was giving out those vibes very early in development, so we knew we'd stumbled onto something pretty cool, if we could just finish it, polish it and give it all the love it deserved. So, we weren't surprised by its success. What did surprise us though was the lightning quick acceptance and popularity it gained throughout the gaming community within just a few short weeks of launch.

Careen Yapp, VP of Business Development, D3Publisher: I wasn't surprised at all. We knew from personal experience that once anyone started playing -- they wouldn't be able to stop. That is why the [Register or Login to view links] worked so perfectly. Most everyone associated with the development and publishing of this title have become obsessed. We couldn't be more pleased with the success of the title. Personally, I spent this past weekend capturing a Fire Elemental and rescuing Flicker's mother among other things.

IGN: Has the success of Puzzle Quest convinced you to make a sequel?

Fawkner, Infinite Interactive: We have enjoyed creating (and playing) Puzzle Quest so much that I think we wanted to start on a sequel the day the game was released. The right thing to do, though, is to spend some time gathering ideas, discussing new features, and listening to our customers before we dive right in and start work on a sequel. But I can almost guarantee that, barring the most unfortunate Act of God, you haven't seen the last Puzzle/RPG hybrid to come out of Infinite Interactive.

Yapp, D3: Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords is considered one of D3's key franchises. Absolutely do not count out the possibility of an amazing sequel to this remarkable game.

IGN: Are there more games in the pipeline that blend hardcore and casual genres?

Fawkner, Infinite Interactive: We are currently working on Galactrix: a Sci-Fi / Puzzle game hybrid that blends some features of space simulations like Elite & [Register or Login to view links] with puzzle games. We also have a couple of other secret projects in the pipeline that will mix together some other genres with puzzles. You'll no doubt be hearing about those in the coming months.

Yapp, D3: We are actively pursuing opportunities for products that blend genres and appeal to a broad audience. As a company, our goal is to continue to launch unique and innovative games for all.

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Thanks to [Register or Login to view links] for sharing the news with us!