2K Games President Inserts Foot In Mouth

A new interview with 2K President Christoph Hartmann over on MCV makes the top executive at the Take-Two label look a little foolish – not that it’s MCV’s fault. In that interview Hartmann degrades strategy games and Ray Charles among other things. His comments come about as part of a discussion on X-Com, the popular strategy games series that the company is reimagining as a strategy-themed shooter. Here’s the first quote, about 90’s strategy games:

"The ‘90s generation of gamers all love Xcom and we own the IP, so we thought OK, what do we do with it? Every studio we had wanted to do it and each one had its own spin on it. But the problem was that turn-based strategy games were no longer the hottest thing on planet Earth. But this is not just a commercial thing – strategy games are just not contemporary."

The most foolish thing he claims is that strategy games aren’t contemporary. Isn’t Plants vs. Zombies a strategy game? StarCraft II? Isn’t EA making a new C&C game? Didn’t 2K Games make a lot of money off of Civ V and recently put a Civ game on Facebook? You get the point.

And now for Ray Charles. Apparently if Charles had grown up in the era of Kanye West, he’d be exactly like him:

"I use the example of music artists. Look at someone old school like Ray Charles, if he would make music today it would still be Ray Charles but he would probably do it more in the style of Kanye West. Bringing Ray Charles back is all fine and good, but it just needs to move on, although the core essence will still be the same. That’s what we are trying to do. To renew Xcom but in line with what this generation of gamers want. The team behind it is asking themselves every day: ‘Is it true to the values of the franchise?’ It’s not a case of cashing in on the name. We just need to renew it because times are changing."

Are people really "moving on" from Ray Charles, since he’s dead? Should I throw my Doors albums in the fire, followed by everything from Johnny Cash? It’s one of the most ridiculous arguments ever made. The truth is that we can’t move on and forget about X-Com or Ray Charles because we cherish the art for being great.

For a harsher analysis, check out this No High Scores post.

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  1. 0
    lordlundar says:

    Hmm, going to take a successful IP of another genre and turn it into another generic FPS, because it worked so well in the past (see shadowrun)

  2. 0
    MechaCrash says:

    If he doesn’t want to do a strategy game, why buy the IP for a legendary strategy game to shit out another FPS? It can’t be that hard to do a game like the upcoming Xcom as an original IP, seeing as it’s X-Com in name only.

  3. 0
    CyberSkull says:

    It’s very hard to make a good turn based strategy game. And as for not selling, haven’t Disgaea and Final Fantasy Tactics sold quite well?

  4. 0
    lomdr says:

    Strategy is the all encompassing genre of games that includes the sub genres Turn Based Strategy, 4X, RTS, and Real Time Tactical.

    I still say that there is demand for a Xcom like game, as Xenonauts has finally gotten out of Development Hell, UFO ExtraTerrestrials (a game that takes place on another planet that’s like earth) is getting a prequel, and the original creator of Xcom made a game like Xcom on the 3DS

  5. 0
    Left4Dead says:

    Strategy != Real-Time Strategy.  The two genres are vastly different enough that I know people who play strategy games but won’t touch RTS games.  And there are people who are the exact opposite.

    Plants vs. Zombies is Tower Defense.  StarCraft II and C&C are RTS games.

    – Left4Dead

    Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

    -- Left4Dead --

  6. 0
    Craig R. says:

    "strategy games are just not contemporary."

    Which is why I picked up the X-Com game pack on Steam recently and was reliving the days of my youth all over again.

    Meanwhile, which new game will I NOT be picking up?

    The world doesn’t need another generic FPS, and certainly not one made from the dismembered corpse of a once and still-beloved IP.

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