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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No wonder the quality of games is declining so dramatically nowdays...Reply
Once I start my business, I'll be communicating with individuals on a daily basis.Reply
Arrogant stupid rich people is what's ruining this country AND the gaming industry.Reply
Agreed with atdhe, game quality (not graphics) has been on a decline.
Good for you Chris! The bigger you are the harder you fall...I wonder if EPIC, and the likes, understand that. Probably not.Reply
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 artReply
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!Reply
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.Reply
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.Reply
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.
I forgot to add (SORRY).Reply
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.