By Alex Kierkegaard / December 6, 2014
Games are getting too big, we are told. Dev team sizes and budgets are "skyrocketing", and this is hurting creativity, by diluting the creative process and making publishers risk averse, so that the amazing games churned out every year by all the big publishers do not really exist and we are merely hallucinating them. The solution to this problem is clear: return to the primitive mechanics and programmer graphics of the 2D games of the '70s, which is more or less the equivalent in the film industry of dropping Marvel's astonishing masterpieces and going back to cave paintings. And I am not even exaggerating: if you have understood my essay on Set Theory, you should be able to see that moving from Far Cry 2 to Hotline Miami is about equivalent to moving from Spider-Man 2 to cave paintings, and just as disastrous for the artforms concerned. Thankfully, it is also impossible, because the general public (the much-maligned "Mane Streem") is too healthy to allow it, so it's simply not gonna happen.
But the wretches who propound this resentful, decadent ideology are still hurting the artform with their repugnant lies, so it's time someone stepped up and put them in their place, figuratively speaking (because their actual place is in concentration camps and gas chambers).
So let's start getting our shit straight and introducing some REALITY into the debate (or at any rate the illogical, hysterical bleating that passes for debate among subhumans).
And the first thing we need to get straight is that THERE IS NO FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICAL OR MENTAL REASON WHY BUDGETS AND DEV TEAM SIZES CANNOT INCREASE, MORE OR LESS, FOREVER. Obviously, the "forever" here does not stand for infinity. No need to get too philosophical about it, but since nothing can expand forever, neither can budgets and dev teams. However, we are so far away from any theoretical limit on their increase, that it is ludicrous to discuss it. For we could easily imagine a state of things where half of the universe is being used to power a fantasy for lifeforms living in the other half. And yes, I went that far, but that is the sort of ridiculous exaggeration one needs to employ when dealing with utter retards like you guys, otherwise you'd never understand anything. Even now you hardly grasp 10% of what I am saying to you (I can tell by checking my referrals [ > ]), but at least this way you can grasp that 10%.
And here's a more reasonable example, to bring the discussion back to the present, and the near future. How much does the typical big budget game cost to make nowadays? Fifty million? A hundred? Two hundred? And the subhumans are saying that this is too much, that a lot of it goes to marketing anyway, and that no director would ever be able to spend that kind of money in an effective manner on a videogame. But actually, there are directors who spend MORE than that ON A SINGLE CUTSCENE. Have you heard for example of the Iron Man 3 cutscene? It cost $200 million to make, and is by no means the most expensive cutscene ever. Now try to imagine if Kojima wanted to make EVERY SINGLE CUTSCENE IN AN MGS GAME TO THAT STANDARD. We'd be looking at a budget of BILLIONS, merely for the cutscenes. And since the mechanics are more important in a videogame than the aesthetics (let alone the cutscenes), he'd need yet more billions to make them complex enough to properly reinforce the aesthetics (so that the game wouldn't end up as lopsided as a Dragon's Lair: an absurdly visually lush environment that affords less interactivity than Tetris).
So there's no doubt that the best game directors working today could easily spend BILLIONS on a single game, and make every cent of it count, and be reflected in a superior player experience. We are talking full VR, voice recognition with AI to match, reality-matching environments, etc., where several million dollars would be spent ON EVERY SINGLE ROOM IN THE ENTIRE GAME. The only reason games like that are not being made today is because the market for them is not big enough to support them, but if it were, Ubisoft, Activision, EA and the rest of the arthouse developers would jump on them in a heartbeat, as they have been jumping on every opportunity to increase the interactivity and aesthetic complexity of their works since day 1 (EA and The Bard's Tale: putting the Art in Electronic Arts since 1986. I was there. Where were you?), which is why they are the biggest, most influential and most widely respected developers and publishers today (respected by people who love games, of course, not by douchebag hipsters who hate them, or by impressionable journalists and quasi-casual gamers who are merely repeating the lies the hipsters are spouting because they somehow sound cool and appropriately communist to them).
So, budgets and dev teams have a ceiling today (which ceiling is much higher than it was ten years ago, which itself was much higher than it was ten years before that, and so on and so forth) because of practical market constraints, not as the pseuds say because of some genetic incapacity in homo sapiens to cooperate. Of course, their confusion is understandable — they are subhuman after all. In a similar vein, if you went 10,000 years in the past and told the people there that one day a single person would be commanding continent-spanning empires, they would have laughed themselves to death, right there in their dirty, stinking caves. The poor neanderthals could barely keep a 20-person tribe in check, and the Roman Empire or the Third Reich would have seemed about as impossible to them as my suggestion of a fantasy being powered by harvesting half the universe seems to you, my dear subhuman readers, today. But what subhumans deem impossible is for the human everyday reality, and for the superhuman so boring it's not even worth doing.
