Why does this guy keep saying outlandish things?

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#1 Posted by Dixavd (2237 posts) -

Alex Hutchinson, the new Lead Designer/Creative Director for Assassin's Creed starting with III, keeps saying some quite controversial things:

Regardless of to what degree he is right with this stuff, shouldn't he just lay low until ACIII comes out? He already has to prove to the fans of that series that he is a worthy successor to continue the series with (one that is made extra big of a step for him to overcome by entering a completely different timeline and setting at the same time). Every time he says one of these things it leaves me with a little sickening feeling that makes me want to take a step back from the Assassin's Creed franchise. What do you think? Is it ok for someone to take such a prominent role and - before he has proven that he can handle the role - start asking some pretty big questions of the industry? Does it bother you that he is almost acting as if he has a much better opinion on how the entire videogame industry works, and implies that there is a right way to develop games?

It isn't a big thing for me and ultimately the game will speak for itself but it does put me off when the biggest news stories I see almost every week about this game is instead about a completely different topic which a Creative Director on Assassin's Creed III happened to talk about.

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#2 Posted by AuthenticM (4284 posts) -

Publicity ? Or maybe he just has a big mouth.

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#3 Posted by Heltom92 (797 posts) -

Seems every day someone is saying X thing is dying/killing the games industry.

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#4 Posted by Demoskinos (17266 posts) -


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#5 Posted by hughesman (314 posts) -

I was just thinking this exact same thing.

Some guy says dumb things. Can't say I should be too suprised about that. The thing I can't understand is why do all the large game sites keep headlining all the dumb things he says.

I mean, I know WHY they do it but the fact that they do irritates me.

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#6 Posted by CL60 (17118 posts) -

Seems every day someone is saying X thing is dying/killing the games industry.

Heltom92 is single handedly killing the the games industry.
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#7 Posted by laserbolts (5506 posts) -

Doesn't matter what he says or thinks as long as they put out good games.

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#8 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4569 posts) -

I don't care what the developer says, as long as they make great games they can say what they want. Some of the greatest artists, atheletes, directors and musicians are really arrogant, just focus on the product he puts out.

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#9 Posted by Incapability (235 posts) -

The part where he said fans come up with the most boring scenarios for AC games?

Let's face it. He's right.

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#10 Posted by Oldirtybearon (5626 posts) -

@Dixavd: Almost everything you said you took completely out of context. Use the words he used. Quote him. As it stands your posts looks entirely like you've got an ax to grind because Hutchinson is opinionated and you disagree with those opinions.

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#11 Posted by tsiro (222 posts) -

@Incapability: I was thinking the exact same thing. So glad that AC3 isn't taking place in Egypt or Feudal Japan or wherever.

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#12 Posted by BaneFireLord (3145 posts) -

Still not as obnoxious as David "Everybody sucks except me" Cage.

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#13 Posted by BrockNRolla (1725 posts) -

Some people love to talk, regardless of whether or not their words will be well received by the room they are in.

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#14 Posted by Dixavd (2237 posts) -


No. I will not use quotes because they are the laziest way to explain what someone said and they make the reader lazier by making them more likely to think all the information they need on a topic is in the post (Which it clearly will never be, it at least won't be explained and set-up as well as a journalist would). I gave a quick synopsis of what he is made out to have said and why it keeps making news. I wasn't talking about the comments in question (Which is why I said "Regardless of to what degree he is right") but why it seems odd for him to even enter them as the news will always make him look like an asshole for it. I don't care what his opinions are, it is more about him constantly mentioning it that makes me turned off from the Assassin's Creed series because he seems to not let the game speak for itself.

And if you still think I am doing this because I disagree with his opinion here are my responses to his points:

  • Agree: Fans do give bad advice and usually shouldn't be listened to when it omes to big choices like setting
  • Disagree: I disagree completely with him on the Japanese/Western story debate.
  • Somewhat Agree: I do see a similarity between AC and these otoher franchises, and there is no inherant reason why annual games can't be very good.
  • Disagree: His explanation on why giving the choice of playing a game on Easy-mode is selfish at best to me.
  • Neutral: While he is clearly wrong that all Triple-A titles will die, I do see that they are shrinking as the focus on the industry

See, this has nothing to do with his and my opinion as I agree and disagree with him almost equally like I so with most people. This is about a person that seems to not have earnt the right to say such things and it makes the franchise that he is effectively representing seem childish and unproffessional to me.

