Midway's CEO Talks About Smoking Pot

Today on the Midway earnings conference call, the CEO, Neil Niccastro, said the following. This is in response to a question on why Midway wants to focus on mature-rated games in 2003:

“If a younger kid had no alternative than to play younger oriented product, then they’ll purchase that. I think though, that the marketplace will be change forevermore. That if you were a young kid growing up, and you had an older brother, and he smoked pot, you’ll be more likely to smoke pot as a younger kid. If that kid had never been exposed to it, they are less likely to do it at a younger age. I think the analogy applies to this business. I think the kids who see older [mature-rated] product will be more likely to want it than playing with cuddly stuffed dolls.”

  • Midway conference call at 4:30 PM on 12/22/02

It’s a cheap publicity stunt to promote their upcoming “Tokin’ USA” Volkswagen driving game.

I still think it a bizarre thing to say. It’s basically saying that games are on a par with taking drugs. Couldn’t he equate it with something good that elder teens are doing… oh, I forgot; they don’t do anything good when they’re older, do they?

Gee, when you read stuff like that, it’s easy to understand why Joe Lieberman was going after the industry for marketing mature games to small children.

How do stupid people become CEO of a company? It’s not a wonder Midway is one step from the grave or a buyout.


So let me try to understand this. He is saying that companies SHOULD make mature games because then little kids will become more interested in them by seeing their older brothers play them? Or is he saying that they should NOT make such games for the same reason? Is that why he uses Pot as an example, to show that it is a bad thing? The wording is a bit confusing out of context.

In any case, I think he is somewhat right, whatever he thinks it means. The very fact that these games are out there and generating hype means that more kids will want them, even though they may not have ever thought about such things before. To me, that’s a problem, but it doesn’t mean that M games shouldn’t be made. However, I am against these stupid games, like BMX XXX that seem to be made for teenagers, since they are ridiculous for adults, since that just exacerbates the problem.

He must have been the one who let Legion: Legend of Excalibur turn to shit during development and then launch said shit at poor, desperate, and unsuspecting PS2 strategy fans.

I wish you hadn’t reminded me of that. That game had a lot of promise, and was just blown at the end :(.