Or if you went to the earliest silent film directors and told them that 2,000 people would eventually be spending 300 million dollars and working two years nonstop on a film? Everyone but a philosopher or science fiction author would have laughed at you. And that's what subhumans do. They ridicule today as impossible tomorrow's easily predictable realities. You'd think they would have learned by now, after committing countless identical mistakes over untold millennia, but they also have the memory capacity of a gnat, so learning from the past is out of the question for them too, unfortunately.
So, the best games have always had the biggest budgets and dev teams: get that into your little subhuman heads, at last. I even plan to publish a study that will clearly demonstrate this, charting the rise of budgets and dev sizes from Spacewar and Defender of the Crown, to Civilization and Deus Ex, all the way to Far Cry 2 and PlanetSide 2 and beyond. The data is incontestable. There are no "buts" or "if" or "whethers". You either understand this simple fact, or you are subhuman, in which case nothing you say or do will matter in the long run, and the inevitable progress of the artform (and indeed of art itself) to full VR experiences costing billions will happen anyway, despite your asinine contrarian bleatings. And Ubisoft, Activision and EA will make the trillions that they deserve in the process, and the genius directors will get their luxurious mansions and Buggatis, and I will be acknowledged as the only person who foresaw and fully analyzed this artistic evolution, while you wasted your youth savestating your way through despicable student abortions that would have been laughed at in 1985.
So game development should be understood as an escalating arms race of technological tools and artistically effective manpower that has been going since 1962 (or since 40,000 BC, if you want to include the entire history of art into your thinking, which you should). Ever since the beginning, since the original Spacewar team brought in Peter Samson to add a starfield background to the game, instead of doing it themselves to be "independent", videogames have evolved according to the principle of DIVISION OF LABOR and SPECIALIZATION, on which OUR ENTIRE FUCKING CIVILIZATION IS BASED, and without which CIVILIZATION AND CULTURE CANNOT EVEN EXIST AT ALL. For over fifty years, everyone in the industry has known that the way to make superior games is to throw at them more people and more money than the other team — what I am saying here is no new insight. If I had ventured to write such opinions as recently as ten years ago they would have been ignored as preaching to the choir. That's why no one wrote such articles back then — it would have been like writing an article on the indispensability of breathing. We've known this stuff for fifty years at least. It is only in the last five or six years in which the combined effect of pseudo-developer lies and slander and the complete hatred towards the artform and ignorance of the journalists have at last created the opposite view, and even brought it to predominate, until the brainwashing has reached such a level that the few commonsensical things I am now saying are regarded as apostasy. People link them to their friends and they all gasp with disbelief and shake their heads at me. But they are not gamers — not even art lovers at all — so of course they would. The entire history of artistic evolution seems absurd to such people; it always has and always will (in the exact same manner that biological evolution, from an amoeba to the Overman God, seems absurd to liberal fags and other inhuman and subhuman creatures).
And don't tell me about 2D action or some crap. These aren't even videogames, and if you are having a hard time grasping this you'd do well to realize it works the exact same way as with the movies. When we say "movie" now, we mean TALKIES (in fact we mean colories, 3Dies, force-feedbies, and so on). A silent film IS NOT A MOVIE ANYMORE, it's merely a silent film (i.e. something obsolete and endangered, and with good reason). Same with videogames. The term "videogame" today DOES NOT MEAN THE SAME THING IT MEANT TWENTY YEARS AGO. So, in online-retard-speak, 3dies >>>>> colories >>>>> talkies >>>>> silent films. To which of these four categories does the term movie now apply? When we say "the best movie of all time", we do not include black and white films or silent films. We don't even consider them at all if we are not a hipster fagot who doesn't even like movies. "Best movie of all time" means "the best colorie of all time". The black and white and silent films are so inferior, they are out of the competition by default. Maybe in the early days of colories they weren't, because colorie directors hadn't had enough time to fully take advantage of the newly introduced dimensions of color and sound, but by now the question has long been settled, and so it is with videogames. There is no currently existing or possible 2D game that could conceivably compete with a Far Cry or a PlanetSide. And THAT is what we now call videogames. We are only using the same term for stuff like Super Mario Bros. because we haven't been diligent in our terminology creation over the years. Read my "Set Theory" essay and stop being retarded about these things.
