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Comic for: March 13th, 2007
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Gaming News: "He Said/He Said"
Posted: Tuesday March 13th, 2007 by

Last week, in the middle of a GDC session called the "Burning Mad Game Publishers Rant", Chris Hecker, a Maxis designer currently working on Spore, delivered a controversial speech in which he blasted Nintendo and the Wii. Beginning his tirade with the now infamous declaration, "The Wii is a piece of s**t", Hecker went on to state that the Wii was "nothing more than two Gamecubes stuck together with duct tape", that "Nintendo doesn't take games seriously as art". One day after his less-than-kind appraisal, and shortly before taking the stage again to talk about Spore's animation system, Hecker issued an apology that contradicted everything he'd said the day before, offering that he was trying to be "entertaining" and "thought provoking".
Source: Ars Technica [ more info ]

He can say whatever he likes to explain why he did it or why he apologized, but I'd be willing to wager that his bosses rang the "or else" bell. Personally, I think it's just another example of watching what you say in public, especially at an event like the GDC. Though I don't think he deserves the "hypocrite" label, the complete 180 was a little hard to swallow. But, if I was one of the guys working on Spore, I'd be backpedaling like a world class Flatland BMXer too.

Chris can tell you, it's hard to be a speaker in the public eye. You want to say what's on your mind and stick to your guns. But backlash has a way of going right past you and affecting everything you're working on. With his inflamatory statements about the Wii, Hecker put a bit of unwanted focus on Spore. Companies can say "there's no such thing as bad press", but that ignores the human tendancy to associate things that should not necessarily be associated. Spore would certainly move beyond this, it's too heavily anticipated to be denied by something as simple as one designers harsh criticism of the Wii. But, some angry Wii fans may well hang on to their ire and take it out on Will Wright's next masterpiece. That's the nature of the associative beast.

As a side note:
It's kinda weird drawing two mouths on one head. Fun, but weird.

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