Spore Dev: "Wii is a piece of shit!"


During a session at GDC called “Burning Mad - Game Publishers Rant,” time was taken halfway through for developers to rant about subjects they are… “passionate” about. A developer of Spore, Chris Hecker, took his turn by utterly blasting the Wii.

“The Wii is a piece of shit!” He began, referring to Nintendo’s latest system as two GameCubes haphazardly stuck together with duct tape, further going on to say that the Wii does not offer the next-gen experience he was hoping for, both in terms of graphical capability and CPU processing power.

Continuing, he attacked Nintendo for not taking games as a serious art form, quoting references on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 official sites on the games as art debate, but found no such references on Nintendo’s own Wii site. Adding to this he quoted many Sony and Microsoft executives about the same subject and said that Nintendo only wanted to make “fun” games.

He concluded his speech by asking Nintendo to push games as a legitimate art form and to make a new console that doesn’t “suck ass.” Them’s fighting words.

Oooh, this is going to be fun! Got popcorn?

That was me. Sorry about that.

Making an alien with an anus for a head is totally post-modern art.

I respect Hecker as a brilliant programmer/technologist, but I suspect after the first few rants about how Sony and Microsoft suck for in-order-execution CPUs and how the game industry sucks in general, he’s just trying to ratchet things up and be even more EDGY and IN YOUR FACE and at this point he’s publically trolling. I mean, some of the points he makes are somewhat valid, but using the language he did was clearly for contrarian shock value.

For what its worth, I disagree with his view on games as art. I mean, the whole topic of whether games are art belongs in the Politics and Religion forum, but I think games are art and Nintendo has made more games that are art than anyone, including classic games like Super Mario Brothers. I don’t think games need to be visually stunning by modern standards or even have emotional impact from story or characerization to be art, as long as the overall experience you get from playing them is uplifting, has novel elements and is memorable. So yeah, I disagree that the Wii holds back gaming as an art-form, IMO it has the potential to extend gaming as an art-form significantly.

Games are art. Some are just more art than others.

To be fair, checker still has quite a bit of good cred built up. However, I think his argument falls apart as soon as you bring cost into the equation. I mean, last I checked, corporations were in the business of making money. Then again, with the route Sony and MS are going with their extravagant hardware manufacturing costs, I’m not so sure anymore.

  • Alan

Man if that was you I would have expected you go off the handle about Live Arcade certification slowness instead.

I don’t know if games can be considered art. IP’s sure, but art is a bit of a stretch.

I have no basis whatsoever to back that up other than saying it’s just a gut feeling.

Besides that, it just sounds to me like this guy doesn’t like Nintendo bucking the status quo of just releasing a signifigantly more powerful system each generation. I guess simplicity isn’t for everyone.

a session at GDC called “Burning Mad - Game Publishers Rant,”

Ranting is excessive and abrasive complaining, no? Since ranting is the whole point of the session I think he nailed it. Seems like this speech is being taken somewhat out of context.

I mean I understand some of the points. I certainly had a blast the other night when a buddy of mine came over for beer and boxing. But after he left I flipped on the 360 for SP and online gaming. I’m still bummed that the Wii isn’t more powerful as the graphics, while servicable, really stick out on a large screen TV.

Oh well, I’m having “fun” and that’s what matters most I suppose.

Um, how do you take “Wii is a piece of shit” out of context?

You are chris hecker?

Seems like a reasonable rant to level at the Wii, especially from the perspective of someone working on Spore. Algorithmic generation kind of implies that having a beefy CPU is helpful. (And a beefy GPU for a lot of the nicer, relatively easy to do in shader algorithmic stuff like Perlin noise and the like.)

So, "only wanting to make fun games" is very very wrong… why again?

Maybe meaning they should be a software company instead of a hardware company.

Read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Hecker

Then you can pretty much stop reading here:

It is interesting to note that though Hecker is respected within the game industry, as of 2005 he still has not shipped a single game (this will likely change when Spore is released).

Pretty much I make my opinions of people on what they do, not usually on what the say (or blab on and on about.) I don’t know Chris Hecker, so I wiki’d him. That comment above tells me everything I need to know.

And I’m sure the folks at Nintendo are crying in their money-hats over this one…

Art is serious business.

Wait, so you’re basing his credibility solely on whether or not he has any shipped games to his credit? By that logic Derek Smart would be more credible than Tom Chick. I’m just sayin’…

  • Alan

Well yeah, Derek Smart is a better game dev than Tom Chick. As for analysis and design, I dunno.

Tom Chick is the most respected art critic here, by far.