Friday, February 26, 2010

Ex DICE CEO trolls Wii to get people to play his games

There's a reason why I tend to follow Nintendo related news. If you didn't you'd never really see the hilarity in the things developers often say. Case in point: Fredrik Liliegrin, Former CEO of DICE, who's probably only making waves now because he wants his new start-up company in the spotlight, Had this to say in a recent interview.

"Gaming Union: Are you surprised with the negativity surrounding the Wii from various groups, even after all this time and its success? Would you develop a Wii game if you were a traditional developer?

Fredrik Liliegrin: If I got paid to develop a Wii game I would do it. I would not put an original IP on the Wii today unless I thought I had an absolute home run.

Gaming Union: Why not?

Fredrik Liliegrin: Because the Wii, to me, I would describe it as a Virus, that doesn't stick. Everyone comes home, it's a toy, people have got to realize the Wii is a toy, not an entertainment focused product. People come home, someone, they play Wii for a bit, feel it's really cool, blah blah blah, they go out and buy one. Ask people how often they play the Wii, that are not the core game consumer that buys one because they have an Xbox 360 and a Wii or a PlayStation 3 and a Wii. The people that only own the Wii, ask that consumer how often they use their machine. They just don't use it, it was cool, but they're not gamers, so they put it away. Other than the Wii Fit phenomenon that helped a lot of people get a nice cutie voice telling that they're fat and need to go work out, they need to find other alternatives. Nintendo is smart in that way in that they realize this is not a video game machine, this is not a games game machine."
Oh sir. Your bravado masked naivete makes me smile like a schoolboy reading a smut magazine found under his father's bed. First of all, that whole "The Wii is a virus" meme is recycled from the same statement Mike Capps made back in 2008. It's one thing to have a clear cut opinion of the system in question, but when you echo sentiments without any use of coherency you tend to just sound like a babbling parrot.

Secondly: If the Wii is a toy, how is it not an entertainment focused device? By nature toys are entertainment focused devices often aimed at children to keep them occupied while parents do grown up stuff like pay bills, going out, or humping. Is the Wii a toy? Well considering the fact that you can purchase the Wii at toy stores like Toys R Us, and Kay Bee toys (if there even are any of those left.) I guess it could be considered as one. However, if you do follow that reasoning then the same could be considered of the 360 and the PS3 which are also sold there, as were the PS2, the Genesis, and any of the older gaming consoles of our youth.

It's no secret that Nintendo classified the NES as a toy in the 80's to increase chances of distribution. The Nintendo AVS design, which was actually more Computer in nature was scrapped for it's more memorable design to get away from the stigma of being a "home computer system", which was at that point getting NOA nowhere fast. So having the NES' great great grandson, the Wii being called a "toy" is nothing short of a compliment. I've often say that the Wii is the second coming of the NES so seeing little nods like this only cement the bond these two consoles have between each other.

So getting back to that statement I made before. It's clearly obvious that this guy is only trollan because he wants us to know that he's got a new company and he's working on something that needs your support, dear reader. You ever notice that developers always have these "controversial statements" when they're announcing their new start-up companies, or a particular project they want to generate interest for? This is clearly nothing different. In reading the full interview you find out that he's pimping a browser based game called Junk Battles.

Here's another statement made about that game and it's former aim as a Wii title.

GU: Do you see yourselves moving to consoles in the future?

Liliegren: We want to stay small and focused, but we also want to take whatever intellectual property that we do, and look at it in a long run. Initially Junk Battles was planned for the Wii, and we scaled it back to get an initial title on the marketplace, and learn the micro-transaction space with a smaller title, but we still have that original design and idea in the back pocket. Once Junk Battles establishes itself as a viable IP, then we can take that and have that as an additional value to say, "hey, we have a community of x number of players, here's the feedback that we know, we know the model, we know the design works, we now want to put it on Wii or something else," we take that to a publisher to get funding.

In another portion of what I imagine to be the same interview, he makes another statement about browser based games and how they rival console based counterparts. (The brunt of this interview is broken into fragments)

"As the experience gets better, similar to mobile games when they first came around people though that it was going to take over because people can play anywhere, but the quality wasn't there. Now it's getting there, and people see it as a viable alternative to their home experience. People can get a satisfying experience now on the web browser, and it's only going to get better."
Of course this is mainly for their stance on microtransactions, which is theoretically possible to do on consoles, but works far better in browser game form.

So what can I really say that wouldn't be a long winded form of "obvious troll is obvious"? It's not astounding that someone like this would make statements of this degree, but it's astounding that he didn't go a more original route than just pulling the whole "hur durr" routine a bunch of other jokers did years ago.

Source(s): Gaming Union

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