Cliff Bleszinski Labels Notch a "Pouty Kid" - Updated

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Cliff Bleszinski Labels Notch a "Pouty Kid" - Updated

Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski says the cancellation of Minecraft for the Oculus Rift is a "bratty and petty move."

Update: Notch has replied to Bleszinski's blog post with a single, succinct tweet:

Original Story:

Emotions have been running high in the wake of Facebook's acquisition of Oculus VR, as everyone tries to figure out what it means and how it will affect the future of the device. Probably the highest-profile doomsayer is Markus "Notch" Persson, the creator of Minecraft, who very quickly canceled the development of an Oculus Rift version of his famous game. "I did not chip in ten grand to seed a first investment round to build value for a Facebook acquisition," he said.

But on the other side of the coin is Cliff Bleszinski, he of Gears of War fame, who doesn't think the Facebook acquisition is a bad thing at all. Facebook certainly bears criticism for its cavalier treatment of privacy, but it also offers reach and resources that Oculus needs if it's going to flourish.

"Your device is only as good as the store and community around it; if users can't say shut up and take my money, if developers can't post their work then the device will ultimately flounder," Bleszinski wrote on his blog. "Facebook can assist with this sort of thing, as well as having a multi billion user reach. That's pretty damned important."

He also noted that outrage among Kickstarter backers angry that they supported Oculus but won't get to reap the rewards is misplaced - "donating to a Kickstarter gets you whatever reward you're told when you donate, you don't get equity, you don't get to participate in the fruits of a sale of a company" - and he had some choice words about the cancellation of Minecraft for the Oculus Rift as well.

"Notch, your cancelling Minecraft makes you look like a pouty kid who is taking his ball and going home," he wrote. "It's a bratty and petty move and it saddens me greatly."

Name-calling notwithstanding, the post is definitely worth a read; Bleszinksi makes some interesting points about the buyout and the future of VR from his side of the fence. Catch it in full at Clifford Unchained.

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I find it funny that Cliff is the one saying that given how often he used to whine about "the internet pirating my games" all the time...only for the 360 versions to be pirated like crazy.

I can understand why Notch would be upset, he wanted to help out a small and young company and was excited so he put in $10,000. What he didn't want is for a huge company like Facebook to come in and just completely buyout the company. Hell, honestly I wish Oculus would have released the retail version, and then Facebook could have come in later and bought them, but then again Zukerberg is trying to get the "next best thing" always. I mean hell, $19 billion for an app, and I thought Balmer was crazy when he bought Skype for $8.5 billion when it wasn't really profitable, and still isn't really.

Neronium:
I find it funny that Cliff is the one saying that given how often he used to whine about "the internet pirating my games" all the time...only for the 360 versions to be pirated like crazy.

Yeah, enter the games industry guy that's continually more obnoxious than Notch. Which is an impressive feat in and of itself.

Regardless, there are plenty of good reasons for why a game maker wouldn't want to do business with Facebook that are neither petty or bratty. I mean, the reason so many Facebook game makers went bankrupt or had to move on was because of the platform dicking around with the rules and breaking their finance base. That's not to mention their track record on privacy, or how their revamped algorithms for filtering makes facebook a useless platform for almost all businesses now.

Why should anyone have to make a game for Oculus? So what if Minecraft is cancelled, its the developers right to do that with his property and im sure he has his reasons. He probably didnt mind doing so as it was an indie/gamer invested machine and he wanted to help them. Now its been bought by FB he feels he doesn't want to support it now they have all that backing. Cliffy B needs to get over himself, sorry but the GoW series are not classic titles and he is no Bioware or P Moleneux.

Cliff Bleszinski is popping up from behind his chest-high wall again?

Doesn't he know that the internet will shoot him in the face when that happens?

Cliff is the Eric Cartman of the game industry who can't see how his actions and words affect others. In other words he is the very thing, that he accuses Markus Persson of being.