Having understood that, the next thing we need to understand is that businessmen and marketers have been absolutely necessary to take the artform from Spacewar to Civilization to GTA3 and Far Cry 2 and beyond. Whatever mistakes of judgement and bad taste, or even of pettiness and venality, that these people may have committed are irrelevant. IT IS NOT THE JOB OF THE BUSINESSMAN OR THE MARKETER TO HAVE SOUND AESTHETIC JUDGEMENT AND GOOD TASTE — those are the jobs of THE DIRECTOR! The businessmen and marketers are merely the director's tools, necessary tools he needs to get the job done, and therefore blaming any deficiencies of the final work on them instead of ON HIM WHO PICKED THEM AND DIRECTED THEM is equivalent to putting the blame for Napoleon's demise on his lieutenants! It's retarded!
So, precisely because bigger teams and bigger budgets = better games, businessmen and marketers are not merely useful but of paramount importance. They are absolutely essential. There would have been no Heat or Blade Runner, no Far Cry 2 or GTA3 without businessmen and marketers (and no movie theaters or computers and consoles either, fyi. There basically wouldn't have been any civilized life on earth beyond the level of medieval feudalism without them). They are an integral part of the equation, just like there would have been no empires or armies without logistics people or lieutenants, and so on. Hatred of the entire logistical machine that makes complex and synthetic undertakings POSSIBLE is equivalent to hatred of complex and synthetic undertakings, period. It is HATRED of the artform. HATRED of progress, and CHAMPIONING of the "eternal primitivism" that Fred Ross of the Art Renewal Center [ > ] rails against in his wonderful, passionate essays. There is no way around this.
Take Kickstarter, for example, to see how absurdly hypocritical the anti-business, pro-communism gamers are in all their sayings and doings. When it comes to the MILLIONS that businessmen are risking in order to advance our art, the communists scream for "innovation"; they demand it, and don't give a shit how many fortunes may be risked and lost, and how many people's livelihoods and careers may be destroyed in the process. But when it comes to THEIR OWN 20 MEASLY DOLLARS, they will only back sure bets! In an astonishing turn of irony, Kickstarter has proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS ROUTINELY RISK FAR MORE AND INNOVATE IMMEASURABLY MORE THAN A RAGTAG RABBLE COMPOSED OF SICK, RESENTFUL COMMUNIST CHANDALAS. That's how truly innovative Kickstarters like Chris Taylor's Wildman [ > ] and Uber's Human Resources [ > ] keep failing, while rehash after rehash (and INFERIOR rehashes, like Wasteland 2 et al.) keep getting funded and overfunded. Because Taylor's concept had never been seen before, because it was so wildly innovative, and therefore difficult to explain to YouTube-watchers — since there was nothing else available to directly compare it to, at the time, as there still isn't — the playerbase didn't back it. And neither would they have backed Civilization or Deus Ex, never mind Call of Duty or Gears of War, Red Dead Redemption or PlanetSide. This phenomenon is so prevalent that even the journalists have noticed it. So next time you see a pseudo-hardcore gamer lambasting EA or Ubisoft or Rockstar for being risk-averse (which they so plainly AREN'T, otherwise they would have never developed the astonishingly elaborate and complex free-roaming masterpieces that they have), remember that that lying little scumbag son of a bitch would not so much as risk the price of a pack of gum to back an ambitious and risky project.
Time and again, it all comes back to the businessmen and marketers for these ludicrous little wretches. But blaming the businessmen and marketers while leaving directors scot-free is stupid, since the weight of responsibility, as I have already explained, falls clearly the other way around, like blaming the lieutenants for the failure of the general to get good lieutenants, or keep them in check and following his orders. It is one of the qualities REQUIRED of a director to have the necessary skills to maneuver in the world of businessmen and marketers without losing sight of his ultimate goal. All the great directors are virtuosos in this: Kojima, Mikami, Bleszinski, the Platinum dudes, Sid Meier in his director days — every single director who created what I call Videogame Art at some point in his life, and many of those who didn't. When a director blames businessmen and marketers for what are clearly HIS PERSONAL FAILURES, what is really happening is that he's merely WHINING ABOUT HIS LACK OF ABILITY TO DEAL WITH THEM. Or his lack of talent or hard work to impose on them, by virtue of his fame and stature within the industry, his standards and demands. I've already covered all of this in "The Myth of Independence". Or they say marketers are useless, but who knows if Sega had had a better marketing team if Smilebit's games would have sold more, and if they'd still be around. If I was releasing a game I sure as hell would want to hire the best marketing team around. Only a complete and utter imbecile wouldn't — but a complete and utter imbecile would be a shit director. From which you can see that anyone who whines about marketers being inherently bad and spoiling his work — is a shit director. None of the great directors would ever say a bad word about the hard-working and risk-taking businessmen and marketers on whose endeavors the commercial success of their artwork to a large degree depends. And not only the commercial success, but even the critical one, since, as I have already explained, without these people you cannot have game-producing companies at all, and therefore no critical success, since you won't even be able to make the damn game in the first place!
