Garriott says 'designers just suck' comments taken out of context

Ultima creator Richard Garriott says true meaning did not comment across in recent interview, comments not intended to disparage others or glorify himself.

Ultima creator and role-playing game veteran Richard Garriott has clarified his "most game designers really just suck" comments from earlier this week. In an statement to his website titled "Words Taken Out Of Context," Garriott explained that he did not mean to disparage others or glorify himself by saying there is a dearth of game design talent in the industry today.

"By no means did I intend to disparage others who have led the many great games of each era in gaming history," Garriott said. "I was trying to say, and show why finding or growing NEW great game designers is hard!"

"I really do see a major challenge to our art form, specifically in the area of design," he added. "The design of a game is simultaneously 1) the most valuable aspect when it comes to the potential of success of a game, 2) the hardest part of game development to improve over previous efforts because of competition, and 3) the skill set with the least formal and informal training available to game developers."

Garriott admitted that he could have phrased his comments better, but said he stands by his original point: that game design is the most challenging profession in game development to understand and learn.

"And I certainly am not trying to put my own career on some sort of game design high ground. While I have hit occasional home runs, I have made plenty of unforced errors," he said. "I was not attempting to prop myself up with these comments, but rather lament my need…our industry’s need for proper training in the most important skill required to make a good game."

"I never had any formal training either; I have just had more time to learn from my mistakes than most," he added. "If what comes from all this is a frank discussion and lively debate on how to best address this issue, then hopefully I've accomplished something."

Garriott and his Portalarium development studio are currently working on PC role-playing game Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues. The project is the latest Kickstarter success story, having eclipsed its $1 million target earlier this week.

For more on Garriott, check out GameSpot's interview with the industry veteran regarding how his trips to space and to the Titanic wreckage influenced him creatively.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Want the latest news about Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues?

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues

Discussion

188 comments
SauhlGood
SauhlGood

whatever... hes right to begin with, there is a lack of design, a severe one, design innovations dont keep pace with gfx, prolly because it costs lots of money and companies like EA/Activision wont change somthing that people buy anyways, regardless of how derivative each generation is,.... its why we have 4-5 versions one game, with nothing to show for it except new gfx.  And im of the opinion that you can polish a turd all you want, in the end all your getting is a shiny pos.

fourclawrider
fourclawrider

Predictable post-trainwreck damage control statement. Saw this coming from a mile away.

Tychobrahi
Tychobrahi

hmm..  if his new "reinvention" doesn't do so well, he's got no choice but to include himself in the "suck list" right? 

"In space, no one can hear you rant."

Manji14
Manji14

Respect King Garriott you plebs.

overlord_hh
overlord_hh

Is it just me or every one else also feel like punching this guy in the face

telaros
telaros

Why did he feel he had to lesson his views on game designers? I thought the exact same thing for the past 7 years!

Hurvl
Hurvl

Oh sure, it's obviously taken out of context, because you can't possibly be that douchy and arrogant, can you?

Tomdogg
Tomdogg

The only reason Garriott is saying this is purely a publicity stunt. This guy hasn't made a game that's worth even breathing on in almost 20 years. This is a stupid and very desperate attempt to regain some traction after being out of the spotlight for so long. 

SnakeEyesX80
SnakeEyesX80

Maybe because everyone and their mother can get a game design "degree" from any cheap online school. There's a lot of talentless people just trying to get jobs in the industry thinking it's easy money. Doesn't anyone remember all the stupid Collins College ads on late night TV for game design degrees?

Look at a lot the great indie games that have come out over the past few years, most of this stuff was created by just regular people, in their house, with some computer knowledge or multiple people with varying amounts of knowledge.

Smackpwn
Smackpwn

its already been proven again and again, you cant just turn a crapfest game into f2p and make it successfull only because its free, it still has to be a good game, tera has nothing but weak action combat going for it nothing else, itll die like all the rest

Dr_Corndog
Dr_Corndog

I look at the types of games being released these days, and I almost feel like he could have left his original comment unamended.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

I like how most people forget that this guy also made Lineage and City of Heroes.

emgesp
emgesp

That guy has a very punchable face. 

Mellowcow
Mellowcow

Did this guy ever get to play Dark Souls? I bet not.

TheKitesNest
TheKitesNest

hm has he nothing better to do......leave things were they lie theres no taking back what was said. some people approve some dont, its that simple his words are not a truth however he can make his opinion a he pleases.

