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Lord Regulus

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LONG BLOG

Games, Money & Why You Don't Have To Care

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I posted this as a comment on Neonie's clog, but there was - shall we say - a confrontation in progress. Since I am an obsessive twat, I have reproduced my opinions here in a vacuum devoid of flammable material, in the hope that those with something intelligent to say will say it here without becoming entangled in burning internets.

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Since when was wanting to make money a bad thing? Sounds like a pretty solid motivation to me. I keep looking for better-paying jobs and better opportunities to grow my own business so I can live in a nicer place, have more games/gadgets/musical instruments and take better care of my fiancée and our cats. I make that money by working in the game industry because I have a passion for games, but neither of those values has ever (or will ever) overshadow the other.

What does it even mean to say that a company is "in it for the money/business/games/etc."? Companies don't have desires; they exist solely to acquire wealth for their shareholders. People are the ones who want things. Sure, there are plenty of individuals at Microsoft who want to make money more than they want to make good games. But there are also people at the same company who really do care about the quality of their products, and for those people, every red ring of death and every rehashed sequel is like an icepick through the heart.

I know this because I work for a company that is notorious for tired and boring products. We haven't released a decent title in years. It causes me literal anguish whenever I think about it too much.

But the situation is the same at every company. There will always be individuals who care too much about the bottom line, and those who care too much about creativity at the expense of profit. Every company needs both kinds of people. I don't see how Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft are different in that regard. Sometimes one group gets the upper hand, but that doesn't change the way the company functions.

And what difference would it make if that were true? If Microsoft really was an evil empire, would you no longer want to play BioShock? How can you possibly concern yourself with this drivel when there are brilliant games on every platform that demand to be played, even if they're a small minority? A console is (usually) a one-time purchase. Once you own it, you don't have to deal with its manufacturer any longer (or at least you shouldn't; quality control is the only thing I can find fault with). Microsoft isn't ensconced in some ivory tower bellowing "MOAR FPS!" to every publisher within earshot. Publishers put FPS games on the Xbox because Halo was a runaway success and now the platform has the largest demographic for FPS games. Nobody is conspiring against good taste. It's only business.

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Alright, now let's try this again, but without the flames, K?
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About LordRegulusone of us since 12:22 AM on 04.05.2007

Founder and Sole Member
Midgaard Studios


PRO TIP: Regulus was the ice boss in
Bomberman 64, a great game that was
nonetheless forgotten so quickly that I
currently own half of all the existing
cartridges. The other one belongs to a
seal trapper in Finland, and if the two
are ever brought together, it will bring
about the End of Days.