Bilson: Games should not “be directed from corporate in any way”

By Stephany Nunneley, Saturday, 6 November 2010 16:15 GMT

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Core games EVP Danny Bilson said during his IGDA Leadership Forum speech in San Francisco this week he didn’t take a job with THQ to “make SpongeBob” games.

According to Gamasutra, which was in attendance during Bilson’s talk, the executive chatted a bit about his history and what his plans were when he started at THQ as creative director.

He said upon his hiring he wanted to “raise the quality of the games in general” at the company which was know more for its GameBoy titles than anything else.

“I walked in there, and I’ll be frank, I said ‘this is all opportunity, there aren’t a lot of creative leaders here, so I can maybe get something done’,” said Bilson who believes the only way to make stockholders happy is to use “creative vision and drive it” by making “a great game”.

“I want [the creators’] vision,” he said. “That’s what creative management is. It’s enabling talent to get their vision through. I don’t really believe in collaborative art. But people say ‘well we’ve got 200 people!’ There has to be one vision though, and it has to be communicated to all those people. All those people have the ability to create within their disciplines.

“There was this gag in the past, where [marketing] would make a forecast. The forecast would dictate the budget. And the budget dictates the features and what you can do in the game. So they can change the forecast to manipulate what they want. Why are the non-artists in charge of the art? Makes no sense to me.

“I don’t think games should be directed from corporate in any way. If you want to design the game, you should get in the studio. You shouldn’t be in the corporate headquarters, and you shouldn’t be an executive.”

Bilson is quickly becoming one of our favorite game executives, especially when talking like this.

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