01 February 2018
‘Every other year seems reasonable’
The co-creator of Pandemic Legacy has suggested that the third – and, for the moment, final – season of the hit game could see a release next year.
Rob Daviau, who joined forced with series creator Matt Leacock to produce both 2015’s Season One and last year’s fantastic follow-up, told Tabletop Gaming that although the first Legacy spin-off had been designed as a standalone game, the decision to make it an opening chapter had given the pair the chance to embrace a more in-depth story set in the universe.
“We just planned on doing Pandemic Legacy and when Z-Man was planning the final or near-final product they said, 'Great, this is Season One. Get started on Season Two,'” Daviau said. “We were like, 'What?' They just said they were going to put it on the box and they thought it was going to be a good game and people were going to want a sequel, so they're just going to call it a season.”
The last-minute move to work on a second chapter also meant retconning the end of Season One, which included cards outlining the ultimate fate of the game’s world based on each group of players’ actions. Season Two takes place 70 years after the first game, with the Earth having been overtaken by the diseases players were attempting to cure in the previous game.
“We started Season Two thinking, 'Oh wow, at the end of Season One we sort of said here's what happens in the future,'” Daviau continued. “There's these cards at the end that tell you what happens after because we never planned on there being a Season Two. So those cards are sort of, like, you can politely ignore those now if you start Season Two. If you just play the first one, that tells a story. If you pick up the second one it's like, ‘Welllllll, yes, but, urm...’ Because that was just a product of not really having planned it.”
Daviau went on to reveal that Pandemic Legacy was originally planned to have yearly instalments, but that the acquisition of publisher Z-Man Games by Asmodee in late 2016 had meant that he and Leacock were able to spend longer working on each chapter.
“We started Season Two six months before Season One came out,” he said. “At the time, Z-Man wanted to have them one a year or maybe every 18 months so we had to stay on top of it. Since Asmodee bought Z-Man, every other year seems reasonable, so we are working on Season Three and we have slowed down a little bit to a more reasonable pace because we have the time.”
If the two-year gap between games holds true, that means we might see Season Three in 2019 – likely around October, following the Essen release of the last two entries in the series.
Both Daviau and Leacock have insisted that they plan to end the current Pandemic Legacy story after three games, with Daviau calling Season Two the “dark middle chapter” of the series.
“When the game came out in 2015 and was going up the charts and getting a lot of praise, we said, 'Well, this is probably going to be a trilogy,’” he acknowledged.
“So now that we're kind of in the middle of Season Two and we've seen Season One we should probably map out a little bit the rules to this world and kind of what we want to do in Season Three so we haven't painted ourselves into a corner again. So all the things about like restrictions or we've already established that, that is what we're looking at in Season Three. Like, ‘Oh, well, we can't really do this because we said that or this part is true so this thing is here.’ Getting it all to come together in the third pieces where we've found constraints. They're not big constraints. At the end of the day, it is plastic pieces on a board. But we're trying to tell a story.”