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Four game developers who need to get their act together

10/7/13 7:00pm

Editor's Note: The post needed a header, so I made a funny.

It's perfectly acceptable to enjoy someone's creative work and also loathe them as a person. For example, I love the short stories of horror author H.P.Lovecraft, and his 1931 novel "At the mountains of madness" is a personal favorite of mine

But I would probably hate Lovecraft if I ever met him, because he was a racist bigot with ideas horrible even for his time. In the world of gaming, this is all too common; creators who are praised for their games, but have some personality quirk that if they tried to address would be for the better. Before starting this list I would like to specify that I don't find everyone on this list infuriating and I have a great amount of admiration for the final developer on this countdown, and the quality of someone's games has nothing to do with their inclusion; that is based solely on them as people and their actions in public. So without further stalling, let's begin.

1. Cliff Blezinski

Being confident can be a positive trait, but the key is to not let it cross over into arrogance. This is a key Mr. Blezinski seems to have lost. From his complaints regarding reviews of Gears of War 3 that were below 9 out of 10, to his rather controversial opinions on things such as on disc DLC being a "necessary evil", the Xbone being " A victim of fan overreaction", Phil Fish (who almost made the list, but that would feel like beating a dead horse), and EA's shady business practices.

Cliff's holier-than-thou attitude and insistence that his views are the correct ones, make him just annoying to be looming so largely over the game industry. It is also kind of funny how his "correct views" are the ones that benefit publishers, such as his fanboy levels of defense of EA, calling their DRM practices "beneficial" and saying Origin is a great service, then to rag on Valve for early steam. It really sounds like he just wants a job with them, so blatantly it's shameless.

2. David Cage

If there ever was a single person who embodied the elitist, snobbish, self-congratulatory, full of themselves caricature that some people think of when they hear the phrase "Auteur", then that person has to be Mr. "Polygons equal emotions" himself, David Cage. It still amazes me how pretentious Cage is, dismissing silly games as low brow trash, and seeing his overly artsy dribble as masterpieces. At the same time, however, he is almost ashamed of the fact that he makes video games and shows this by reducing his games actual gameplay to an over glorified round of "Simon" and hiring French and English film actors instead of gaming voice actors.

That kind of aloof attitude about his 'contributions" to the gaming medium mixed with his shame of being associated with it are two slaps to the face that show how lowly Cage thinks of gamers. A couple of more signs of Cage's continental sized ego are the intro to Indigo prophecy/Fahrenheit where he gives the tutorial while talking directly to you about his game, and his now infamous GDC '13 conference where he stated it was "our responsibility" to watch what we put into games and to be socially conscious, essentially suggesting self-censorship of the medium

3. Hideo Kojima

The opposite of David Cage, (mostly) Kojima is an auteur game designer who seems to enjoy the fact that he makes video games, as the Metal Gear Solid games are some of the only games to fully embrace their medium fully in the past couple of generations  (example: power ups, the guards alert "!", and the fourth wall jokes).

Unfortunately, his low opinion of of gamers is something he and Cage have in common, or more specifically fans of Metal Gear. This could be seen as far back as Metal Gear Solid 2, with player allegory Raiden getting insulted with such phrases like "What kind of loser sits around and plays video games all day?" And then again in Metal Gear Solid 4, with forcing fans to play as an unappealing version of their favorite hero Solid Snake, dragging out the cutscenes even longer, and having a lot of the game be soulless fan service that you can tell had no passion involved. Why does Kojima not like Metal Gear fans?

Well, it's no secret that he did not want to direct the series after MGS2, (if that.) but stayed on the series due to fan backlash. In fact, when he first announced that he would not be directing MGS4, he received at least one death threat, and then took on the role of director once again. I can sort of understand his mindset on his dislike of the fans, but he needs to realize that those are just a small but vocal minority, so if he wants to leave Metal Gear than he should just do it! Don't go blaming those who enjoy it.

4. Masahiro Sakurai

I LOVE THIS MAN.

Just getting that established, but Sakurai is a man who holds my complete respect and undying devotion. Few, if any, game designers have the dedication to delivering the best possible game every time the way he does, but that leads to his negative quality that he should try to tone down:

MASAHIRO SAKURAI IS TOO GOOD.

It is amazing to know that there is still a game designer in this day and age who works as hard as Sakurai, and Nintendo should consider themselves lucky to have him, but it's possible that he could be working hard to the point of harming himself. For example, earlier this year he continued his tireless work on the upcoming Super Smash Brothers installments despite having apparently quite sever muscle ruptures in his right arm. This is very admiral, but he needs to slow down a little! He could have done some permanent damage for the sake of his game, and I imagine most gamers would feel terrible about it. So please, Mr. Sakurai, take a break when you need it and slow yourself down a little.

So those are the four game developers who need to, in my opinion, have to do a little self re-evaluating. Any others you can think of? Please, share in the comments below.

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