Nicholas Lovell reveals all in Page 3 Special…
His recent post about the top ten “doomed” games-industry projects/companies/things attracted a lot of attention … and some snide commentary. It was “traffic-chasing”, “doom-mongering”, “gutter-press”, “tabloid journalism”.
Even if all the above were true and fair, it would still be wrong to focus on it.
The games industry has real problems right now.
I can think of 100,000,000 of them off the top of my head, floating in the air above Dundee. For instance, the industry at large had plenty of opportunities to see that RTW was in big trouble. But no-one said a word. Without naming names, go and ask a few publishers how many of them were approached by an increasingly desperate RTW over the last few years, and what terms were on offer; research some rumours.
But, overall, get a sense of perspective: you should be celebrating Nicholas’s call-out, and begging him to write more. Because otherwise there’ll be another 50,000,000 of them, quite possibly starting in Southam and rapidly spreading to Guildford, before leaping across the Atlantic, swinging down the east coast, doing a little tour of Texas (via Austin), and then finishing up with a round of bankruptcy parties in San Francisco.
Provocation in Blogs…
I thought about commenting, but decided against it. IMHO the post was fine. It wasn’t exactly “detailed researched professional journalism”, but it wasn’t presented that way – and it was perfectly reasonable throughout.
Any intelligent reader would quickly see that he backed-up his opinions and clearly had thought about the topic – it wasn’t simply tossed-off in a spare few minutes.
I suspected (because I’m a cynical game developer) that most of the complainers were either looking at a slow news day and needed something to comment on … or were feeling bitter that they’d (implicitly) been denigrated by their OWN failure to speak up about these failures.
At the same time … IMHO, Nicholas knows exactly what he’s doing – I’ve been following his blog and tweets for a year or so, and I’ve seen his tone gradually change to become more and more provocative.
So I was pleased to see Nicholas’s followup today, in which he states of *some* aspects of the post:
“That was traffic chasing. But I wanted people to read my blog post. And it worked.”
Excellent. I’d said it privately to one or two people who asked – and not in a derogatory sense – but I wasn’t expecting such a frank admission. Most smart people tend to back down when told-off for being negative.
My own blog (t-machine) is regularly (albeit infrequently) denounced for being argumentative, blunt, and full of outrageous provocations. It got that way because I learned (on the MUD-DEV mailing list back in the 1990’s) that reasonable, qualified, objective statements *do not trigger debate*. Great times, great people – but if you wanted a decent discussion, and insights from smart people, you had to include just enough bite to your words to get them to hit the Reply button…
And debate is something this industry is sorely lacking in when it comes to introspection and “what went wrong”.