As for Notch himself... well, he's no saint either, but I can certainly see where he's coming from.
If this thing lifts off the ground and I actually get one, I sincerely hope that Minecraft will be part of it, I really do.

Problem: Cliffy B isn't a smart man of the industry. He's a pretty face who needs to spew company PR like a good little boy, because he's about as good a man to listen to as Michael Pachter.

I'd be more inclined to listen to "CliffyB" sling mud at another developer for being a "pouty kid" if Cliffy here hadn't previously thrown a hissy fit at the used games market and bitched about the gaming community for Microsoft's backtrack on its always-on DRM policies.

Can't believe I actually agree with Cliffy B on something. But yeah, Notch is really coming off as a bit of a child right now. He hasn't quite hit Phil Fish's level yet, but he's not far off either.

Yeah Cliffy and I call you a douchebag but you don't see Escapist articles about this fact.

Jumwa:

Yeah, enter the games industry guy that's continually more obnoxious than Notch. Which is an impressive feat in and of itself.

At least with Notch he occasionally says something interesting that isn't flamebait.

Andy Chalk:
"Your device is only as good as the store and community around it; if users can't say shut up and take my money, if developers can't post their work then the device will ultimately flounder,"

Hmmm, apparently I didn't realize that the Oculus was facing this sort of problem pre-Facebook Buyout. From my understanding, customers were already lining up to say "shut up and take my money", and developers (at the very least Notch :P) were looking forward to working with this product as well.

Sooooooooo where's the justification for this buyout again, Mr. Cliffy? Or are you just practicing being a politician by spouting out stuff that sounds "intelligent" (in a loose definition of the term) but really has nothing to do with the issue at hand? I'm not saying that there isn't a justification, indeed from a business stand-point I doubt that there's a single small start-up company that wouldn't cream their pants if someone threw $2 billion at them. All I'm saying is that the justification Cliffy seems to be offering doesn't really seem to fit the situation. That is to say: I don't think the Oculus needed Facebook to have customers and developers excited for it.

To be fair, I haven't read the full post linked in the article because I really can't stand Cliffy B and having to read anything of his beyond a few excerpts in an article would likely give me a migraine.

I tried to read his words, but all I saw was shit.

Hell, I only hear shit when he actually talks.

Bratty and Petty? In this instance I think the Pot is a bit blacker than the Kettle.

Really Cliff? Really? You're calling Notch petty? And you're... not, somehow? Remember that epic little fit you had when Microsoft did a 180 on the always online requirements? Was that not petty?

God, Cliff is such an insufferable douche bag. Every time he speaks I end up hating him more and more.

Good thing I don't give a toss about either of their opinions.

I didn't know Notch was generally disliked by the gaming community. Can someone tell me why?

The only good point he makes is the same one Jim Sterling already made, which is that yeah, OR was going to get acquired by someone and people acting stunned that it got bought out is a little naive. Still, you can't blame people for being awfully pessimistic, Facebook hasn't really proven itself to be the cradle of innovation, and has never done anything to nurture "serious gaming". Until it proves that it truly does have an interest in making it a true gaming console besides just a platform where people can watch videos and vacation photos and Farmville, people are going to be rightfully skeptical, and Notch is within his reason to do what he did.

I kinda agree with Cliffy. Rather than considering the options or waiting to see what Facebook was about to do with it, Notch pulled the plug on the Minecraft adaptation. It does seem pretty childish. If the Oculus somehow becomes a success with gamers, then Notch will be kicking his own ass. Being all extreme about things isn't the best way to do business.

I understand Notch's point of view, but crazy enough I totally agree with Cliffy B here.

Oculus might no longer be as 'indie' or hip but regardless of the acquisition, it's still the exact same product with the exact same user base. Pulling Minecraft doesn't hurt Mojang and it doesn't hurt Oculus: it hurts all the people that were looking forward to playing the game. It's like flipping all of your friends the bird because one of them decided to hang out with that kid.

Pot meet kettle?

