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Indie Developer Tells Epic To F**k Off

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 67 comments

An indie developer didn't like the way Mark Rein was trying to tell him how to run his business.

Thursday during the Developer Conference in Brighton, Chris Harris from UK indie developer Positech said that smaller developers have the advantage of building a personal relationship with the end user--thus landing an actual sale--by emailing them directly. The observation came during a public debate in regards to the future of micro-studios. He was joined on stage by a panel of three other developers: Robin Lacey (Beatnik), Sean Murray (Hello Games) and Mark Morris (Introversion).

After he made the statement, there was a "derisive snort" from one of the male conference attendees siting in the front row, followed by a comment that communicating with one customer was a waste of time. "He then started to lecture us on how that's a silly way to do it," Harris said in his blog. Harris and the other three on the panel were stunned, questioning the man's identity.

"It turned out this guy was Mark Rein from Epic, although he seemed to assume everyone within earshot knew exactly who he was, and why he must obviously be right," Harris said. He went on to call Rein a jerk in the blog.

'Now I suspect this is not groundbreaking news, although it is to me, because I've never met him or even seen him before," he added. "However, this experience seems to confirm my opinions on Epic and companies like them in general. Now Mark may well look down on humble indies like me. He may well think I'm doing it wrong."

He went on to blast the company and its games, saying that they are way too "macho and dude" for his liking. However his biggest beef was with Rein and how the "triple-A studio jerk" was trying to tell Harris--who coincidentally has run a micro-studio for 13 years now--on how to run his business.

Of course, opinions are fine when they're from peers such as Mark from Introversion--these people apparently know what it takes to run a micro-studio. "But Triple-A studio bosses trying to lecture me on how to communicate better with gamers?" he said. "F**k off."

You go boy. Sounds like Mark Rein and George Broussard soak in the same hot tub.

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Top Comments
  • 28 Hide
    atdhe , July 16, 2010 10:35 PM
    No wonder the quality of games is declining so dramatically nowdays...
  • 26 Hide
    chaoski , July 16, 2010 10:50 PM
    Arrogant stupid rich people is what's ruining this country AND the gaming industry.

    Agreed with atdhe, game quality (not graphics) has been on a decline.
  • 17 Hide
    omnimodis78 , July 16, 2010 10:52 PM
    Good for you Chris! The bigger you are the harder you fall...I wonder if EPIC, and the likes, understand that. Probably not.
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    atdhe , July 16, 2010 10:35 PM
    No wonder the quality of games is declining so dramatically nowdays...
  • 10 Hide
    hotsacoman , July 16, 2010 10:49 PM
    Once I start my business, I'll be communicating with individuals on a daily basis.
  • 26 Hide
    chaoski , July 16, 2010 10:50 PM
    Arrogant stupid rich people is what's ruining this country AND the gaming industry.

    Agreed with atdhe, game quality (not graphics) has been on a decline.
  • 17 Hide
    omnimodis78 , July 16, 2010 10:52 PM
    Good for you Chris! The bigger you are the harder you fall...I wonder if EPIC, and the likes, understand that. Probably not.
  • 15 Hide
    wawa sxm , July 16, 2010 10:53 PM
    once upon a time gamers could identify with the developers....the fairy tale is over its all about maximising profits on very commercial games...and not about the art
  • 4 Hide
    veryed , July 16, 2010 10:57 PM
    Business people (with no development background) just don't get it and usually just see customers as dollar signs. I really appreciate the people who run their own shops, contribute to development and create quality software in a small team environment. It's not easy to do and yet somehow they pull it off. My hat's off to you Mr. Harris. Kudos!
  • 5 Hide
    walt526 , July 16, 2010 11:00 PM
    Successful independent developers almost always have some avenue of communicating directly with customers. That's how they build customer loyalty. And because they don't have tens of millions of dollars to spend on massive advertising campaigns, they rely upon word-of-mouth from that group to spread word about the game virally.
  • 2 Hide
    prozium42 , July 16, 2010 11:12 PM
    That is quite depressing. Unreal Tournament GOTY was a god of a game but since then it seems this "who cares about the individual" has turned their games into more mainstream button mashers. The only thing they have going for them is the Unreal Engines.
  • 17 Hide
    belardo , July 16, 2010 11:16 PM
    Yeah EPIC...

    This is why UT3 bombed... BECAUSE you guys forgot HOW TO MAKE a good game. Nothing wrong with the UE3 (game engine) itself, its great. But you'd think after UT and UT2004 you guys would KNOW what makes the game fun.

    You guys RIPPED OUT the fun parts of UT.

