Danny Bilson has said his success at THQ has come about because he himself is an avid gamer.
“In the game industry, it makes me a genius,” he said, speaking at the MI6 conference in San Franciso, as reported by Gamespot.
The vice president of core games at THQ admitted he lies whenever he’s asked if a game has tested well with focus groups, choosing to trust his own instincts about games instead.
“We don’t test. What are 16 teenagers in Encino going to tell us that we don’t know? If I ever get to the point where I need to ask what a 15 year old wants these days, it’s time to go to the rest home. Because you’re done,” he said.
Bilson’s approach to creating and marketing games in partly inspired by Microsoft’s “Where do you want to go today?” advertising, focussing on narrative and environment rather than single characters.
“It’s, ‘Do I want to go there,” he said.
“It’s not, ‘Do I want to be that guy?’ The guy is just a vessel.”
Bilson also told a cute anecdote about his games origins. Apparently, his first brush with the industry was chatting with an EA executive on a plane. The two became friends because EA was looking for TV expertise.
“But more importantly, he gave me free games,” the executive noted.