Game publishers say the stupidest things

It must be incredibly difficult to be an Indie game developer. Pouring your heart and soul (and potentially second mortgage) into a game, only to be told it's 'not what publishers are looking for right now', must be heartbreaking. But that's exactly what Hello Games heard when they were looking for someone to publish awesome PSN title Joe Danger. Well, almost exactly. Check out this list of reasons that programmer Sean Murray (speaking at Develop) said were given as rebuffs from top publishers in the industry when Joe Danger was pitched to them:

“Name me one popular game with motorbikes”

”Collecting giant coins feels unrealistic to me”

”I can see this working as a Facebook app”

”We love the theme, but with a different game”

”We believe the iPhone will be largely unsupported”

”Can Joe be a monkey? We like monkeys”

Amazing, isn't it? It's reminiscent of those adverts for mobile phone network Orange that you see in the cinema where they shoehorn their own agenda into any pitch for a movie script. But this is real life.

At least the good news is that once Hello Games got the game onto PSN, Joe was a hit, selling 50,000 copies in its first week. Better still, that success story is likely to get even sweeter as more people hear about the game's awesomeness through word of mouth (and all our features about it). However, there is one last rebuff recounted by Murray that worries us more than a little:

”We want games that are less about fun right now”

Is there any hope for our industry?

17 Jul, 2010


  • FingeredPope - July 16, 2010 2:02 a.m.

    Excitebike anyone?
  • ThatSkinnyGuy - July 15, 2010 4:23 p.m.

    Interesting (if depression/rage-inducing) article. Only either I've travelled forward in time somehow, or it ain't July 17th, 2010...
  • HonestGuy - July 15, 2010 1:55 p.m.

    i guess id Rage's gonna need some monkeys too if it wants to go on par with the competition. :P MAN, the 'monkey' bit IS fun! :D
  • Spunkweazle - July 15, 2010 11:45 a.m.

    Can Masterchief be a monkey, we like monkeys
  • philipshaw - July 15, 2010 10:32 a.m.

    The publisher who wanted games to be less fun must have been Actvision
  • NanoElite666 - July 15, 2010 4:57 a.m.

    Games that are less about fun? Was he talking to Activision there?
  • speno93 - July 15, 2010 12:49 a.m.

    this gives me a horrible sense of foreboding
  • Taxtm - July 15, 2010 12:36 a.m. What the hell is WRONG with these people? I guess this does explain a lot though.
  • CandiedJester - July 14, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    Also please make a t-shirt of "Can he be a monkey? We like monkeys." so I can buy it, right now. Pretty pretty please.
  • CandiedJester - July 14, 2010 10:49 p.m.

    Lololol, can he be a monkey. Also, "collecting coins is unrealistic" who says a game has to be realistic? Isn't the point that it's NOT supposed to be realistic? Also, Super Mario, nuff said. I can kind of understand the games that are less about fun thing, though, maybe. How often do you see a game come out now that isn't focused on the storyline anymore? They are trying to get serious the way good movies are serious, I think thats what they mean. They want to make games that give you the same feeling and deep involvement in storyline as a really good movie, rather than "collecting coins and whatnot, woohoo" since thats what so many games used to be about, and thats getting old. In short, they are trying to grow more mature, I think. And I don't necessarily think thats a bad thing. There's a place for serious games. But I don't think they should cut out fun in games r fun games altogether, either. There is room for both.
  • Cwf2008 - July 14, 2010 10:36 p.m.

    ”We want games that are less about fun right now” I think the souls of all gamers died a bit at reading that
  • JayBeat - July 14, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    As zonic505 said.. sorry for being late to the party.
  • JayBeat - July 14, 2010 10:11 p.m.

    Mario Kart Wii, plenty of motorbikes.
  • Defguru7777 - July 14, 2010 9:23 p.m.

    I want to punch that person in the scrotum.
  • Duraji - July 14, 2010 7:31 p.m.

    "We want games that are less about fun right now." That sounds like Activision to me.
  • TwistOfFate94 - July 14, 2010 7:28 p.m.

    No bananas no fun
  • MegaInferno124 - July 14, 2010 7:24 p.m.

    Umm... Anyone remember the random motorbike bit in Final Fantasy 7? What was that all about, anyway? :-P So random...
  • JohnnyMaverik - July 14, 2010 5:43 p.m.

    Publishers are funny... also massive dicks that should all be strung up and shot. It's ok... Valve can take up the slack, ALL OF IT O.o For they are gods -_-
  • 510BrotherPanda - July 14, 2010 5:35 p.m.

    Besides, Justin did a whole article a while ago about how adding motorcycles makes everything more fun.
  • Zanthis - July 14, 2010 5:33 p.m.

    I fear for our industry

Showing 1-20 of 52 comments

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