Diamondsoulz
Diamondsoulz

Garriot is the Man he can say whatever he wants cause he's right! 

tightwad34
tightwad34

Too late for damage control. The internet already loathes you. Your head is too far up your ass to pull it out.

mark1982
mark1982

Garriott is a complete tool, with Tabula Rasa under his belt he's just putting his own foot in his mouth. Again, complete tool...

uncle5555
uncle5555

"Richard Garriott says...comments not intended to disparage others or glorify himself."

 Says the man who calls himself LORD British.

00J
00J

He's got room to talk. 

I'll type it again, and i did say "He's got room to talk". 

He's proven himself .

advocacy
advocacy

I don't know how the statement "most game designers really suck" could be open to any other interpretation.

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

While it is true, many do suck you are not the person to be making that distinction thats our job. Furthermore, dont lie this was not out of context you just got called out for trash talk. Now we can all move along 

/ofstory 

CronoFrank
CronoFrank

He who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones.

CFritzRun
CFritzRun

@SauhlGood Absolutely right.  I hate when people apologize when they were right.  Abrasive, but correct.  There is a huge shortage of innovation in mainstream gaming, which is spurring the rise of independent game development.  I'm not saying all mainstream games are garbage., but you hit the nail on the head with the constant iterations of one franchise each generation.  Except you're lucky if you even get new updated graphics or engine.

TimeFrame
TimeFrame

@Mellowcow Actually I think that he didn't even know what Dark Souls was until recently.. somehow read that somewhere.. So you're more right than you think. xD

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

@mark1982 and Tabula Rasa was 7.5-8.5 game that was closed by a publisher, which was successfully sued for this. It looks like you're putting your own foot in your mouth by mentioning TR.

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

@uncle5555 What he pioneered with Ultima Online is above and beyond 99% of the designers in the industry can ever hope to achieve. He pretty much created the second most popular genre of last decade. He really doesn't need to glorify himself to anybody who knows a bit of gaming history.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

@uncle5555 you know that Lord British was a video game character that was designed by him? And that it's fans who started calling him that way, not himself?

no_fear_in_hell
no_fear_in_hell

@00J Yeah... like 20 years ago... Then he made "Tabula Rasa"... pffff lol

 Marlon Brando once was a good actor as well.... So what? People SHOULD be constantly "proving themselves"; NO ONE is entitled to be given checks in blank. Thats Capitalism.

00LiteYear
00LiteYear

@advocacy IKR; especially this quote from the former article:

"I've met virtually no one in our industry who I think is close to as good a game designer as I am."

Chupacabra3332
Chupacabra3332

@advocacy He realized It was a terrible statement. Thats what every people do when they blew It. "It was out of context"....yeah.

00J
00J

@CronoFrank Say's who? You do know who Richard Garriott is?

Ultima series? Ring any bells? Lord British? Ultima Online? etc... 

Golden_Gonads
Golden_Gonads

@Morphine_OD @uncle5555 If I remember correctly, it was actually his Pen & Paper RPG name - along with Shamino, he just took his characters and plumped them into the Ultima games.  (It was also a nickname he picked up because he apparently sounded like he had an English accent to someone he used to play with).

JachAnen
JachAnen

@00J Long time ago. Count for nothing today. Same thing with directors that made a lot of good movies 10-20 years ago, and now they're making sh*t. Cameron for instance.
And actors that starred in good movies way back then, are in B stuff now, like they achieved their goal, got their Oscar, and don't care about their performance anymore.
This guy has yet to prove he still got it, and I'm no Ultima fan even though I love RPG, so for a lot of people like me, he has to prove more. Especially after that statement.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@00J It doesn't matter if what he says is true. What matters is that he's coming off as a complete D-bag. For the record I don't think he is right at all. Plenty of good devs, otherwise the industry wouldn't be so popular. My opinion.

theperm
theperm

@faceless-mask @no_fear_in_hell @00J Dude Marlon Brando is the Godfather.  You play the best role in one of the best movies of all time, then tell me you have to go "prove" yourself.  That's like saying Paul McCartney has to go out and write really good songs, because nobody gives a hella-crap about the beatles anymore.

Golden_Gonads
Golden_Gonads

@xsonicchaos @00J Origin Systems.  He set it up.  They pretty much founded several genres of games.  Under his leadership we got System Shock & Wing Commander among plenty of others.

Mind you, I will agree that he hasn't done a huge amount in the gaming world since, but then he has been busy with his other big interest.