TR Member Perks!

A writer and editor turned game developer who has previously worked for websites such as Destructoid and the Escapist, TechRaptor was lucky enough to talk to Allistair Pinsof  for a series of interviews about the current state of the gaming media. In the second part of this series you can read of Allistair’s experiences of relationships in the Indie gaming scene. You can read the first part of our interview here.

Disclaimer: Allistair’s interview had been re-arranged into sections, with Allistair’s permission, to make for more manageable reading.  No edits have been made to the interview save for spelling and grammar.

All views are the interviewee’s own and not necessarily shared by TechRaptor.

TR: You mentioned in your Reddit confession that “in more ways than one, (the gaming sites) are all in bed together” what did you mean by that?

“Bed together” was a careless way of framing this thought, given some of the allegations and conspiracy around intimate relationships going around. I just mean the whole Game Journo Pros thing in general.

Let’s talk about Brandon Boyer. He already cut me out so I’m going to speak honestly about this. Here’s a guy who runs multiple award shows, runs a game site that promotes indies, is friends with devs, PR, and all media types, and here he is on the Game Journo Pros group. If having a chairman of a judging committee running an indie game site that features exclusives from possible award show applicants doesn’t seem like a conflict of interest, it’s because you don’t have a say over how he runs the IGF or you are a journalist who doesn’t want to get on his bad side.

In 2011, at Fantastic Arcade, I was talking to a former game journalist Tiff Chow who I recognized from her work at Destructoid in 2008. I asked what she thought would win the Best Game Award, she flippantly bragged that her boyfriend is friends with Brandon so he’ll win. (Ed: we don’t have permission to use the picture linked, but it shows Brandon, Steph and Tiff’s relationship. The couple are also part of a gaming collective with Phil Fish.) I took it as a bad joke. Next day, sure enough, he won Best in Show for Faraway, against games such as Fez (which won audience award), Skulls of the Shogun, Radical Fishing, and Octodad. It seemed fucked up, but it was such an insignificant show and I depended on Brandon as a local journalist so I stayed silent. Looking back now, it definitely makes me question how the IGF is run. Along with all the controversy around IGF judges years back and recent rumors that have come out about Fez being pushed by investors who shared judging roles (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ON-oL4Mlks), what I witnessed give these claims some credibility along with how Brandon Boyer treated me personally recently, when I’ve always been a friend and supporter to him.

He’s not some guy who grew up in the industry. He’s a journalist who was suddenly put in this position to overlook all indie games, when at the time, no one could have known how influential and powerful that role would be as PSN and XBLA turned bedroom programmers into millionaires. I think Boyer is a good guy at heart, but money and power have a way of changing things. I’d like to see him and the IGF investigated and better governed in years to come so people outside Boyer’s inner circle of investors are given a fair shake and not taking part in rigged festivals; if corruption is found and people are punished for it, I have no sympathy. Gaming should never have gotten this corrupt on the grassroots level of indie promotion, community and investing.

You hear a lot of things when you become a journalist prominent enough to cover big exclusives but not popular enough to be initiated into the game media elite’s inner circle. One of the more interesting things I heard was a notable indie developer tell me that Phil Fish significantly stole from their code, projects and ideas to create Fez. When I questioned why they won’t sue, they said they were in fear of being ostracized by the IGF, media, and indie dev scene.

It may seem hysterical or nutty but so much of this industry runs on fear. Journalists fear getting on PR’s bad side and indie devs fear getting on judges’ bad side. This sort of collusion and fear may have started from an innocent place of a small group of friends making it big together, but it has gotten to a point where the industry has been torn apart because of it. The media doubled down on fear tactics and panic in recent months, the IGDA published a blacklist (developers depend on social media for a living), and game enthusiasts are hated for simply not acting on a hate agenda, be it toward SJW or GG extremists.