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#15 Posted by Brodehouse (10827 posts) -

This is why publishers try to make you believe games just leap out of the bare rock. Because any time you hear that a game developer has an opinion you don't agree with you flip out and go "HOW DARE HE GRAAAAAGH"

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#16 Posted by Oldirtybearon (5626 posts) -

@Dixavd: I don't understand what the problem with any of what he says is. It may not be popular, hell, I may not even agree with it, but to say that "he hasn't earned the right to say such things" is absurd. I can say those things. I have said those things. So have you. So has anyone who has ever posted on a fucking message board. Journalists and gamers pine for developers to speak what they think, but when they do the same thing happens over and over again. The poor bastard is raked over the coals for not falling in line and daring to go against the grain. I'm sorry, but your lack of interest in AC3 because the project director has an opinion is your own boo-boo to put a band-aid on.

You act like he just walks out of his office every morning, chases down Arthur Gies, pins the bald bastard to the floor and screams these thoughts at him and threatens Arthur's cat until he puts them on the Internet as news items. These journalists are asking him for these opinions. He's not just shooting from the hip for the sake of it.

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#17 Posted by Akrid (1391 posts) -

Why does he need to lay low? WHY? Why are these people so fucking accountable for what they say, why do we need to take it with dire seriousness, why. I mean, I guess people feel defensive about a series like this and don't want some dude to screw it up, but why do we have to treat these people like non-people? They shouldn't need to supress their opinions. They should be able to be open about their philosophies if they feel they have something important to say. They shouldn't be fearful of the repercussions of talking freely with someone. I've got mad respect for this guy for speaking his mind.

This is the sort of mindset that forces the corporate word to replace every developer's own, something that I feel that Giant Bomb stands staunchly against. Games shouldn't have to be managed so carefully, they should run free! PR should amount to "Hey, here's this fuckin' video-game we made, you like it or what". Developers should be able to explain themselves without fear of some jaded armchair designers saying they could of clearly done it better, and that they're ruining everything. Both sides do not treat each other like people. One side is trying to rip the other to shreds while the other is trying to be as polite as possible. I guess I want an equalization of that - PR should tell you guys to go fuck yourselves. You guys, in turn, need to say, "Okay".

But I know it'll never happen, because people are too fucking impolite. The internet can't help but analyse and attack and tear apart whoever is in their crosshairs. I guess it's logical that it happens. I still hate it though.

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#18 Posted by Oldirtybearon (5626 posts) -

@Akrid: I agree with you. It seems that everyone has gotten entirely too sensitive. We can't have a developer speaking his mind because holy shit! think of the feelings he may hurt!

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#19 Posted by Brodehouse (10827 posts) -
@Oldirtybearon@Akrid followed.
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#20 Posted by Pr1mus (4158 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:



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#21 Posted by Getz (3755 posts) -

To be fair, he only said that "easy modes" represent the worst possible form of a video game, not that that it made the whole game bad. This is just an opinionated man who must not be very in-sync with his PR team. Seems like everyone wants to make what he's saying a big deal but they're just, like, his opinions man.

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#22 Posted by Dixavd (2237 posts) -


My problem is in the same way that any person who takes a job with significance (the first that actually means anything to anyone since his previous big positions were on Spore, Army of Two: 40th Day and Dante's Inferno - none nearly as big as this). It annoys me in the same way that say, a person takes the head teacher position at a school for the first time and during the Summer before the school re-opens they proceed to insult how every other school is set up and that focusing on X subject is the only thing that is important. I would tell that person to just shut up until they take over and they everyone that know what they are talking about. That new Head teacher may have previously been a Deputy Head at a big school and a head teacher at a smaller one but that doesn't mean they can properly control one as significant as they new one (like how Alex has had big positions on previous games, but none nearly as big a project as AC3).

It just hurts not only people’s opinions of him and the game but it also hurts the arguments he is making. Taking the forefront of an argument but without the credibility to make people take you seriously means that those that could be willing to listen to the argument may not listen and instead stigmatize it for a while longer. I think quite a lot of what he is saying is right, but because he is saying it now rather than after the release of AC3 hurts the argument for everyone. It doesn't matter how good he is or how much experience his opinion has been built on, if the general public can't see that he can back it up then it all becomes meaningless and he simply hinders those that can actually change the minds of people from actually making a difference.

It is something that plagues the charity and scientific industry and I keep seeing it seep into the videogame industry more and more (which is why this one is so annoying to me since he simply has to wait a couple months and the whole problem with it goes away - unless AC3 is really badly designed or written in which case he does even more damage to these arguments since whenever they are brought up people will say "but that was said by the guy who made the bad Assassin's Creed game, I'm not going to listen to anything that made that).

It isn't about whether someone is opinionated, or even what they are opinionated about. It is about people being able to ask themselves "will bringing this up in this way make it less likely that people will listen to the argument or will it badly reflect on others?" And so far his break both, they make all the arguments look overly-extreme and he hurts the representation of every other person who works on Assassin's Creed 3.

