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Montreal 2007: Blacksite's Harvey Smith Asks, Why The Low Scores

The first time Harvey Smith came to Montreal he had just finished his work as lead designer on the acclaimed classic, Deus Ex. On this trip, his last game was Blacksite: Area 51, a game published by Midway which one critic called "a major disappointment."

"This project was so fucked up," said Smith, by way of explanation.

"With a year to go, the game was disastrously off rails." There were long delays just getting Blacksite playable, and once it was he says, "it went straight from alpha to final."

Even though he accepts his own faults with the design process, Smith still thinks the game was underrated. "I would give it an 80," he says, claiming the gameplay is still fun and that the contemporary political satire sets it apart from most games.

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TnS3610d ago

"When asked why he would be so open about the faults of the game so soon after it launched, Smith's response was, 'I believe in personal accountability.'"

Maximum respect for this interview. All developers should be that open.

MK_Red3610d ago

I don't know what to say. Superb find, story and comment.
Maximum respect indeed and hope other devs follow.

I got the game but haven't had time to play it but the late demo was not that bad (Not that good though). I think the reason it got so many low scores is because of so many better FPS games that came in the same year. Darkness, BioShock, Halo 3, COD4, Crysis, UT3 and such.
Still respect for him and his courage and honesty.

Charlie26883610d ago

They had ONLY 4 days to fix it O.o

Talking about publisher pressure >.>

Hopefully the game will get better with some more patches, or at least that is what some reviewers said that the game had potential despite giving then low scores

MK_Red3610d ago

Midway is a really crazy publisher who always rushes their devs. They force MK team to release 3 MK games in 2.5 years! Even EA doesn't do that.
Hopefully they have learned their lesson and allow their devs to fully finish their games without pressure. If they haven't I think their situation will become even worse (They are already the most troubled publisher along with Atari). After UT3, they have no high profile release in sometime and their other projects like Wheelman are new IPs. They better make darn sure that MK8 is a top notch game because they're gonna need it.

jackdoe3610d ago

I like how Smith is taking responsibility for the crappy game, but I don't like how he makes it seem like his politcal satire is so amazing. It isn't.

snittolo3610d ago

Accountability is nice but when it sucks it sucks.....and this one was a big let down for sure.

kingme713610d ago

I would think you wouldn't want to trash your game so soon after release. An interview like this should probably take place a good year after (if anyone is still interested at that time). Anyone reading what the designer had to say and might have been thinking of picking it up, sure wouldn't be now.

Honesty is one thing, but why sabotage sales?

jackdoe3610d ago

Well, it has pretty much sold as much as it can on the 360. All they're doing now is sabatoging potential PS3 sales as that game hasn't come out yet which is why the PS3 version is going to sell like crap. Everyone knows how bad the game is now.

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