Alex Hutchinson's comments on the "subtle racism" in favor of Japanese games has made its rounds on the internet, much like Keiji Inafune's comments last year. A commenter from the Edge coverage of the event made his voice heard and Edge saw fit to give him the opportunity to elaborate on his earlier statements in an opinion piece. The author, Erlend Grefsrud, co-founder of Strongman Games, explains why there is room for more than one style of game development and that each one brings something unique to the table. I highly suggest giving it a read.
Alex Hutchinson, Creative Director at Ubisoft, in an interview with CVG:
How big is the challenge of keeping Assassin's Creed fresh and interesting as a franchise?
We were reading reviews about Revelations and a few people were asking whether this was the end of the franchise, and we were thinking 'er slow down'. I mean, I'm no huge fan of Metacritic but the game got an eighty on there. That's not too bad really.
But the way we see Assassin's Creed 3 now is as a franchise, like Mario or Resident Evil, that will have its ups and downs.
Why do Nintendo get it right? It releases a new edition of the same franchise every year and no one bats an eyelid. Why?
You want my real answer? I think there's a subtle racism in the business, especially on the journalists' side, where Japanese developers are forgiven for doing what they do. I think it's condescending to do this.
Yeah. Just think about how many Japanese games are released where their stories are literally gibberish. Literally gibberish. There's no way you could write it with a straight face, and the journalists say 'oh it is brilliant'.
Then Gears of War comes out and apparently it's the worst written narrative in a game ever. I'll take Gears of War over Bayonetta any time.
It's patronising to say, "oh those Japanese stories, they don't really mean what they're doing".
I wish I could forget that the gaming industry is a bag of dicks, but they just keep talking.
Part of The Amazing Spider-Man review from Nintendo World Report:
Characters look flat and ugly, and textures of anything intended to be realistic look muddled. The 2008 Wii release Spider-Man: Web of Shadows is more graphically impressive than this game, which comes out three-and-a-half years later.
Update: It should also be noted that this is what I was greeted with before finishing The Amazing Spider-Man demo on the 3DS.
From the same Gamasutra article referenced in the last post:
"Some people say, 'oh, graphics are good enough, and we can focus exclusively on gameplay now.' We don't feel that way at all," he added, saying that there's a lot further to go.
Translation: "Fuck gameplay! We can't license gameplay."
Gamasutra quotes Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney from GDC Taipei:
The most profitable game we've ever made, in terms of man years invested versus revenue, is actually Infinity Blade. Its more profitable than Gears of War.
Say it ain't so... Infinity Blade was sold at a lesser price and thus sold more copies. Infinity Blade also had a much, much smaller investment as noted in the keynote, as it is a much smaller game. This raises an interesting question: Can these economics be applied to the traditional large-scale games of the console market or is that market simply not large enough?
Sweeney seems to think the answer instead lies in free-to-play games. (Its interesting that Infinity Blade 1 and 2 are not free-to-play.)