CEO and game designer Patrice Désilets has challenged the mixed Metacritic score of Panache’s game, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, by insisting “some reviewers actually didn’t play the game”.
“I’m used to having bigger numbers than that, so it’s the elephant in the room,” Désilets told attendees of Reboot Develop Red, having previously worked at Ubisoft on the studio’s blockbuster Assassin’s Creed series (thanks, GI.biz). “But people expected my studio of 35 people to ship a game that is really close to Assassin’s Creed, and it’s just not possible. We made some harsh decisions in order to ship the game, and we wanted it to be different.
“We know for a fact that some reviewers actually didn’t play the game. It is part of our industry – they have to review games, and they have 15 of them to review in one week, and sometimes they don’t have time,” he added. “And since Ancestors is so different, some of them went ‘urgh, I don’t have time for this’.”
While it seems some critics did make factual errors in their reviews of the new IP, Désilets insisted others “just invented some elements”.
“And we know for a fact that some just invented some elements in the game – like there is no fire and you cannot ride any horses, even though one reviewer said ‘oh, it wasn’t that great when you ride a horse’. Yes. My people are pissed, by the way.
“So please don’t take notes today as we talk, mainly because I don’t know how to make a video game,” he added, tongue-in-cheek, before reflecting on the tensions between working as a game designer and managing a studio as CEO.
“President, CEO, responsible for 35 families,” Désilets said. “The game designer in me wants to make a decision about the quality and whatnot, and then the other guy says, ‘no, no, I’m responsible for those people, and I need to make a decision that makes sure the studio doesn’t shut down, and that it’s good for at least two other years afterwards’… Without them, I’m not here.”
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is available on PC now with console ports coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on December 6th, 2019.