Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Read this article. It's quick.

The connotation of the word "rival" is two fierce competitors, bad blood, a grudge, fighting over a beautiful woman or a limited market share where each purchase steals a sale from another. Intel and AMD are rivals. You pick one CPU for your system, so they steal sales from each other. The history of lawsuits against one another is another tip-off. Ford and Toyota are rivals. You pick one truck for the farm.

But this is super not the case here.

Gearbox and id Software aren't rivals. Gearbox and Crytek aren't rivals. Crytek and id could conceivably be rivals, as they both derive significant revenue in the form of technology licensing, and you only license one engine for your game. Gearbox isn't in this space at all. Gearbox has largely specialized in more story-focused FPS games. With Borderlands, they've started to adopt some Diablo-esque RPG features. Id Software has never released a title as focused in these areas. On the flip side, Gearbox has put nowhere near as much focus on technology to sell their product.

They just aren't rivals. Colleagues is more like it. And if you replace "rival" with "colleague," you're left with Randy making an insightful point by paraphrasing what folks at id Software and Crytek have already publicly said. And he's wisely paraphrasing them on this subject, because he's talking about bleeding edge engine technology, and he's obviously acknowledging that this is their domain, not his.

I don't like that Mr. Pereira has framed them as "rivals" just as a lay-up to describe Randy's comments as "harsh". We don't need that kind of "journalism" in the game industry. Randy has a track record of being refreshingly straightforward, as does John Carmack, and it's behavior like Mr. Pereira's recent example which is just going to convince people to keep their mouths shut, for fear of being spun like this to make perfectly innocent comments look like they're trying to smack someone down.

As a disclaimer, I consider Randy a friend, and I consider John Carmack a friend. None of us are butt buddies, nor are we overly concerned about each others' public persona, as we have lives, but Randy just isn't the dickhead Mr. Pereira is making him out to be.

I believe Mr. Pereira is singling out Randy because he has been forthright on other issues, and I don't like what smells like a disturbing trend of picking on him, just for the sake of it. This isn't doing anybody any good. It will only serve as a chilling effect which hurts us all.

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