Cliff reminds me of the type of dorky kid who never really got bullied growing up, but still went home every night and obsessed over his "enemies list" and imagined every possible negative thing that occurred that day as the most horrific injury against his person. And he used these imagined slights as his motivation to 'show the world how awesome he's going to be someday'. So, now he's all grown up and out to prove to everyone that he's the man when nobody really gives a shit. He reminds me of Dennis from Always Sunny In Philadelphia: a massive ego coupled with an equally massive inferiority complex. He's the guy that stands in a room full of people screaming "LOOK AT ME!" while everyone in the room passes by and says "yep, there you are." before moving on and ignoring him.

Oh yay, mud slinging. How non-juvenile.

Hypocrite.

It's tough to decide how I feel about this. Cliffy is totally being a hypocrite, acting every bit as "bratty" as he's accusing Notch of being... but that really doesn't change the fact that he's right.

P.S. Thanks

Cliff B participating in a catty Handbags at dawn that's nothing new. i'm surprised he didn't bring up that this would prevent piracy and result in an increase in blow jobs per Occulus Rift bought. That said yes it would have been acquired eventually but it is also fine for someone to drop support for it.

Oh look. Its CliffyB trying to be relevant. Again.

Can he please just put himself out of our misery. Go find a rock to live under or something. I don't even necessarily agree with Notch's decision but at least he has a reason to still have some sort of relevance.

MinionJoe:
Cliff Bleszinski is popping up from behind his chest-high wall again?

Doesn't he know that the internet will shoot him in the face when that happens?

Well said, boyo. Very well said.

OT: Can we...just start get a bunch of Minecraft people to seal this guy inside his house so we don't have to hear him talk again? I'd just as soon not have the headaches that follow.

I like Notch. I think he's probably a pretty cool guy. But I tend to agree that his indignant attitude towards the acquisition was a little premature.

Is it bad I kinda agree with Cliff here? I mean, seriously? That's childish. I wouldn't go as far as calling it pouty, just acting like a child.

Canceling a game just because Facebook acquired the Oculus? No offense, but if Facebook didn't touch oculus, would you think it would sell the more units it's just by itself? It helps them get more word out and get more people interested.

Christ, reading some of these comments made me want to punch my laptop screen.

TiberiusEsuriens:
I understand Notch's point of view, but crazy enough I totally agree with Cliffy B here.

Oculus might no longer be as 'indie' or hip but regardless of the acquisition, it's still the exact same product with the exact same user base. Pulling Minecraft doesn't hurt Mojang and it doesn't hurt Oculus: it hurts all the people that were looking forward to playing the game. It's like flipping all of your friends the bird because one of them decided to hang out with that kid.

Pretty much. Here's a quick test to see who is being the bigger asshole in this situation.

Facebook (my interpretation): "We don't intend to interfere with the Oculus Rift's development, and have a lot of ideas for additional uses for this device"

Notch (again, interpreted): "I don't like Facebook, so I'm going back on what I said I was going to do, and I'm not going to add functionality to my game that many of my customers were looking forward to."

Now, to me, it seems that we have one company pouring money into a project with the declared intent to keep it true to its original form, and a developer going back on his declared plans on a personal whim. Maybe Facebook will ruin the Rift, but I have no evidence of that, and as I've said elsewhere, the hardware is all I care about in this case. But what I've gotten out of this incident above all else? Don't trust anything Notch says. He's fickle, and can and will turn his back on the people that made him rich if it suits his whim.

I completely agree
The only person Notch is hurting here is his customers, all the people who wanted to play Minecraft on the Rift.
I fully understand his personal misgivings and he is perfectly entitled to them but he also runs a company which makes and produces an exceptionally popular game played by millions, their opinion should be all that matters really in such a situation. I mean if after the acquisition Facebook/OR announced their plan to take over the world by harvesting all the worlds children in some horrible cauldron of death then I'd understand.
How many more times does Notch have to do something before everyone realises he's an immense douchebag...

haha, bad move doucheknuckle. i can't wait to see the backlash for this. notch is a beloved figure, you're a dude-bro douchebag. i had already written you off when you said you would only make games for the pc from now on, writing off consoles altogether. honestly, every time i see his stupid face, i wanna punch it.

it's not just me right? he has a seriously punchable face...