Most of us just want to give each other a hug and make some fun games to play with people we appreciate and trust. I don’t want anyone’s career to burn away like mine did. I hope people who made mistakes come forth, admit, apologize, and ask community how they think they could improve or repair their business. Instead of trying to make peace with all, it seems certain devs and media are putting their eggs in one basket and hoping it’s the right one. I want hope and forgiveness, not punishment and chaos.

TR: Why did this developer come to you about Phil Fish if they didn’t want the information to be public?

I don’t mind naming this developer because most of the information is in fact public, just ignored by the media. So, this developer Shawn McGrath approached me when Indie Game: The Movie came out and featured credits that libeled his friend Jason Degroot. Both of these guys were extremely influential on Fez; there’s a good argument that it’s their game. McGrath created the central mechanic, design, and code which was lifted from an earlier project he made with Fish that was a music game. Fish admitted to this as far back as 2007, but he’d say “the whole game is made around the 3D pixel aesthetic” or “it’s all designed around my Miyazaki influence”. This was dishonest however because it was really designed around McGrath’s mechanic.

Shawn Mcgrath

Let me roll back a little here. Degroot did music for Fez in 2007. He had a falling out with Fish which led to legal threats and drama which you can find in Indie Game: The Movie (which by coincidence was produced by Fish’s current partner, hmm). The film presents him as an ominous entity who exists to make Fish’s life hell, never was he given a chance to tell his side of the story, and — a total slap in the face — the film’s credits said he “asked not to participate in the film” which was untrue. Degroot is a non-confrontational guy so McGrath took up his cause — feeling sympathy since Fish stole from him too and backstabbed him — and came to me with his story. So, let me get back to that.

The thing the public never knew that McGrath and Degroot held for leverage should the filmmakers & Fish not change the credits is that McGrath worked on Fez until the GDC trailer put out in October 2007, according to McGrath. At this point, McGrath had a second falling out and this time it was serious. McGrath told him they were done and Fish agreed to cancel the project. The agreement was that McGrath would take his original design (2D/3D rotating mechanic) and Fish would take his Trixel engine, according to McGrath. When McGrath saw the game appear at IGF 2008, he was furious and felt backstabbed. There’s been bad blood between them ever since. This behavior seems habit for Fish since the same thing happened to Degroot who designed the game’s original audio aesthetic via sound effects and a chiptune score, only to be cut and suddenly replaced with someone else who copied his style — it’s an amazing soundtrack but Fish keeps bringing in new people to follow through on other people’s ideas.

allistair pinsof

I think Fish is a talented visual designer and Fez carries his unique stamp on it, but the problem — and this is according to McGrath — remains that two of its biggest creators were snubbed out of its development, uncredited, unpaid, stolen from, and lied to. What makes this an industry wide problem is that the two were afraid to speak out because of Fish’s connections. Fish was friends with Boyer who ran the IGF, Fish was a social butterfly who knew a lot of gaming press (there were multiple videos of him casually hanging out with 1UP staff back on their video site in 2008) and had high level connections at Microsoft. Degroot & McGrath feared Fish would use his connections to ruin their career right as they were to debut their successful indie title Dyad.

I feel like this story embodies the indie game development scene as a whole. You have guys like Degroot and McGrath who are non-confrontational, good people who just want to make a great game. Then you have these megalomaniacs who use their influence to cheat their way into awards, take ideas and more from other developers, and depend on media, investor, and judge connections to keep their corruption away from the public’s eye.

Would 1UP have reported on this if they found out, given how buddy-buddy they were with Fish? Would any game outlet report on Boyer given he is part of the Game Journo Pros group, gives them exclusive party invites, and is their source for the entire IGF world who could deny them access? Indie developers, like Degroot and McGrath, are afraid to step out and say what is going on is wrong and it’s a damn shame there is no media not under Boyer’s influence who could, in the very least, do an investigation into these matters. With the truth out, I expect Degroot and McGrath will remain silent and some people in this business will remain doing whatever it is they think they can get away with. This is what occurs when there is no true watch dog in the games press and they have judges and PR in their insane email list that shouldn’t even exist in the first place.

