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.