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Lollipop Chainsaw and its ilk “should just not be made”, says Spector

Thursday, 7th February 2013 22:12 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Deus Ex and Epic Mickey creator Warren Spector dropped a heck of a flamebait quote in his DICE Summit 2013 presentation, saying games like Grasshopper Manufacture’s Lollipop Chainsaw “should just not be made”.

According to Destructoid, Spector didn’t name the action effort, but showed a slide of the game’s promotional art immediately after saying “There are some games that should just not be made.”

The wider context of Spector’s speech was that many mainstream games don’t embrace a wide demographic, saying the ultra-violence he enjoyed as a teenager isn’t interesting to him any more.

“Adrenaline rush and spectacle were all I needed. I don’t think I was alone in that,” he said, as reported by Kotaku. “When you’re this age, spectacle is plenty. And bloodsprays and all that stuff is really kind of what you’re looking for because you really want to alienate people in a strange sort of way. You want to shock people and you want to be different.

“Not so much, anymore. I have no interest in guys who wear armor and swing big swords. I have been the last space marine between earth and an alien invasion. I really just don’t need to go there anymore. I want content that is relevant to my life, that is relevant to me, that is set in the real world.

“If we’re going to reach a broader audience, we have to stop thinking about that audience strictly in terms of teenage boys or even teenage girls. We need to think about things that are relevant to normal humans and not just the geeks we used to be.”

Lollipop Chainsaw certainly drew criticism for its sexualised female characters and violence, although some critics argued that Grasshopper’s intent was satirical. The Warner Bros-published effort became the cult-favourite but commercially unsuccessful developer’s highest-shipped title to date, but fell off the radar rapidly.

Over the past few years, Spector has been an outspoken champion for turning down the focus on violence across the industry. His studio, Junction Point, was recently shuttered, and his intentions for the future are unknown.

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23 Comments

  1. loveaya

    Warren Spector? Who?

    #1 1 year ago
  2. NeoSquall

    High words from someone who just got fired from Disney, while the creator of the game that “shouldn’t have been made” is hard at work on another one.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Gekidami

    Isnt that header image sort of against this sites policy?

    #3 1 year ago
  4. YoungZer0

    “It should not have been made, because my taste changed.”

    Lawl. Funny guy.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Dark

    http://imgace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/spiderman-the-fuck-i-was-giving-has-disappeared.jpg

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Gekidami

    Ignoring the sex & violence, it shouldnt have been made because the game was just awful and stupid.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Clupula

    Oh, Warren, speaking of games that should not have been made, how’d Epic Mickey 2 turn out?

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Telepathic.Geometry

    I’m inclined to agree with his sentiments, but when your own game doesn’t sell, and your studio is closed and you are fired, I don’t think it’s the time to be telling other successful game makers what should and shouldn’t be made…

    #8 1 year ago
  9. SplatteredHouse

    “If we’re going to reach a broader audience, we have to stop thinking about that audience strictly in terms of teenage boys or even teenage girls. We need to think about things that are relevant to normal humans and not just the geeks we used to be.”

    THAT’s partly why numbers are down, and that’s why Japan’s on the backfoot, because they decided to become caterers. So, it’s my opinion that what needs to happen is people continue to make games to entertain. They take inspiration from things that actually motivate and catch their own interest. They inspire others. They make the games that they want to see made. THEN, perhaps we’ll get out of the rut the largest pubs are inflicting on players all the sooner.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. fearmonkey

    While I really respect Warren’s gaming accomplishments, his views on gaming since joining Disney has been annoying. I understand that lollipop is not HIS kind of game, but it is someone elses, and his views dont cancel the people that like those games out.

    I never played lollipop, but I enjoyed Shadows of the Damned. its not for everyone, but if they keep making games, then obviously there is a market for it.

    I hope he makes another Deus Ex someday, but they way he talks, might not happen.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. salarta

    Now I know why I haven’t been interested in playing Deus Ex or Epic Mickey!

