Super studios
Posted by Game Truth [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on Fri, 15 Dec 2006 01:02:24 +0000

Rule 1 of game development in the 21st century: Never hire a British studio.

That’s because of the myth of super-studios. A few weeks ago, Develop magazine published an article in which they claimed that the air had cleared in the UK industry and twenty or so “Super-studios” (companies who post staff of over 100 people) were now buoyantly awaiting a new golden age. The horrors of the PS2 generation has passed by and a new tomorrow would begin.

This is nonsense. What the article fails to mention is this: In the last 5 years precisely one of these super-studios have actually posted a consistent profit. One of them, Climax (who graced the front cover of that issue) have actually lost nearly 10 million pounds in the last 2 years. Above that, Kuju and all the rest of them have also lost tonnes upon tonnes of money, and only one or two have actually managed to avoid this down-rush of cash.

This is nothing to do with PS2 generation. That was 5 years ago. This is to do with appallingly bad management who have no idea how to run a company. Because the inside news is this: British developers are the worst developers in the world. Specifically, large-scale British developers are the worst in the world.

They live in a high-currency climate, they spend money away on stupid ideas, they perpetuate a management class that drifts from studio to studio, driving each one to the edge of extinction. British developers have a history of innovation and creativity at the small scale (Introversion, Bullfrog etc) but once they get to a size above fifteen people, this management class come in and fuck it up.

Anyone in American publishing would want to have therapy if they are thinking of hiring a British developer. All they are guaranteed to see out of that is wasted money, missed milestone, a haze of lies and shifting priorities, extreme amounts of double talk and “scope rationalization”. Mile upon mile of bullshit covering over the fact that British coders are mediocre, British artists are wage slaves and British designers are the very worst pretentious gamasutra-eating offal that the world has ever known.

All the good British people leave Britain for the US or Canada for a reason, or leave the industry, or go into a sister industry like mobile or web. All the super-studios bar one or two are completely deceiving the public at large as to the quality of their talents, and their magazine media are complicit in this deceit. They are bad companies, badly run, full of bad people and I would sooner hire a Chinese out-sourcer to make my game whole and complete according to a design spec than touch a British developer ever again.


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