What makes a good game? Is it possible to quantify what ‘good’ means? No it’s not, Randy Pitchford argues. You may not like Aliens: Colonial Marines, but he certainly does.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Pitchford produced an email from a fan. "I really enjoyed AC:M, my all-time favourite game," it said. Pitchford himself added that he gets similar emails all the time”.
It depends on what criteria you’re using to define good,” he responded when asked if he thought A: CM was not as good as Borderlands. It did not sell as much. It didn’t receive nearly the scores. It wasn’t even close. Borderlands has sold maybe 15 times as many units. And the scores are very clear. Aliens got destroyed by the critics.”
Does that mean, then, that he doesn’t like it personally?
I liked it. And it frustrates the people who didn’t to hear me say that,” he added. I love all our games. That’s why we make them. It’s like asking a parent, you can’t love all your children equally. Tell me which one you like less! So, f**k off. No, I’m not going tell you which kid I like less.
It’s almost like they want to hear me say, yeah, it was rubbish. But it would be a lie for me to say it. I actually like, f**k, I like Duke Nukem Forever. I thought it was brilliant. I did! I know I’m not objective. But when I say that you should go, that guy’s clearly not objective. Why would you expect me to be objective? Have you ever seen weird, bizarre art you don’t even understand? The artist who created it clearly did it for a reason and loved it, you know.
And we’re a collective. There’s a whole bunch of us and everybody’s trying their hardest. The notion of trying to get someone who created something they loved, when you don’t, to try to have you… that to me is a dismal failure of human rationality. Look at how flawed our human reasoning is: I think this is true, therefore everyone else should also think this is true. But that doesn’t make any sense, especially if the thing we’re saying is true is either subjective, or completely unverifiable.”
Pitchford caused a ripple last week at the Develop Conference when he said that he welcomed any reaction, even a negative one, to his games.