    In all seriousness, he’s being a tool. It’s one thing to say that you think there needs to be variety in video games and that there should be more artistic and more intellectual games out there, and that they shouldn’t all be marketed primarily toward teenage boys. I agree with that completely, and want more games in that vein. It’s an entirely different thing to say that a specific approach to video games shouldn’t be made because the person talking wants stuff that is “relevant to [his] life.”

    His attitude as expressed in the quote above puts him in with the same grouping of tools that like to say Superman and other characters like him are “bad” because they’re not “realistic” enough. No shit they’re not realistic and no shit they don’t mirror what’s possible in real life, they weren’t created to be that way and to suggest they should be that way is to grossly misunderstand the character and demand all fiction cater exclusively to your personal tastes in the most narcissistic and self-absorbed fashion possible.

    The whole point of video games and any medium like them is for entertainment and, hopefully, intellectual thought and artistic delight. Not for some guy to play with himself in a proxy of his everyday life. If he wants things relevant to his everyday life so badly that other tastes should be forbidden, then I think it would be in his best interest to put down the controller and just live his life, not pretend to live it through digital placeholders for himself.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Kuwabara

    What an idiot. Second most fun game of last year. Only wish it was longer.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Sini

    Lollipop Chainsaw could have been something if they put more depth into the combat to bring it to dmc/bayonetta/ng type of game. Maybe that’s what Warren meant. .. lol naa

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Cobra951

    @3: Why should it be?

    #14 1 year ago
  15. The_Red

    ” saying the ultra-violence he enjoyed as a teenager isn’t interesting to him any more.”

    So just because he doesn’t enjoy it now and he is NOT the target demographic then the game should not be made? Man. I used to respect Specter but now: FUCK OFF.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Gekidami

    @14
    I’d have thought that pic would fall into this:

    http://www.vg247.com/2012/04/12/enough-we-must-all-try-to-kick-sexism-out-of-gaming/
    “Try to pick an image in which the women is doing something, as opposed to standing still in a submissive pose. Try to avoid images of female characters arranged in their pants. Yes, Catherine, we’re looking at you (or not, as the case may be). Ask yourself this: does this image mean, “Ejaculate here, please”? Then don’t use it.”

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Vice

    Well this guy is a major dick.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Phoenixblight

    Well he is right because that game was shallow and only played off of teenage boys with fetish for blood,zombies and cheerleaders. If the game had depth it would have been better but thats why it didn’t pull any numbers.

    Warren SPector is becoming a cranky old man. Time to put the hat down.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. RPRezo

    Oh, wow. Well then, it’s probably a good time for Spector to stop making videogames. Not because it’s wrong to hate Lollipop Chainsaw or any other game, but because trying to impose your tastes on people is pathetic. And because he clearly have no idea how to make a good family-friendly game, so his tastes are horrible for his work.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Old MacDonald

    Why should all game developers aim to reach a broader audience. It is not Grasshopper’s responsibility that Spector has these ambitions. They are free to target whatever audience they want.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. friendlydave

    Man this guy is upset, ha. Guess when you go from working on System shock and Deus ex to the brilliant Epic Mickey and Epic Mickey 2.

    “I want content that is relevant to my life, that is relevant to me, that is set in the real world” I want the opposite and non realistic, If I want the real world I’ll step outside.

    And I thought Lollipop Chainsaw was a great game, was in my top 5 for 2012 [:see GOTY thread]

    #21 1 year ago
  22. spatuluk

    Grasshopper make the gaming equivalent of B-movies, and I think gaming is a much richer place for it. They know their games are silly, they know their games are a bit niche, they make no apologies, and they just roll with it.

    They also don’t point at other types of game and say “that shouldn’t be made”, because they don’t have a massive chip on their shoulder.

    It’ll be a sad day if people like Spector and Cage get their way, and gaming gets dominated by the equivalent of art house movies. B-games are as important to the industry as art house games, and both should be encouraged in order to offer something other than the generic twaddle of the A-list.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. The_Red

    @22
    Good call on the B-Movie aspect. Also, I take any of their B-movies over the mediocre Epic Mickey games.

    #23 1 year ago

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