Marc Ecko On The Defensive Over His New Game

It's hard to say this for a lot of people, and many of them won't admit it, but Marc Ecko is right. The media has latched onto a recent quote from the fashion designer about gamers. The single line is as follows:

"I would say there are gamers that have a predisposition to have a bug up their ass for anything urban."

Again, Marc Ecko is right. Getting Up, his first foray into the video game world, has been mildly received at best, and it's a shame. This is the way the video game industry works now for some reason. Anyone who comes in and wants to try their hand at a video game is immediately rejected and ridiculed. With a snobbish attitude like this, it's going to be a tough climb to keep this industry growing.

In this case, most people never game Getting Up a chance. Most probably haven't even played it. Yet, visit countless message boards and you'll see opinions ranging from how awful the game is to pure, 100% hatred. The vast majority, if they have touched it, failed to spend more than a few minutes with it before finding a small reason to dismiss it.

Looking at it from a game design standpoint, there's no question this title has problems. The combat system is sloppy, some of tasks/missions are a bit much, and the excessive advertising is annoying. However, it's fun, and everything from the menu system to the lack of collectables is strong. It's not game of the year material, but as a piece of entertainment for a few days of your gaming time, it's certainly worth setting aside some other games to experience it.

Most people don't care. They see Marc Ecko's name on the box and reject it. They can't seem to get past that. Obviously, you could place a large wager that he never wrote a single digit in this game's code and win. Apprehension is acceptable given some of the utter disasters that have been born of this new sub-genre, but expecting this to be on the same level before even playing is disgusting.

The media lashed out at the title early on at an apparently weak E3 showing. That started the "nose up" attitude towards the product from the hardcore gaming community early. It's since grown harsher and more critical, with people looking for something to hate about it and not letting go.

It's another example of how gamers are fickle, and yes, do have a bug up their ass sometimes. It's not just a matter of opinion as to what makes a good game or the quality of this singled out title. It's about acceptance, and that seems to be the hardest thing to do when releasing a game these days. You'll never know what will make a connection. It's times like this when it can be frustrating and almost embarrassing to be a gamer.
Marc

Comments (2)

Zach:

Accuse me of living under a rock but until I read about Getting Up on Penny Arcade I had not heard of Mark Ecko. I guess it's his name I see on clothes from time to time?

At any rate, that interview was pretty offensive, even to a casual gamer like me (the last game I bought was MKDS.) I got the distinct impression that he thought of gamers as sheep to be marketed to. Some examples:

There are guys that have a predisposition to be slaves to the code, rather than be slaves to the branding, products or experience.

Yes, we don't need to make a good game, we just need to make sure our game stays, "on message." We have to "brand" it correctly.

You try to hit that sweet spot and you try to hit that connect spot that makes a mall walker want to pick up that game.

Like totally gag me with a spoon. Why am I at home playing video games when I could be, like, you know, at the mall?

Some things like when [the main character] Trane, when he’s close in on objects and how he moves. It’s just not as precise as I would have liked to see.

It's the branding, not the code. Except when it is the code!

Ok, so I haven't played the game. Maybe it's a diamond in the rough. After reading that interview I have my doubts, though. Mark Ecko is acting like a grade A number 1 asshat, and as long as he continues to act like the game industry is an extension of Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment and fashion industry he'll have these problems.

For the record, I bought GTA5 the day it came out (the last time I did that for a game was doom 2.) I did so because it was a GTA game, because I have been playing GTA since I got a demo of the original off a local BBS, and because GTA4 was hands down the best game I had played ever. I will not be buying GTA6, largely because of my disappointment with the PROGRAMMING in GTA5. Too many glitches and not enough freedom.

I have an aversion to "urban" music, myself. That didn't stop me from playing GTA5. That didn't stop me from playing True Crimes. That won't stop me from playing the next game with an "urban" theme that looks good and is recommended by friends. My point? It really isn't the urban style, or the ads, or whatever other excuse he can come with for why people don't like the game. If the game is good people will play it despite the superficial aspects they don't like. It's really that simple.

I guess it's his name I see on clothes from time to time?

Ever see an elephant surrounded by an oval? That's his logo.

Yes, we don't need to make a good game, we just need to make sure our game stays, "on message." We have to "brand" it correctly.

You're right. It needs to be branded, but the problem is that people might reject the brand. Madden worked. The fans there are slaves to the brand, though now we all are since we don't have a choice...

However, Ecko is also right on the excperience. That is important. GTA provides the example of crappy, sloopy, miserable targeting (fixed in the latest one I'm told) and aggravating combat, but the experience of an open-ended world was enough for some people to ignore the gameplay faults.

Like totally gag me with a spoon. Why am I at home playing video games when I could be, like, you know, at the mall?

That's not what he meant. He means the person who wondow shops, maybe after playing on a demo on a kiosk, picks up his game.

Ok, so I haven't played the game. Maybe it's a diamond in the roug

100% correct.

Mark Ecko is acting like a grade A number 1 asshat,

If that's what it takes, so be it. I can't tell you how many posts I've seen about "it's Mark Ecko, I'm not playing it." How freakin' stupid is this? It's a video game; who gives a rats ass whos name it on it? That's the most appalling excuse I've ever heard for not even giving a game a chance.

It really isn't the urban style, or the ads, or whatever other excuse he can come with for why people don't like the game. If the game is good people will play it despite the superficial aspects they don't like. It's really that simple.

Maybe not for you, but for a lot of people, that's how it is. That Cheapassgamer post I linked to is a great example. They're not playing it even though it is a solid game. They're rejecting it because of a name on the box.

Lots of great games don't sell by the way. It's getting harder and harder to find gamers who are buying games solely because of great gameplay. Besides, it's "cool" to hate the mainstream stuff. This is another perfect example of that.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Warning: include(/home/meancode/public_html/breakingwindows/footer.php): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /home/breaking/public_html/2006/03/marc_ecko_on_the_defensive_ove.php on line 267

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/meancode/public_html/breakingwindows/footer.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/breaking/public_html/2006/03/marc_ecko_on_the_defensive_ove.php on line 267

Blogcritics Magazine

Social Networking

Mac Headlines

Read up-to-date headlines on everything Mac.

Content provided by prMac.

ESRB Search

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Enhanced with Snapshots