Former Spore Dev Still Thinks the Wii is "a Piece of Sh*t"

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Former Spore Dev Still Thinks the Wii is "a Piece of Sh*t"

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Chris Hecker, the former Maxis designer and engineer who famously described the Wii as "two GameCubes duct-taped together" and later became known as the man who ruined Spore, says he stands by his statement but wishes he'd phrased it a little more diplomatically.

In 2007, Hecker got on stage at the Game Developers Conference and said something that made instant headlines: The Wii, he told his audience, was "a piece of shit." In case anyone missed the point, he further described it as "two GameCubes duct-taped together." The fallout came fast and furious, and by the next day he issued an apology, saying, "I do not think the Wii is a piece of shit. Nintendo needs to be applauded for trying to interface on the controller front, the user."

But now, three years later, Hecker told Eurogamer that he stands by his original point, if not his "inflammatory" wording. "Game design and gameplay is not separable from CPU power," he said. "You can do more interesting games with a faster CPU. Nintendo made an underpowered platform, relative to what you could have made at the time."

History has borne out the validity of his comments but Hecker said the situation caused him a considerable amount of grief that he really didn't see coming. "I wasn't thinking that because E3 closed down there would be a lot of people sniffing around for news stories in the mainstream press. It never used to be like that at GDC," he said.

"That night was the Electronic Arts and Nintendo executive dinner. They were announcing a joint venture for the first time. It was disastrous. It was awful," he continued. "The stars aligned in a completely negative, summon a demon kind of way. It was not good. I got a lot of hate mail. The Nintendo fanboys are pretty vehement. It's a big fanboy community. My Wikipedia page got defaced endlessly."

Hecker's reputation took a further beating in October 2008 when the word was spread that he was responsible for turning Spore away from its roots in evolutionary science in order to make it friendlier for more casual gamers.

"Even though Will Wright, the creator of the game, took full responsibility for the game we shipped, and I wasn't on the design team at all, to this day people talk about SpyParty in a forum and they're like, isn't that the guy who ruined Spore?" he said. "Someone will go, 'Is that that game by that guy who ruined Spore?' Someone - hopefully - a couple of posts later, will say, 'No, that was debunked. Here's a link to the post.' But sometimes that doesn't happen. Then, what do you do you do? You feel like a dork going in and posting yourself, 'No, I'm not that guy.' It's really hard to fight that kind of hearsay."

SpyParty is Hecker's current project, a self-funded indie espionage game "about subtle behavior, deception, performance and perception." No release date has been set.

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says the spore dev...

Jesus... why can't we just concentrate on the things we like? This 'who's got the bigger balls' is really getting out of hand...

Fanboys of any kind are terrible. I also agree about the wii.

He makes a good point. Think about much better the Wii could have been?

I mean, it would still be worse than a normal, sensible console, but hey, every little helps.

Hey, the gamecube was fantastic, having 2 of them ductaped together would be brilliant!

Firetaffer:
Hey, the gamecube was fantastic, having 2 of them ductaped together would be brilliant!

yes but the duck tape broke it when they taped it.

The Wii is pretty bad. The technology is underwhelming. But the games are worse. There's casual and there's embarrassing.

But this specifically just comes across as fanboyism or whatever

Are people really so lame that they would send him hate mail and edit his wikipedia page over having an opinion? That is so disturbing.

Dear Mr. Hecker.

Hey there Chris. How's it going? Nice to see you're moving on to other things, especially given the tidal wave of dissapointment that accompanied spore after release. It's always good to see it hasn't dampened your spirits. But please, Chris, when making public statements you have not only an obligation as a gaming-industry professional, but as a civil human being to NOT go on record slagging off a console with the sort of logic and language that has someone banned from a Halo fan forum.

And as for your obsession with having a bad reputation? get over it and try to make sure your next game is half decent.

Yours sincereley, a sanctimonious condescending internet dickhead.

A Spy Party?

Suddenly he has my undivided attention.

Piece of shit or no, it's making a buttload of moolah.
Can't disagree with that.

Firetaffer:
Hey, the gamecube was fantastic, having 2 of them ductaped together would be brilliant!

Agreed, the Wii however is a complete failure in my opinion.

As was spore.

This just in: Developers can be idiots and trolls too and are in fact still human. Details at 11.

Hecker could have used some of that SpyParty "subtle behavior" when he decided to voice his displeasure with the Wii, I guess? :P

SO who did ruin Spore?

Xerosch:
'who's got the bigger balls' is really getting out of hand...

Hehe, my dirty mind at work....

OT: There are a few basic rules to abide by when your words are being recorded and you aren't trolling.
One of them is dont say anything that might come back to bite you/ be considered flaming for a response.

EDIT:
And another one, dont say anything than can be interpreted the wrong way, say for example by anyone with a dirty mind. Eh, Xerosch?

Wait wait wait wait wait.

