Gamings greatest foot-in-mouth moments
It has to be hard to be a visible figure in the highly publicized gaming industry. While there are tons of people that work on any given game, it tends to be the outspoken company head, lead developers with lots to say, and folks that find themselves acting as hype persons for their company that land in the spotlight the most. For instance, Gabe Newell of Valve recently came out to condemn Windows 8 Microsoft's upcoming operating system as "a catastrophe."
It might be years before we find out if Gabe is right, but you can be sure that quote will be flying around the web until we know for sure. Such is the case for all of the unfortunate members of this list. Once something is in the air, it's not long until its online and shared through links, likes, and retweets. We hate to reopen old wounds, but here are some statements that gaming industry members which they could erase from the collective memory of gamers.
Gabe Newell calls the PS3 a a waste of everybody's time."
If the online gaming community had to, for some unknown reason, elect a supreme ruler, Managing Director of Valve Gabe Newell would be a strong contender. His company has revolutionized PC gaming, so it's not surprising that he'd be hesitant to fully embrace consoles. In 2007, he made it clear he wasn't impressed with Sony's latest offering to the gaming market by saying the Playstation 3 was "a waste of everybody's time." Not exactly a ringing endorsement, and Gabe backed his talk with his actions by passing Valve's Orange Box port to EA.
Three years later, Gabe had a little time to play around with the PS3 and decided maybe it wasn't so bad after all. At E3 2010, he took the stage to inform everyone the PS3 version of Portal 2 was "best version on any console." Maybe Newell just had some time to waste and put together a great port of the critically acclaimed puzzle game. Whatever changed his mind, PS3 owners sure were thankful.
Sony says that rumble is a last generation feature"
Back when the PS3 launched, Sony found itself in the middle of a lawsuit regarding the patents for its rumble controller. Because of the legal litigation, Sony had to move forward with a controller that wouldn't vibe well with gamers because it didn't vibrate at all. In defending the actions of the company's decision, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Phil Harrison came out to give gamers a real shake up. He insisted that the lack of rumble had nothing to do with the lawsuit but instead was because that functionality was a "last generation feature."
Gamers stuck in the past disagreed, and Sony appeased them a year later with the vibrating DualShock 3. It may have been with resent or it may have been because the lawsuit was settled, but gamers got what they were asking for and Sony sold units a win for everyone.
Nintendo recently said that customers don't want online games
Nintendo is usually praised highly for their focus on innovation and attempting to make new paths in the industry. In 2004, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata made one of those announcements about how Nintendo wouldn't be piling on to a bandwagon that Sony and Microsoft were attaching themselves to and would instead try to blaze their own trail. Unfortunately, that bandwagon was the internet. Iwata commented that he believed, "customers don't want online games."
There was really no way to tell in 2004 that online games would take off the way they have, but Nintendo has admitted they may have missed the boat on internet connectivity. Iwata came out recently to admit that the Xbox and PS3 online communities were "too far developed" for Nintendo to catch up.
GameStops CEO thought digital sales wouldnt be big for another decade
Gamers have a love-hate relationship with GameStop. If you spend much time on forums and message boards, it probably seems like just a hate-hate relationship, but walk into your local GameStop and you'll see plenty of players snatching up the latest addictive substance for their habit of choice. Back in the stronger days of brick-and-mortar stores (a whole four years ago), GameStop CEO Dan DeMatteo insisted that digital distribution was at least twelve to seventeen years off. It's hard to question someone which such specific figures, and you can't really blame a guy for trying to insist his company's business model wasn't slowly dying.
In fact, GameStop is still doing pretty good, thanks to a shift in approach that has now embraced the digital market. It must've been hard not to after a 53% spike upwards in digital sales for the company in the first quarter of 2011. That sparked DeMatteo to update his stance that digital downloads could co-exist with the current physical presence of his retail powerhouse.
Microsoft downplays RROD
The Xbox 360 has been a huge success, providing one of the longest life spans a home console has ever seen. Sadly, the lives of many early generation Xbox's came to an untimely end. Despite an outcry from gamers for Microsoft to fix the problem with the hardware that caused an excess of red rings of death, Vice President of Worldwide Retail Sales Peter Moore had difficulty admitting the problem. While we now know there was a nearly 1-in-2 fail rate with the big white box, Moore insisted "The huge majority of gamers are having trouble-free experiences with the Xbox 360. "As the complaints kept coming, Moore offered little solace, stating, "Y'know, things break."
He and Microsoft did take care of every issue they could, but Moore must not have been counting how many there were. The company's President eventually admitted, "the number of repairs to consoles have been unacceptable to us." Moore may have just been blinded by his love of the console, and considering its sales, gamers must feel the same love.
Jack Tretton offers $1,200 for any new PS3 found on the shelf
While the PS3 is thriving now, many forget its rough launch. Sales figures weren't great and there was an issue with people scalping the console buying from stores and jacking up the price on auction sites. In the heat of this, President of Sony Computer Entertainment of America Jack Tretton decided to put his money where his consoles were or weren't. In an interview with Electronic Gaming Monthly, Tretton made the bold proclamation, "If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it."
Jack was clearly man with a lot of confidence in the popularity of his product. But he was just as confident that Sony was making the console accessible for consumers less than a month later, as evidenced by stating "Our goal is to fill shelves across the United States. Our goal is not to have empty shelves, its to have full shelves." Wherever the PS3 was then, it's in a lot of homes now.
Bobby Kotick takes a stand against "commoditized development"
From the heyday of the Tony Hawk years to the long reign of World of Warcraft, the plastic powerhouse of Guitar Hero and the continuing dominance of Call of Duty, there's few companies better at building franchises than Activision. Before merging with Vivendi in 2008, the company's CEO Bobby Kotick made a commitment to the spirit of gaming. "We built a model that celebrates entrepreneurial, opportunistic, independent values. It's almost the opposite of Electronic Arts, which has commoditized development," he said.
Taking shots at EA and praising innovation may be the way to gamers' hearts. But what Kotick said months later was not. After dropping several titles acquired in the Vivendi deal, Kotick explained they "don't have the potential to be exploited every year on every platform with clear sequel potential and have the potential to become $100 million dollar franchises." Companies are built to make money that's how they survive but that wording may have been a bit blunt for those sensitive gamers that liked the former statement from the company head.
We figure this might happen again
Will Gabe Newell's comments on Windows 8 end up being prophetic, or will he be forced to, eventually, go back on his claims? Only time will tell, but history dictates that it's usually bad to start flinging this mud early, as these examples show.
What are your favorites, and, more importantly, who do you think is going shove their foot in their mouth next? Let us know in the comments below!