Forspoken’s Story Was Completely Rebooted According to Writer: “The Version We Did Was Nothing Like That”
Turns out we got a whole different Athia.
Much has been discussed throughout the last month regarding Forspoken’s perceived failures and successes. The game first gathered notoriety as it had big-name writers like Gary Whitta (Star Wars: Rogue One) and Amy Hennig (Uncharted) attached to the project.
New revelations from Gary Whitta suggest he might not have had all that much to do with the finished product. In an interview with Alanah Pearce as part of her YouTube Video Game Writing 101 series, Whitta shares that the version that ended up in players’ hands isn’t truly close to the version he initially helped craft.
However, Whitta doesn’t speak of his involvement as though he submitted this long script that only he alone worked on. He says, “I got to hand pick a bunch of writers that I admire from film, television, video games, and literature, and we sat in a room in LA for a week.”
With Square Enix executives present, this group of writers brainstormed things about things like how magic would work or the world’s lore. Out of all the ideas from the writers’ room, all Whitta knows for sure that was kept of his ideas is the name of the world, Athia. He doesn’t elaborate on what the original version of Forspoken looked like, only going far enough to reveal that magic would’ve still been a big facet of the game.
Months after this writers’ room took place, Whitta and another writer were approached and told that the story would be fully rebooted. They were pitched a story much closer to the current game about a girl getting transported to Athia. Whitta says “the version we did was nothing like that,” but he wasn’t still available at that point, so other writers handled this entirely new direction for the story.
Without this massive change to the story, Forspoken would probably look entirely different than it currently does — the final version has been widely panned for its cringe-worthy dialog and generally lackluster story. It’s likely that we’ll never get a decent look at the original script that Whitta worked on.
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