As for how I would handle the marketing aspect of my own game? I would employ THE BEST FUCKING MARKETERS on the planet. They'd viral that shit right into your tiny little subhuman brain! Employing the best marketing team means maximization of sales for the type of game and game quality I am making, means maximization of profit, means more money to increase the team and the budget for my next, better (and therefore more expensive) game. Ergo the marketers are an INTEGRAL part of the artistic creation process, and just as you want to maximize the quality of everything, you want to maximize this too. So not only do you ABSOLUTELY need businessmen and marketers to make a great artistic work; if you want to make the best such work ever you need THE BEST BUSINESSMEN AND MARKETERS EVER.
Do I still, after all this, need to explain WHAT MARKETERS ACTUALLY DO? How their job is to effectively and efficiently communicate your creative vision over as wide a range of potential customers as possible, so that it ACTUALLY REACHES your intended audience, and in a TIMELY FASHION (i.e. not 100 years after you are dead). so that you can actually reap the profits from your hard work and reinvest them in creating something even better; so that you can create more in your lifetime, so that you can achieve more? How is that not contributing to the creative effort?!
Or take Chris Taylor's comments regarding the crowdfunding process, during the Wildman kickstarter. He said that if you spent all day interacting with the public you'd have no time to make the damn game. AND THAT'S WHY YOU HIRE PR PEOPLE TO DO THIS WORK FOR YOU. BECAUSE THE DIRECTOR HAS HIS OWN JOB TO DO ALREADY, AND THE PR PEOPLE ARE ANYWAY FAR BETTER AT PUBLIC RELATIONS THAN A GAME DIRECTOR COULD EVER BE. That's what they are TRAINED to fucking DO! You might think, from internet horror stories, that PR people suck at PR, but surprise surprise, game directors suck a million times MORE at it. Just look at Kamiya's daily petty spats with all his fans on Twitter, or how badly Uber's management botched communication with their fanbase, to the point where they started trolling their own fans and banning them left and right. They had to call Jeremy Ables from Germany to come back and sort their mess out for them, so that fans and developers would stop hating each other so much. A single trained PR professional tasked with dealing with the fans from day 1 would have avoided ALL these problems, and generated a ton of goodwill, and therefore money via increased sales, for the company in the process. Money which could be reinvested in the game to make it even better, leading to yet more profits earned and reinvested, leading to the growth of the company and the complexity of the game, which — who woulda thunk it — is exactly how Ubisoft and co. got to where they are today.
So, when you are the commander in chief the name of the game is DELEGATION. It's not so much how good you are at doing particular things, but how good you are at finding the best people to do particular things for you. This is not, I repeat, a separate quality from "artistic creation" — this IS artistic creation — in highly advanced and complex artforms like videogames, at least. If you are writing novels or doing oil painting it's another story. But in theatre, movies, and videogames, this is how it is — and it's only going to get "WORSE" as time goes by, SO GET USED TO IT QUICK, and the quicker the better.
The slanderers and defamers claim that this process dilutes or destroys the creative vision, but their lies are pathetic and obviously pure horseshit. For it is precisely this process that ALLOWS complex artistic visions TO EXIST AT ALL. This is such an elementary fact that I am astounded that I am forced to even talk about it!
What the communist wretches are asking for, in their insane, utterly deranged hatred for greatness and the strict hierarchical structures that make it possible, is the equivalent of throwing Napoleon in the front line and asking him to beat up a huge punk. But that would be retarded, since beating up huge punks with his bare hands IS NOT IN NAPOLEON'S JOB DESCRIPTION. There are millions of hunks of meat that can beat up a big punk, but only Napoleon can do the job that Napoleon does. That everyone thinks everything was handed to Napoleon and anyone can do his job is the ignorance of realities and ressentiment of losers talking (like the contemporary hatred of the rabble for CEOs and their absolutely merited astronomical salaries).