This guy might have been why Spore sucked? This guy might have been the cause of one my biggest disappointments in life?

Well he has lost all credibility in my eyes.

Oilerfan92:
The Wii is pretty bad. The technology is underwhelming. But the games are worse. There's casual and there's embarrassing.

But this specifically just comes across as fanboyism or whatever

Really?
Because iv got a ton of Great games on the Wii.
Every system has "Casual" shovel-and embarrassing games.
And the Wii has a lot, but no where near as much as the PS2 had.

OT:Oh well, this is not gonna stop me from enjoying TvC or any of the other great games iv got.

SaturdayS:
SO who did ruin Spore?

it collapsed under its own weight

btw i love your quote: " It was disastrous. It was awful," he continued. "The stars aligned in a completely negative, summon a demon kind of way.

Ah for the good old days when developers were kept locked up in the sub-basement, paid in peanuts and twinkies through a slot in the door when they were well-behaved and didn't gnaw on the furniture.

Thus is illustrated the true powerhouse of the video game industry: The PR guy and his lusty cohort of screaming advertising banshees.

Seems like it'd be his sort of console then, since Spore was shit too.

There's nothing wrong with the Wii.. it is what it is.... a family console for non-ubernerds.

I'd have thought the massive sales record and huge catalogue of fun, playable games, as opposed to the countless crap, unplayable ones on the other consoles (..has Wii even had to patch any games?..don't know, and it doesn't make any difference anyway) would be more than enough to justify it's existance..

Ah well, I suppose it's that time again where former innovative and popular products are slagged off by the brainless masses.

Twilight_guy:
This just in: Developers can be idiots and trolls too and are in fact still human. Details at 11.

I know your program is prerecorded just release the details already!

I find this funny as neither Spore nor the Wii offer anything I want in a game or console. This is a load of shi...Spy Party, a spy game where you are not Rambo??? Sounds like a cool idea can you pull it off? If it is good I will be very happy.

3nimac:
Are people really so lame that they would send him hate mail and edit his wikipedia page over having an opinion? That is so disturbing.

Young people can rage over any opinion that is not there( As you know, Yahtzee when he did his brawl review he got a lot of such mail). So ye fully possible.

What's even funnier about this post is that people actually agree with him.

SpyParty looks pretty sweet... I doubt there'll be much of a market for it, but I heard it was quite the hit at PAX.

Also: He's right about the Wii.

Gigaguy64:

Oilerfan92:
The Wii is pretty bad. The technology is underwhelming. But the games are worse. There's casual and there's embarrassing.

But this specifically just comes across as fanboyism or whatever

Really?
Because iv got a ton of Great games on the Wii.
Every system has "Casual" shovel-and embarrassing games.
And the Wii has a lot, but no where near as much as the PS2 had.

OT:Oh well, this is not gonna stop me from enjoying TvC or any of the other great games iv got.

I'm not saying it didn't have fun games. It did.

I guess I'm just not satisfied personally with how the tech itself ended up. I play games like Mario Galaxy and the Super Mario game, and it's still pushing buttons with minor or secondary actions relegated to motion, and at that point I guess I just don't care.

So.. a guy who while working for EA, came out on the evening of a joint EA/Nintendo conference declaring the Nintendo console to be shit, is now attempting to develop a game based on "subtle behavior .. performance and perception"?

Based on that performance, forgive me if my perception is that this is probably not the most rewarding behavior for him.

I think it's hilarious that the absolute worst thing the Nintendo fanboys could think of was defacing his Wikipedia page.

Also, I have to agree about the Wii. I don't own one, but I've played it plenty of times with various friends, and the funnest game I've played is Brawl. And even it isn't that fun.

You wanna see what Nintendo could have made if they went for both power and gimmick?

Look at the PS3 with it's Wiimote-dildo hybrid thingy.

The PS3 hasn't really undergone any significant changes since release, which wasn't that far behind Wii.

I've said from the beginning and still stand by. The Wii is a piece of shit surviving on Nostalgic 40 year olds who just love every iteration of Maaaaario under the sun and the newly milked Frump demographic who truly believe jiggling on what is essentially some scales with an attitude for 20 minutes will tone their bums.

Can we just concentrate on the consoles that matter and leave the casual's to fawn over their shovel-ware?

Oh he has a different opinion than us? Nintendo is great! Let's attack him! That'll show him what level headed people we are!

The world is stupid. It's simply amazing how bias fanboys are and how far they're willing to take something they have 0 involvement in. I could understand if the designer of the wii was a bit upset but jesus christ guys, Nintendo doesn't care who says what is shit it sells and guess what? Sticks and stones.

Internet Kraken:
Wait wait wait wait wait.

This guy might have been why Spore sucked? This guy might have been the cause of one my biggest disappointments in life?

Well he has lost all credibility in my eyes.

Not one for reading all the way through are you?

Unless that was some attempt at sarcasm... But that's hard to read in text.

Well, he is right.

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