The lights are on
Over the last few days, Richard Garriott (the Ultima creator also known as Lord British) has been taken to task for his comments in an interview in which he said "most game designers really suck." Garriott made the controversial comments in an interview with PC Gamer. As you might expect, he then experienced a rather high degree of criticism both from gamers and other game designers on Twitter and on various blogs, forums, and websites.
Today, he released a statement that attempts to clarify, but not completely back away from his controversial statement in PC Gamer, which was: ""But other than a few exceptions, like Chris Roberts, I've met virtually no one in our industry who I think is close to as good a game designer as I am. I'm not saying that because I think I'm so brilliant. What I'm saying is, I think most game designers really just suck, and I think there's a reason why."
In his statement, released on the website of his company Portalarium, he said: "Wow did I strike a nerve! In the midst of a much longer more contextual conversation, PC Gamer noted "Wow, you just gave me my headline!" At that moment, I knew to brace for an out of context backlash. Without the broader real time discussion, as often happens, much can be made out of partial thoughts used as headlines of comments meant as quipping simplification of complex issues, as was the recent case for me. The variations of headlines where I either disparage others, or glorify myself are inaccurate representations of the intent of my full commentary.
However, he still does seem to think there is a problem with design in the game industry:
"Artists can take classes and create portfolios of their work and an employer knows they can do the work. A programmer can take classes and produce code samples to prove the same. For designers, there are now at least a few good schools like the Guildhall at SMU, that turn out quality designers. Yet these quality designers remain a rare breed. Sadly, I really do think that most people who get into design roles on a team have no more skills at design than the programmers and artists. They may not be worse, but they rarely have better training than the others to tackle the hardest job of all, determining what game is going to be built."
Recently, Garriott's Kickstarter project, Shroud of the Avatar: Foresaken Virtues passed the $1 million mark in funding on the popular crowdfunding site.
Email the author Matt Helgeson, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
This guy sounds a bit egotistic and needs to get over himself. I've never played ultima before and now that i know the creator of is a total Dick head. I have no plans in ever purchasing a game made buy this british guy.
Can't agree more with Richard.. it's way too common in the industry to squeeze out every last penny from consumers (gamers) instead of focusing that attention towards quality over quantity. I believe you can blame greed and not necessarily training though under-trained individuals probably DON'T complain about lackluster work they dish out.
How big a percentage of the games released this past decade have actually been brilliant?
"he hasn't made a good game in 20 year!!!"
By no means does that make his statement any less true. It is important to make sure people with important jobs, are actually good at these jobs. Making us question whether the games we play are actually well designed, and if not, punishing the people who designed them by not buying them, only leads to better designers and better games. If Richard has to sound like an *** to make gamers think about these things, then so be it.
At the end of the day, who cares who said whatever. Each to their own. I'd like to say though, we the gamers will decide with our wallets what game designers, artist, programmers, ect., suck and who deserved to be recognized for brilliance. I know for myself when I go buy a game, I usually only buy one I know (after research) is great. If there is a demo, I always like the try before you buy approach. Just buy what you enjoy and skip the rest.
Wow that's negative.
He certainly has guts, and the resume to back them up. Also, that first image looks like a photoshop lol
I think that there are plenty of great creative directors working in the industry, and many could be working under constrains by publishers, but most are not. Indie developers are also the unsung designers that make great games without necessarily as much recognition. I do understand the importance of Richard Garriot's work, but this comment seems a little out of place in today's industry.
Thank you for that.
Everyone has their own opinion. Who cares what he thinks.