I am sorry if what I said made it look like I am insulting him as a person (I am noy great at explaining my opinion - which is why I have the self control to know not to stand in public representing hundreds of people and an entire arguement). I am instead saying it is unproffessional to have the inability to see that it would help everyone (including the hype that is built for his game) if he simply waited until after it had been released and he has proven that his opinion is good enough to allow people to listen to him to give a chance that the response to his opinions would be people listening to him rather than attacking him. But I think you are implying that I have way more negativity and hatred for this than I really do. I simply want people to have the self control to know what battles are woth fighting and when they are worth bringing up (and for me, the moment that his opinions overshadowed the game was the point that was worth bringing this whole thing up).

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#23 Posted by Pop (2699 posts) -

For publicity he could say whatever so the press will be like "lead designer for Assassin's Creed III says...." and Ubisoft probably thinks bad publicity is good publicity.

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#24 Edited by Dixavd (2237 posts) -

@Getz said:

To be fair, he only said that "easy modes" represent the worst possible form of a video game, not that that it made the whole game bad. This is just an opinionated man who must not be very in-sync with his PR team. Seems like everyone wants to make what he's saying a big deal but they're just, like, his opinions man.

That was my point. That is why I didn't give quotations, I have a synopsis of the response and the way that it has been represented to people by journalists (though news titles etc... which most people don't look past). My point was that despite any of his opinions, he should have known that the result would be "Assassin's Creed III Director thinks Easy modes in games ruin games". It is my same problem with Phil Fish; I don't mind people having opinions - in fact I am totally for people being able to disagree with people and speak their mind - but they need to have the self control to when to say and that no matter what they say it will be swung negatively against what they represent (and Phil gets a pass usually for saying it in quick Q and As or normal chats with people, this guy is saying them when people are there for a formal meeting about his next game).


@Pop said:

For publicity he could say whatever so the press will be like "lead designer for Assassin's Creed III says...." and Ubisoft probably thinks bad publicity is good publicity.

It's depressing how you are probably right about how executives at Ubisoft think about this stuff.

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#25 Posted by krazy_kyle (740 posts) -

yeah, just ignore him and he'll go away.

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#26 Posted by Zereta (1520 posts) -

He is right that we are in the phase where Triple A games, AS WE KNOW IT, are dying out. Its the rise of the casual/tablet/mobile/motion games + Free to Play. Whether its just a phase or not, we don't know.

What we have here is a dude being up front and honest with his opinions. Remove the fact the he is related to Assassin's Creed at all, this man is speaking his mind as a gamer with opinions, something he is very much entitled to. His opinions are crazy at times, sure. But its his opinions.

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#27 Posted by AssInAss (3218 posts) -

I was going to make a similar thread. Hasn't proven himself yet, but still loves to run off his mouth. His stance on easy mode is the most arrogant one.

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#28 Posted by haggis (1674 posts) -

I'm struggling to figure out what the big deal is. He has opinions and shares them. So what? I've yet to meet a person who didn't believe at least one thing I thought was a bit crazy. And none of his opinions strike me as particularly controversial or arrogant. I don't agree with all of them, but I don't think any of them are indefensible.

Anyone who chooses what game to buy based on the fact that a developer expressed his opinion of trends in the field in which he works might have lost sight of what gaming is all about.

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#29 Posted by deskp (507 posts) -

Nothing hes said has bothered me thus far. Good on him for not being super sensitive and cencored.

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#30 Posted by bio595 (319 posts) -

I went through the links and none of what he said sounded particularly controversial.

A little full of himself perhaps, but for the most part I agree with him or aren't well enough informed to make an opinion

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#31 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (2371 posts) -

because he's an asshole

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#32 Posted by Jimbo (10453 posts) -

"WW2, Japan and Egypt are "the three worst settings for an Assassin's Creed game"
Maybe not the worst, but I agree that the first two are pretty bad / boring ideas. Egypt could be good.

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#33 Posted by Muttinus_Rump (814 posts) -

Heaven forbid someone in the games industry actually speaks their mind.

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#34 Posted by Svenzon (916 posts) -

I don't think they're any worse than the opinions you see on this and other Internet forums every day really.

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#35 Posted by JasonR86 (10135 posts) -

Because he doesn't have a filter.

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#36 Posted by Soffish (142 posts) -

I just think it's bad form for a developer to harshly criticize other games without proving themselves first. For me personally, I'd prefer that devs speak their minds instead of just mindlessly regurgitating PR talking points. But criticizing other devs or the industry at large without giving yourself the same treatment or proving that you can do better just makes you look like a dick.

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