After twenty years in the business, with the decision of Atari to sell Shiny Entertainment in early 2006, founder and Earthworm Jim, MDK, Messiah and Enter The Matrix co-creator David Perry decided to take a year off.
But, as humorously recounted in his recent talk at the Montreal International Game Summit, things didn't quite work out the way he hoped, and he's since ended up as chief creative office for the relaunched Acclaim, consulting on games and directing multiple MMOs -– and that's only a few of his commitments.
Gamasutra recently talked to Perry after his session about his "holiday", his many projects, and the concept of free-to-play MMOs.
Are you still on holiday?
David Perry: I think I've given up
on that idea. I tried to take a year off and I think I got about two
months in before everything exploded and I had a zillion projects running.
So, no. The vacation is over and I don't think it's going to start again
soon. I've got all kinds of commitments. The people working with me
would have a cow if I just suddenly decided to take a month off or something.
What would you say your main commitments are now?
DP: I'm acting now as the chief creative
officer for Acclaim, so I'm helping start a new publisher, which is
pretty big. I've got my game investors company. I've got the game consultants
company. I've got the four MMOs that I'm directing right now, but there's
actually some more that we haven't even announced yet.
I'm also starting to study social networks
and things like that. I'm getting very interested in where our industry
is going rather than where it is. I know my history is very connected
to the old stuff, but I've always got that radar going. Maybe sometimes
on things too early, but I'm fascinated by stuff like that.
How on earth are you managing to split your time between so many projects?
DP: It's funny, actually, because I was asked to speak at the quality of life summit which is probably the biggest mistake they've ever made. I just said to them, take a trip to Japan and look at the sleeping bags under the tables, and you'll see there's no "quality of life". It's not to be mean or anything, it's just that they want to succeed and these people are our competitors.
I work till about one or two every
night. I've been 25 years in the business, and that's the hours I put
in. I literally couldn't get it all done otherwise.