My former accomplice David Houghton has been chatting with Jens Peter Kurup, director of the notorious Kane & Lynch: Dead Men. In the interview, Kurup discusses the negative backlash that his game received from the press, and how it affected him. In particular, he mentions the controversial GameSpot review and the lasting affects it had on his game:
It’s a review that I would like to forget, but unfortunately the GameSpot review had its own wicked little life and Eidos, GameSpot and of course the game got entangled in what I guess is best described as a conspiracy theory. And if there’s anything the ‘net loves, it’s a good conspiracy.
It was surreal to sit in Copenhagen and watch the game get shredded in forums for reasons and feelings that didn’t all seem entirely based on the game itself. I know this might sound like a sissy song of “Boo-hoo! This isn’t fair” and other unproductive thoughts, but you asked me how I felt and I did feel like that for a couple of weeks after the GameSpot review. Pathetic I know, but in glimpses I still feel it, because when I meet somebody who hasn’t played the game, I can be fairly sure that his or her opinion is based on the GameSpot review. It just won’t go away.
In fairness, Kurup handles the criticism his game received fairly maturely and reasonably, which is refreshing to see when you consider how some other game devs act when their game is reviewed poorly. Kurup actually shows some respect for reviewers, even when voicing disagreement with some of their points. That’s pretty cool to see for a change. It’s just a shame Kane & Lynch did so badly critically, because it was looking really good in theory.