We’re looking at you, EA games and Ubisoft!
With video game companies becoming more and more like massive faceless corporations and less and less like a bunch of video game nerds writing code in basements, a lot of the guys at the top are more “businessman” than they are “gamer”. This is a trend that only hurts the industry, so says Xbox head Phil Spencer, who thinks that we would be much better off if more top level video game executives actually, you know, played video games.
In a Twitter exchange last week, Spencer praised Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida for being an avid gamer, spurred on by his recent PlayStation Underground video where he revealed himself to be a dedicated Bloodbourne player. “I think our industry is better when more people who made decisions on games play,” commented Spencer. “Yoshida is one of those people.”
It’s an obvious statement (people who make a thing should know about said thing) but one that bears repeating. Nintendo, for example, has made a great name for itself among fans by constantly utilizing its “big three” executives (Reggie Fils-Amie, Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto) in fun little skits that show off their playfulness, and paints them as gamers first, businessmen second.
We’ve all seen our share of terribly awkward E3 moments caused by obviously non-gamer execs trying too hard to be “edgy” and “with it”. I think the big wigs at some of the worst offenders (I’m looking at you, Ubisoft and EA games) should take a page out of Spencer and Yoshida’s book and actually play the damn games they are making!