I don't have strong opinions one way or another on the OR/Facebook/Notch thing. I just find it painfully ironic to see CliffyB calling others out for being bratty and whiny.

*Calls Notch childish, then proceeds to call him names*

I couldn't care less to listen to what Cliffy B has to say anymore, I really couldn't. Or Notch for that matter.

Every time Cliff Bleszinski gets up on his soap box, I wonder a little more why he has that podium in the first place. His accomplishments aren't so grand, nor his insights particularly deep or well-considered; typically they seem to be ninety percent attitude, and that attitude is equal parts petulance and arrogance.

Yes, the people who got in "on the ground floor" weren't buying stock in the company; that doesn't take away the fact that they were there to help build the foundations that made its existence possible long before anyone was talking about things like IPOs, nor does it make their feelings about that thing they believed in and helped nurture meaningless. I don't know what Facebook's acquisition will mean to the future of the company or its technology, whether it will limit its use or broaden it, see the goggles in their final form in more or fewer people's homes. At this point, anyone stating an absolute about that future is indulging in speculation.

But I wouldn't dream in suggesting for one moment that Notch doesn't have every right to express his disappointment in the company's direction in the strongest way available to him.

I hate agreeing with CliffyB, because he's obnoxious, and calling out Notch is as lame as Notch's actions. However, he's right. Kickstarter isn't an investment firm, all the donors received their "rewards," and I OR will probably benefit from this move.

"Your device is only as good as the store and community around it; if users can't say shut up and take my money, if developers can't post their work then the device will ultimately flounder," Bleszinski wrote on his blog. "Facebook can assist with this sort of thing, as well as having a multi billion user reach. That's pretty damned important."

This statement is utter garbage. There is nothing Facebook can offer as far as getting developers on board that wasn't already happening. Unless people think shitty Facebook games qualifies. The first adopter type consumers who were most excited about this are also exactly the type to be wary of Facebook being involved in anything, and I would be willing to bet are less likely than they've ever been to put down their hard earned cash for the Oculus Rift now. And that multi billion user reach is worthless since the majority of those people aren't going to give a shit about VR for vidya games, and this tech has literally no useful application in modern social networking.

So what does Facebook really bring to the table? Money and not much else. But I don't think that that's even remotely the most important factor in getting the Rift off the ground now. The tech is largely there and working, and attracting investors wasn't likely an issue for them. So what does Facebook offer aside from the best case scenario or having no impact on it, and the worst case scenario of so damaging it's reputation that it's DOA?

Also, let's be honest here, with the amount of times Cliffy B opens his mouth to say something stupid, the man shouldn't have news articles written about him saying something stupid. Notch cancelling Minecraft for Rift isn't being pouty. It's being genuinely concerned about a company he doesn't trust buying out a device he was interested in, and choosing to cancel his investment in developing for it until the fallout is a bit more clear.

That is a perfectly reasonable reaction, particularly when Notch and Mojang are richer than god and don't need to port it to continue being successful and doing their thing. As usual, Cliff is just being a loud mouthed ass and needs to be taught the lesson that almost nothing he says is of any value.

Is Cliffy being hypocritical? Yeah. Does that change anything that he said? No. Look, I'm pretty neutral when it comes to these two figures, and while I wouldn't necessarily have called Notch pouty, cancelling development for a device just because it was picked up by Facebook is pretty childish. His wanting to develop a game for a product should be because the technology itself is intriguing and worth testing out, not whether it's status can count as indie or not. It tells me that he never really had faith in the device because the device itself was unique and interesting, but just because it was a new venture on Kickstarter that hadn't yet gotten a major investor.

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