I like the guys from Running With Scissors. Far from being the baby-eating, kitten-punching corrupters of children that certain quarters would paint them as, I've always found them to be thoroughly funny and intelligent people, passionate but down to Earth, considered but with an anarchic sense of fun, and always willing to throw a sick joke into even the most serious conversation. In short, my kind of people.
After myself and Jim spoke to Postal 3 Product Manager Mike Jaret a while back we kept in touch, and finding that both Destructoid and RWS were going to be at this year's Leipzig Games Convention, we decided to make the time to meet up. And thus, a tad weary and battered by the onslaught of the GC, myself, Mike, and company CEO Vince Desi found ourselves taking refuge in the sanctuary of the convention center's cafeteria to take a break from the madness for half an hour, and you can find the resulting conversation after the jump.
It was a fun and worthwhile talk, conducted days after Manhunt 2's eventual approval by the ESRB while the game's UK release remained up in the air, - a situation which sadly still hasn't changed - during which we took in the Postal games, the joys of comedy violence in the media, the failings of both the ESRB and Take2, over-complicated and patronizing games ratings systems and of course, Harry Potter's sexual problems. Hit the jump. You know you want to.
Destructoid: How's Postal 3 coming along right now?
Destructoid: Or people design games more for the multiplayer.
Vince: People will ask me a lot, "Did you plan this?" and the truth of the matter's no. We just designed a game that we thought would be fun to play and that was funny. Half of what occured afterwards, we had no idea. It was never our intention. The same thing goes with a lot of the negative attention. I was like, "What is everyone so upset about?". But I think because we were a small independent developer we came in for a lot of scrutiny because we couldn't defend ourselves as effectively. Not because I'm not willing to, but because nobody wanted to give me a chance.
Some guy from Rockstar comes out and says "We don't know anything about Hot Coffee". And everyone's like "You are so full of sh*t dude". It was one of two things. One, you're stupid or two, you're lying. And neither's good. And so really what's happened now with the whole Manhunt 2 thing I think is that if they hadn't got themselves into so much trouble with Hot Coffee, they might have had more co-operation.
And the same thing in America with the ESRB. I don't really blame the ESRB for taking the position they did, because they got f*cked by Take2.
Vince: What I'd really like to see, and I don't think it's going to happen, at least in America, is that we need to simplify it. It's so f*cking... You can walk into a store, pick up a box, and spend a half hour figuring out the bullsh*t. To me it's like Under Eighteen or Over Eighteen. That's it. That's all you need.
And guess what? If on the box it's a racing game or a Tony Hawk game, I think I can work out what kind of game it is. It's like, "Aw gee, it's a racing game, there's a guy on the box in a race car. Hmmm, I wonder, is that an action adventure?" No dude! It's a f*cking racing game!
Vince: Just simplify it, please. Rather than making it easier, they complicate it. And then they come up with these descriptors, so you could have a game like Postal 2, which is M-rated, and then you have all these words like "Blood", "Violence", "Adult content", "Adult language", "Drugs". And Postal 2 was responsible for a new one, "Extreme violence". [Laughter] I mean you know, why not just make it eighteen-rated and we all live happily ever after?
Vince: We're not that bad but we're getting there. And here in Germany...
Destructoid: I'm the most pacifistic person in the world, but I grew up on Warner Bros. cartoons, so I appreciate over-exaggerated comedy violence.
Mike: Maybe they just lightened the color a bit so it doesn't look so gritty. [Laughter]
Vince: I don't know what they did, but you've got to understand that the ESRB in the United States is pretty much owned by the top ten publishers, Take2 included, and you can't bite the hand that feeds you. So they need to work with them. So I never had any doubt that it would get passed, it just had to go through this process. There's so much money involved. You know, it's a Take2 title, it's Manhunt, I mean it's not going to do GTA numbers, but...
Destructoid: It'll going to do bigger numbers than it would have done now.
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