Say what?! The craziest game biz quotes of 2010

Say what?! The craziest game biz quotes of 2010

By Rob Crossley

December 28th 2010 at 6:00PM

Develop celebrates the yearâ??s end with 51 inspirational, interesting, and stunningly incompetent moments

2010 was a remarkably generous year for news reporters. The key games industry stories had more twists and turns than a Bayonetta combo and, due to the magic of social networks, hundreds of developers and publishing execs had an overpowering urge to settle old scores.

The whole twelve months were littered with brilliant, funny and perplexing sound bites. We’ve had shocking criticisms, alarming accusations and some genuine wisdom – and that’s just from Bobby Kotick.

Below you’ll find 51 quotes, from people across all games industry disciplines, who have made 2010 one of the most interesting years in the business.

"Collecting giant coins feels unrealistic to me.”

Hello Games’ Sean Murray is told by one anonymous publisher why they didn't sign Joe Danger, apparently through the medium of a lunatic. (July)

“I need to walk on hot coals and sleep on a bed of nails. I need to chew on broken glass. I need to drink paint.”

LucasArts new hire Clint Hocking might just be a smidge disappointed with his new desk job. (August)

“Jason West is drinking. Also, no longer employed.”

The ousted Infinity Ward president sends shockwaves across the industry with a simple Facebook update. (March)

“I can tell you that we weren’t too worried about the whole [Infinity Ward] thing.”

Bungie community director Brian Jarrard speaks steadily after locking-in with Activision for ten years. (April)

“The frustrating thing about that is, the stuff that [Jason West and Frank Zampella allegedly] did, I would have never expected them to do. We’re a public company, we’ve got ethic obligations, and the things they did were... I would go to jail if I did them.”

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick certainly knows how to string along a soap-opera. We can almost hear the EastEnders cliff-hanger drumroll. (September)

“What I showed in Milo then was just a tech demo. I think everyone asked: 'That was pretty fascinating, but what does it all mean?' It's only when you see it in its entirety and play it that you realise it's robust enough for people to play on their own.”

Oh, ignore that. It’s just a string of Peter Molyneux misquotes. Milo was always just a tech demo, okay? (June)

“It’s not based on anything we have heard about.”

The Daily Mail explains the complex method used to work out the $100m budget it cited for Red Dead Redemption. (May)

“I love it when developers say ‘in our game we have 800 lines of dialogue’. I mean, who fucking cares?"

Ken Levine on why you can't quantify narrative. (October)

“I’m the world’s only private owner of an object on a celestial body.”

Bragged the space-venturing game developer Richard Garriott. Yeah, well, I unlocked the invincibility cheat on GoldenEye, so hah! (March)

“I saw her at Glastonbury last year – blew my fucking socks off. From the moment she popped out of her dress at the start, I just thought, wow this is important, this matters. This changes… I didn't know what the fuck it changes, but it felt like it changed everything.”

It’s Lady Gaga, Stuart Black, not 9/11. (June)

“A free demo is a luxury we have in the game industry that we don’t have in other industries such as film. Because we’ve had this free luxury for so long, now there are plans to change this people are complaining about it. The reality is that we might not see any free game demos in the long term.”

Crytek co-founder Cevat Yerli demonstrates how independent firms can still say it how it feels. (April)

“It's radical ideas that have led more than one talking head to call Bobby Kotick ‘the Hitler of the gaming industry’.”

Says lifestyle website AskMen. Probably not the best thing to call a successful Jewish businessman. (October)

“[You worry about talking to] One guy? Who cares? That’s a waste of time.”

Epic Games boss Mark Rein interrupts Cliff Harris’ customer relations comments during an indie studios panel at the 2010 Develop Conference (July) …

“Triple-A studio bosses trying to lecture me on how to communicate better with gamers? Fuck off.”

... And Cliff Harris responds to Rein’s comments very clearly on his blog (July)...

“It’s not like some great injustice was being done and needed commentary from me. I was just being a jerk.”

... Responded Rein, apologising to Harris and drawing a line under the whole debacle. (July)

“We don’t need any more Fart apps.”

Apple’s new App Store Review Guidelines now make quality control rather clear. (Sep)

"And with iPods and iPads, and Xboxes and PlayStations - none of which I know how to work - information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation."

President Barack Obama, to be fair, isn't veering too far from the truth here. (May)

“It’s a shame things haven’t turned out the way we had envisaged them, but then the beauty of online gaming is that we can address problems and keep on improving experiences.”

Realtime Worlds studio manager Colin Macdonald, sadly, said just days before the administrator came knocking. (August)

“There is scant evidence that Edge Games has invested any amount of funds into the development of recent products and services bearing the asserted marks.”

Fireworks as California District Judge William Alsup makes a landmark ruling in the Tim Langdell case. (October)

“EA is guaranteed to fail since EA has failed to meet the basic requirements to get a mark cancelled in either territory.”

Tim Langdell exhausting the definitions of wrong. (May)

“Keith [Vaz] has been on a journey.”

So said Labour MP Tom Watson. Sadly the journey wasn’t down a flight of stairs. (March)

”It is known that some employees have been diagnosed with depression symptoms and at least one among them is acknowledged to have suicidal tendencies.”

Serious allegations of poor dev management at Rockstar San Diego from an anonymous group. Months later, many staff were made redundant or left the studio. (Jan)

“You haven’t made the case for game tax breaks.”

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey forgets his party was “fully behind” game tax breaks before the election. (July)

“We’ll take the best and the brightest. We’ll take your investment.”

Danielle Parr, the executive director of the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, says it like it is. (July)

"You are going to be the dominant creative medium of the century, and you should be confident and proud of that.”