So, when you are running a show, you don't choose the thing, you choose the guy that chooses the thing — while STILL holding ultimate veto in your hands over what goes in the final product. And this is the harder task — this is THE hardest task in an advanced civilization or cultural endeavor such as artistic creation — the task of COMMANDING! And since by their very nature such positions are rare, and since everyone naturally wants them, competition for them is utterly cutthroat, and those who come to dominate in the end are monsters of talent, hard work and dedication (which is why everyone hates them).
Or take me designing my site. The envious say, "He just used Joomla and a commercial template". But motherfucker the bottom line is that I have the most gorgeous and most functional videogame site on the internet — how is my choice of tools and partners a mark against me? Quite the opposite is obviously the truth! It is precisely my genius in making such awesome choices and customizing them to my needs, all the while minimizing the effort invested so that I STILL have strength left over to also prepare and oversee the best content ever that is responsible for making the site as amazing and unparalleled as it is. You would have respected me more if I had sat in Notepad to code the entire site from scratch, but then I would have wasted years of my life, AND THE SITE WOULD HAVE SUCKED, i.e. you would have respected me for doing A SHITTY JOB, and now you heap scorn on me FOR DOING THE BEST JOB EVER.
Zarathustra: "They punish you for all your virtues. Fundamentally they forgive you only — your mistakes."
And yet you STILL claim that the top positions of power are easy to manage, and that you would have performed as well as if not better than me in my job if "luck" or "fate" or some other absurd scapegoat you dreamt up to hide from your own eyes your personal incapacities and failures had somehow magically dropped you in my shoes! The internet simply has no lols big enough to adequately convey what an absurd little figure you cut in the eyes of anyone who's not retarded!
So I customized every last detail of my site, I chose every aspect of it myself, despite the fact that I didn't personally code every last piece of code or draw every last image with my own hand, any more than an architect who builds pyramids or World Trade Centers personally carries the bricks and stones to the building site on his bare back. My superior taste is on display in every page and every last pixel of the entire site, and even if I outright GAVE you all the right software and the templates that I used you STILL wouldn't have made anything even remotely as awesome as I did. With my pitiful resources I made something that the giants of publishing throwing millions around can't ever even HOPE to make. And no, that's not a proof that my ideology of bigger is better is wrong, because if I had had the millions I would have made something STILL better. Given a million dollars I could make a site that — theory essays aside, which would be common to both sites — would make Insomnia seem like a teenager's GeoCities blog. I'd hire the best gamers in the world (that only I know, and who would only listen to me because they respect me), and I'd get them on a full salary, playing games and posting about them 20 hours a week. It'd blow everything else out of the water in days, and get all the best gamers in the world so hooked on reading my site that they'd forget how to sleep.
And of course I would lose all my investors' money in the process, because there simply doesn't exist sufficient demand for intelligent videogame analysis to keep such a site afloat. So my investors would lose their hard-earned money, and the site would have had to close down anyway, and that's why it's not being made in the first place — because investors aren't stupid, and know a bad investment when they see it. But the market for intelligent games, thankfully for us, is much larger than for their intelligent analysis, and CAN support Far Cry 4 [ > ] and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag [ > ] and Crysis 3 and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare [ > ], and that's why Ubisoft and EA and Activision, and all the other arthouse developers and publishers keep making them, and will continue to keep making them for a long time yet, amen!
So, to wrap up this long litany of the absurdly obvious, just as I will show in the Bastardization essay that the neckbeards' championing of the narratives in schlock like Braid, BioShock and Gone Home are due to the fact that NECKBEARDS DON'T READ REAL NOVELS, their hatred of businessmen and marketers and their practices are due to them not being responsible adults who have gone out into the world to realize how it works. This is said for the well-meaning among them. The well-meaning who are spouting stupidities merely because they don't know any better. And then there are also the ill-meaning ones, who know very well how things work AND THAT'S PRECISELY WHY THEY HATE THEM, because the entire industry establishment can see how talentless, incompetent and lazy they are and won't have them. And it is the lies and slander of the second group with which the first group is infected and brainwashed, and so later on EVERYONE comes to hate businessmen and marketers — save the handful of industry insiders who make everything happen (i.e. who create all our hardware gear and good games for us), but who keep their mouths shut because the journalists, like the good little shameless bandwagon-jumpers that they are, have adopted the resentful rabble's pseudophilosophy and multiplied it, until it's all lies, lies, lies and despicable quasi-communist propaganda in all directions as far as the eye can see!
Enough! Bigger is better — it's as simple as that! That's why America is the greatest nation in the world, and why they are the ones who invented videogames instead of some "minimalist" tribe of Eskimos or African niggers or whatever. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! Death to communists, and God Bless America! (and I do indeed bless it). icycalm out.