Industry Types Respond to Lowenstein's Exit Speech

February 22, 2007 -
Each week video game development site Gamasutra asks professional game developers a specific, industry-related question. 

Last week the site asked its readers to comment on former ESA boss Doug Lowenstein's farewell speech, delivered recently at the D.I.C.E. Summit.

Perhaps surprisingly, the vast majority of the respondents were in total agreement with Lowenstein, although a few took issue with his tone.  Here is a small sampling of responses:
Nintendo's efforts to appeal to the mainstream is a significant step toward removing the power of politicians who seek to grandstand... the ultimate step toward preventing video game censorship is finally recognizing them as a true art form... -John Leffingwell, Xot

I agree with Lowenstein that it's totally lame that only a few hands in the room went up saying they are members of the Video Game Voters Network. That kind of apathy from the industry is stupid.    -Belinda Van Sickle, GameDocs

Artists should be responsible for safeguarding the moral integrity of their creations against the public's misinterpretation, lest we return to the era of witch hunts...  -Pierre-Luc Lachance, Ubisoft Montreal

I think his points about journalism are especially well founded. He didn't say it, but its obvious what he's talking about, too - professionalism.  -David Lannan, Eidetic Technology Pty Ltd

Our first amendment rights offer protection for all speech--both important and baseless--and it's the unpopular speech that needs protecting more than any other kind. -David Sirlin

It won't change anything. And, he did this at the END of his tenure. He basically made a scene and left. Is that really taking responsibility?"  -Sutton Trout, Empire Interactive

Read all the comments received by Gamasutra here.

-Reporting from San Diego, GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen

Comments

I liked Doug Lowenstein as the head rep for the ESA but i think he didn't do enough to try and get the politicans and the mainstream media off our backs while he was in. Personally, i think he left due to making alot of enemies in the political square.

the industry is a mindless cow nawing on all the green it can see and wondering why it winds up at the bottom of a cliff now and then,the game industry is slowly becoming like hollywood in every,blame the consumer for not buying enough,sue the consumer if they disagree with you and pause and wonder why hot titles are not selling because are made to quickly and to poorly.

I personally agree with what Doug said. The industry has done very little in defence of itself. It may come from the idea that "It's not my game they are complaining about." But they may not name your game directly but you are effected by it because you make games.

Now it doesn't matter if he said at the beginning or at the end, the result would have been the same, blank stares. That is the current state of the industry.

I think everyone's forgetting something. Lowenstein has no real -authority- over game developers. -All- he can do is speak from the pulpit his position gives him, and I think he's done a fairly good job at that. He could have done a better job, certainly, but don't make the mistake of thinking that the ESA has any sort of -control- or -authority- (as opposed to indirect influence by dint of perceived seniority of their spokespersons) over A) how games get made and what content goes into them, and B) how magazines and websites review games.

You can argue that he wasn't aggressive enough in fighting bad legislation (which isn't true. The ESA has met the bills that've made it into law, and frankly their budget -is- limited), or that he hasn't done enough to promote ratings education (and -there- I'll concede that there's more work that could be done), but those weren't the main thrusts of his parting speech.

Lowenstein's action was a case of too little, too late.

As usual, in the game industry.

I agreed with the content of a lot of what Lowenstein said, but like many others I think his aggression was excessive and his timing was off.

It's easy to complain about all the problems with an organization/industry when you're washing your hands of the issues; it would have engendered a lot more respect for Doug had he been so candid at the start of during his tenure.

Irony is that most of the points he brought up he could've DONE something about when he still held office.

But nah, rather sell out and whine about it later, instead of DOING something about it.

I agree 100% with Trout. If he'd been this outspoken while in office, I'd feel much more kindly towards it, but this didn't accomplish anything except to show all the problems that he didn't fix.

Lowenstein’s rant was jut that a rant it has some depth to it but for the most part it was a rant.

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Andrew EisenThat was quick! Pretty accurate cosplay of the new Ghostbuster uniform and proton pack: https://twitter.com/mirabellemusing/status/61673135125394227207/03/2015 - 6:23pm
Matthew Wilson@mast I dont know, but I do know it got a cult fallowing here.07/03/2015 - 6:22pm
MastermuneWasn't the Zero Escape series more popular here than in Japan?07/03/2015 - 6:19pm
Matthew Wilson@mast given the game was revealed in the US, I wouldnt be shocked if it was released at the same time.07/03/2015 - 6:15pm
MastermuneI don't trust the big AAA worldwide simultaneous releases though.07/03/2015 - 5:57pm
Mastermune@Infophile I have come to the conclusion that smaller games like zero escape, JRPG's and the like are actually worth preordering sinc they are limited quantities and since they usually release in japan first we know if there are any issues.07/03/2015 - 5:56pm
Infophile@Matthew! Awesome news. I'd preorder on that shout alone if I didn't have a policy against preordering anymore.07/03/2015 - 5:16pm
Matthew Wilsonzero escape 3 was announced today.07/03/2015 - 4:21pm
Matthew Wilson@pnx I am guessing a ddoss since that is what happened to neogaf, but sony needs to do a investment in psn as a whole. steam is still the most reliable and fastest digital platform I use.07/03/2015 - 3:06pm
PHX Corphttp://www.vg247.com/2015/07/03/psn-is-down-sony-investigating/ not again: PSN is down, Sony investigating07/03/2015 - 3:04pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/2015/07/03/digital-extremes-trespasser-keystone-pc/ if true, this is funny and embarrassing for Digital Extremes. companies need too have better security.07/03/2015 - 2:57pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.gamespot.com/videos/the-point-destiny-the-hardcore-gamers-slot-machine/2300-6425852/ this is very good, and well researched.07/03/2015 - 12:41pm
InfophileOther features to become standard: The ability to remap controls however the hell I want. Quicksave at any time (especially for handheld and mobile games). Plus everything Andrew said07/03/2015 - 10:43am
InfophileRegion-freeing becomes tricky for games with a strong online component though, especially when the servers are run by different branches in different regions.07/03/2015 - 10:41am
InfophileI'm in favor of getting rid of region-locking for any purchased games. I can understand an exception for free, ad-supported games, as many ads are only relevant in certain regions, and it's a ridiculous hassle to get ads for all regions.07/03/2015 - 10:40am
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/payday-2-has-been-broken-on-xbox-one-for-three-weeks-1715384186 Payday 2 Has Been Broken On Xbox One For Three Weeks07/03/2015 - 8:44am
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/3bxduw/why_was_riama_along_with_a_number_of_other_large/ here is a more complete acount of whats going on.07/03/2015 - 1:32am
Matthew Wilsonredit is on fire right now. most subreddits have been set to private.07/03/2015 - 1:24am
MattsworknameYou know andrew, those are actualy rock solid ideas, I woudl like those features a bunch ,especially with games that a cut scene heavly. looking at you kojima!07/03/2015 - 1:18am
Andrew EisenActually, "things I'd like to see become standard in video games" ain't a bad idea for one of my future YouTube videos.07/03/2015 - 1:05am
 

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