Tom Watson fires up the Game BAFTA audience. (March)

“If you’re an independent developer, and you’re not selling games directly to customers yet, start worrying, because this industry is changing beyond all recognition.”

Denki MD Colin Anderson issues bleak warning after his studio downsizes. (April)

“We were in this arms race with our competitor [Rock Band 2], and in the end I felt like we sold a bit of our souls”.

Guitar Hero project director Brian Bright on how Neversoft lost its spark in the pursuit of chart success. We await the day he cuts ‘4 real’ into his forearm with a razorblade. (August)

“As soon as we announced we bought Bungie, Steve Jobs called. He was mad at [Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer and phoned him up and was angry because we’d just bought the premier Mac game developer and made them an Xbox developer.”

We’re probably doing injustice to Develop’s interview with former Xbox boss Ed Fries by choosing this little bit of gossip over everything else. (October)

“They really treated me like shit even after creating Dead Space for them.”

Sledgehammer Games co-founder Glen Schofield burns bridges with his old flame, EA. (July)

“I think we can name a company that is a fruit that is in the news a lot about their arrogance.”

Stunning bravery on display here from SCE Australia’s Michael Ephraim. (May)

“You can ignore or embrace video games and imbue them with the best artistic quality. People are enthralled with video games in the same way as other people love the cinema or theatre. Over time, I think perceptions will change."

Actor and director and writer and mo-cap man Andy Serkis. (Nov)

“If I was told how much I’d have to do to make it work, I don’t know if I would take up the offer.”

LucasArts’ former producer Haden Blackman recounts the nightmare workload in building the first Star Wars Force Unleashed. He left before the sequel was finished. (July)

“And in regards to social games, don’t believe the hype. The hype is this: ‘Oh we only build 20 per cent of our game before releasing it, we do the rest after.’ That’s a load of shit. It’s not true. What they should say is: ‘We add 80 per cent more to our game.’”

Don’t expect Farmville updates appearing on Peter Molyneux’s Facebook page any time soon. (August)

"We have learned the hard way that the best way to ensure the integrity and quality of your work and make sure the fans get what they deserve is to own the intellectual property."

Sage words from the ex Infinity Ward boss Vince Zampella as Respawn signs with EA. (April)

“We still do PC, we still love the PC, but we already saw the impact of piracy: it killed a lot of great independent developers and completely changed our business model.”

Epic president Mike Capps on why the world has turned to consoles. (May)

"Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.”

Case closed, suggests Apple CEO Steve Jobs. (April)

“Go screw yourself, Apple.”

Adobe platform evangelist Lee Brimelow hits back against Apple’s Flash embargo. (April)

“A mess.”

Steve Jobs nutshells Android game development, claiming that the TweetDeck creators had a real nightmare developing on so many devices. (October)

“Did we at any point say it was a nightmare developing on Android? Errr nope.”

Ah, it appears Jobs didn’t know that Iain Dodsworth, the CEO of TweetDeck, had some kind of technology that allowed him to publicly respond. (October)

“From Spore, to Dead Space, to Mirror's Edge, to Need for Speed: Undercover, it's been one expensive commercial disappointment for EA Games after another. Not to mention the shutdown of Pandemic, half of the justification for EA's $850 million acquisition of BioWare-Pandemic. And don't think that Dante's Inferno, or Knights of the Old Republic, is going to make it all better. It's a bankrupt strategy.”

Mitch Lasky, now a partner at tech investment firm Benchmark Capital, fires barbed-wire arrows straight into EA’s heart. (January)

“Mitch needs to try de-caf. It’s never easy being turned down for a job, but most people don’t spend three years obsessing about it.”

EA head of corporate communications, Jeff Brown, fires back. (January)

"I’ve made a lot of good games, but never a great game."

Worrying levels of humility here from Peter Molyneux. (October)

“Bobby Kotick’s obligation is to his shareholders. Well, he doesn't have to be as much of a dick about it, does he? I think there is a way he can do it without being a total prick. It seems like it would be possible.”

Tim Schafer clearly hasn’t worked in publishing. (September)

“The thing is, it doesn’t work that way – you can’t be a floor wax and then decide that you’re going to become a dessert topping.”

Bobby Kotick joins the list of people that still hate EA. (September)

“12 million [subscribers] doesn’t sound like a big number to me. There are a lot of people around the world not playing World of Warcraft.”

Let us pray that Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime never realises he’s only captured 0.2 per cent of the world’s population so far. (January)

“Is Dante Alighieri laughing, or rolling, in his grave?”

Dante’s Inferno exec producer Jonathan Knight in his intro to – we kid you not – Dante’s Inferno: The Official Book of the Game Based on The Poem. (February)

“Nintendo’s back. Nintendo had an affair with everybody’s mum, and now they’ve come back to the marriage.”

Epic Games’ Cliff Bleszinski must know some very tolerant wives. (June)

“I don’t know why films and books set in Afghanistan don’t get flack, yet [games] do.”

EA Games president Frank Gibeau stands behind Medal of Honor after it was discovered the game lets you play as the Taliban and some poorly-briefed MP went mental. Sadly, EA lost its nerve and eventually axed the Taliban reference. (August)

“If current trends continue then in a few short years we’ll see mobile devices that are easily as powerful as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on a per-pixel basis and soon even beyond that.”

Epic Games vice president Mark Rein declares triple-A is coming to mobile, months before revealing Infinity Blade at an Apple press conference. (February)

“I’d really like to thank everyone at Sony for their gracious hospitality and for not punching me in the face.”

Valve MD Gabe Newell gets all humble after a vocal U-turn on PS3 support. (June)

And finally, something incredible. Something that would be an injustice to confine within text (and, sadly, something you won't see using an iOS device):