Catching Up With Gearbox's Randy Pitchford
June 13, 2008 Page 8 of 10
What little I know about Bungie and Microsoft suggests it was impossible to engrain the Microsoft culture into Bungie in a truly effective way. They operated in a certain way within the corporate structure of Microsoft.
RP: It's funny when we talk this way, because the reality is you have individuals. There's people. Every person has slightly different motivations and slightly different interests. It's the sum of those who start to feel certain things.
Maybe if you're a guy, maybe if you're an artist on the Bungie team, there's the legitimate fear, "I'm might be working on Halo for the rest of my life if I keep doing this." What's funny is that there's other people in the industry who would kill to work on Halo just once, you know?
But for those of us who get into this and do a great job, we're creatives. We're not one-trick ponies, and we need that. We love caring for the things that we care about, but we also need to do more than one thing sometimes. I think that was part of what happened with Bungie, and I think it will be interesting to pay attention to Infinity Ward.
And you're asking about working on brands. I think there's been some examples where Ubisoft and Gearbox have collaborated. You know, their Shanghai team helped bring the game to the PSP. I think that was pretty nice, for PSP people to get a chance to play the games if they didn't own any other platforms.
But one of the interesting benefits that Ubisoft got from us owning the brand... like I said, people have asked to buy the brand, but some folks don't know that we own it, and you know what they ask me to do? They ask me to make something like it for them, or ask me to work on the brand that they already have. If I didn't own that brand, and they offered me a lot of money, that would be an interesting question, but because I care, right?
Brothers in Arms is mine. It's ours at Gearbox. So there's no other decision than to care for it and love it and do what we can for it. So by us owning the brand, Ubisoft actually has an advantage. They have loyalty that's automatic. It's not purchased. I'm loyal to my brand, and as long as I have a good publishing relationship with Ubisoft and they're publishing these games, then we can trust that we're both committed to each other.
Ubisoft/Gearbox Software's Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway
If someone controls something... that's how Call of Duty happened, essentially. It was essentially people doing Medal of Honor, and for whatever reason, they were not happy.
RP: I've heard that story from a lot of different folks who were involved in it from different angles, and it's a very interesting story. I should not be the one to tell it. It's actually deeper, too. If you were able to dig into some of the folks at Activision -- you probably wouldn't be able to -- but there was another game that they were pursuing that didn't happen.
They all wanted to make a war game, and then you had these guys show up almost out of the blue that had just done Allied Assault, and it was like this perfect... I'm not really the one to tell that story, but some folks have learned enough about it from different folks that they're starting to piece it together.
And maybe someday later, it will be comfortable for us to tell some of these stories. Now, there's some risk involved, because there's real business going on that matters a lot to a lot of people, and some of these people get concerned of the details if business gets out.
Everyone I've met in the game industry is smart enough to know when to shut up, I think.
RP: I don't agree with that. (laughter) There's lots of fun examples I see where someone hasn't been smart enough to shut up and we get to enjoy it all on the internet.
Yeah, fair enough.
RP: I love it every time it happens. But I appreciate you suggesting that I might be smart enough to shut up. (laughter)
You're making an effort.
RP: That's true. I'm making an effort, and I'm not that good at it, either. Sometimes I talk too much.
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