    And your map designers worked more on LOOKS than on FUN for the 32 maps in which only 1/3rd were playable. Yeah, because we humans like only 7 choices of maps and the ones that suck creates stalemates that can last 2-3 hours! WTF?!

    EPIC (FAIL) - you guys should have known it would take many more months for the community to learn the new and more complicated map designer... so by the time we got our hands on some good maps - most of the user base got bored and went to other games.

    Yes... there are MORE humans playing UT2004 or UT than UT3 because of the lack of people and maps.
  • 9 Hide
    belardo , July 16, 2010 11:18 PM
    I forgot to add (SORRY).

    So UT3 should have included at least 100 maps. That could have saved your hide.

    And vehicle zoom control? What retard decided to disable that? Yeah, theres a MOD to turn it back on and what do know.. UT3 becomes a lot more fun, rather than FRUSTRATING.

    EPIC is stupid... the only thing that will make them worse is when/if they start doing the DRM crap like EA and UBI.
  • 4 Hide
    walt526 , July 16, 2010 11:37 PM
    Epic is the epitome of what's wrong with most of the gaming industry: emphasis on improving the realism of graphics while totally ignoring every other crucial element of the gaming experience.

    What Epic fails to understand is that great graphics is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for having a great game. But subpar graphics while excelling in other elements often produces a superior product on whole than great graphics plus crappy gameplay, sound, story, etc.


    i.e., great graphics != good game

    But I'm just a prospective customer, so why would they want to solicit feedback from someone like me.
  • 3 Hide
    tharkis842 , July 16, 2010 11:44 PM
    Hehe, sounds like we tiny little consumers ought to re-evaluate or spending habbits when it concerns prospective developers of such calibur.
  • 3 Hide
    San Pedro , July 16, 2010 11:49 PM
    belardoI forgot to add (SORRY).So UT3 should have included at least 100 maps. That could have saved your hide.And vehicle zoom control? What retard decided to disable that? Yeah, theres a MOD to turn it back on and what do know.. UT3 becomes a lot more fun, rather than FRUSTRATING. EPIC is stupid... the only thing that will make them worse is when/if they start doing the DRM crap like EA and UBI.


    I get the impression you don't like UT 3.
  • 0 Hide
    maestintaolius , July 16, 2010 11:59 PM
    walt526Epic is the epitome of what's wrong with most of the gaming industry: emphasis on improving the realism of graphics while totally ignoring every other crucial element of the gaming experience.What Epic fails to understand is that great graphics is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for having a great game. But subpar graphics while excelling in other elements often produces a superior product on whole than great graphics plus crappy gameplay, sound, story, etc. i.e., great graphics != good gameBut I'm just a prospective customer, so why would they want to solicit feedback from someone like me.

    I would argue you don't even have to have great graphics. The success of the DS, iPhone games and other little simple games like plants vs zombies, super mario crossover, robot unicorn attack, etc, tells me gameplay is really what they should be focused on. I, for one, am tired of the ultra-realism drive because I'm tired of games having 450 million shades of brown, grey, tan and olive. I get enough realism in real life, I want a little silly unrealism (e.g. rocket jumping or MIRV Fatmansque weaponry) and color in my games. I liked the original unreal because it was so much more colorful and vibrant than quake and quake II and the razor blade shooting gun, 8ball rocket launcher and flak gun were just great, not realistic but still fun.
  • 11 Hide
    pi_mai , July 17, 2010 12:09 AM
    EPIC FAIL!

    i just had to say that :D 
  • -1 Hide
    znegval , July 17, 2010 12:46 AM
    I usually have more fun playing decades old games than the stuff they make today. It's too movie-like for my taste. Now they just make a half-assed story, insert some good looks (awesome looks, given), voice acting and that's it, the game gets played by millions of people for sure. I don't know about you guys but no game in the last five years or so made me have more fun than the old Marios, Final Fantasies and others. But it's no wonder it's that way. As soon as a game is finished someone gets in with millions of dollars and say "make a sequel already".
  • 0 Hide
    the_krasno , July 17, 2010 12:54 AM
    I tried some indie games in the past months, namely Beat Hazard, Audiosurf, Zombie Driver and Altitude.

    I gotta say, had those games come from big companies they wouldn't have been so great. Indie game makers are the future.
  • -1 Hide
    redgarl , July 17, 2010 12:58 AM
    Never liked Epic games. Theyr were lucky with Unreal Tournament that's all.
  • 0 Hide
    Trueno07 , July 17, 2010 1:13 AM
    Watch your mouth, Epic man. These developers are our future. Keep pissing them off, and their games keep getting better and better before no one will buy your games because they suck.
  • 4 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 17, 2010 1:16 AM
    Seems like all studios become arrogant once they get big. It's kind of disturbing...
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