You can find what else Allistair had to say about GamerGate, industry relationships and what happened at Destructoid in the rest of our series. Here is a link to Part 1 and to Part 3.  You can find him on Twitter.

Do you think there are serious instances of corruption in the indie scene at the moment?


Georgina Young

Contributor

British girl, currently in Japan. Surviving on a diet of retro games. Worshiping the god that is the Sega Megadrive. I like Nintendo.



  • GuitarAnthony

    Once again the seedy underbelly come to light. How many times do you think the game journos have fallen to their knees, raise their hands to the skies & beg to some unseen deity “Why oh why didn’t we just apologize to the gamers? We’re going to lose everything! We may actually have to get real jobs!!!”

  • This entire tale is why #GamerGate exists.

  • HashibaIsen

    Do I think there are serious instances of corruption in the indie scene at the moment?

    Do you even have to ask?

  • Jaaa… Laaa…

    even moar plz

  • Mark Samenfink

    Phil Fish, literally the most easily hateable person on the internet

  • Typical

    But, gamergaters are just basement dwelling weirdos who don’t want to share their toys with girls….

    Fuck indie devs, I’m just buying from EA from now on 😛

  • Bearpants112

    Does any of this in the article seem out of character considering what we already know about Mr.Fish?

    No it does not.

    What an apparent jerk.

  • Doc Hammer

    But wait that would mean #GamerGate was always right. How weird and unexpected!

  • Jake Martinez

    I want to thank Allistair and Georgie for getting this to print.

    One of the things that I absolutely hate about this current mess is how obviously the Indie gaming scene is run like a scam – and Allistair is right, the information is out there but the “media” is ignoring it. I do take issue the idea that it’s just because they are all “afraid” of getting on people’s bad sides – I think there are just as many people who are actively suppressing rumors and facts because they benefit from this current fucked up situation.

  • Macavity

    I dunno, I think Paul Christoforo could give him a run for his money…

  • JackDandy

    Man, I knew the IGF was fishy.

    Pun intended…

  • Bearpants112

    The culture of fear cannot be underestimated as it undoubtedly has had a chilling effect on the industry.

    We don’t know how many great ideas for games and talented people might have been lost because they weren’t accepted by the “cool kid table” in the industry lunchroom.

  • Bearpants112

    Not always right, but usually.

  • The Chief Lunatic

    I hope every gamer and every member of the gaming press reads this with an open mind. This explains why so many gamers are fed up.
    Also, Allistair brings up a very important point: this kind of corruption and cronyism began as a “we’re all indies and in this together” kind of thing. Nothing wrong with that. But it has slowly evolved into the kind of rotten system we have today. Similar attitudes with similar origins have also permeated the other parts of the gaming culture and industry. People involved with this don’t think of themselves as bad people and, in general, most are not. But they are helping to bring about an atmosphere of fear in gaming – for gamers, the media and developers alike – where people are afraid to speak out. Because if they do speak out, they will be labeled all sorts of horrible things by the media. GamerGate knows this all too well.

  • Bearpants112

    In Dante’s Inferno, those who are condemned to suffer could instantly be saved if they accepted responsibility for their condition rather than cursing God. None of them do.

    The GameJournos could save themselves from the menace of the #GamerGate watchdog by admitting they fucked up and fixing the problems in the industry, but they won’t.

  • Meittimies

    Well, one good thing is Indie Game: The Movie also had another two developers in it, who got fed up with the IGF-clique bullshit and simply left that circle-jerk. Now Edmund’s latest games Binding of Isaac, and Binding of Isaac: Rebirth have been even more successful than Super Meat Boy. (funnily a character named Judas in the games has a fez-hat.)

    Goes to show that if you put time and effort to build your own fanbase and you concentrate on making good games, you yield stronger, longer-lasting results than using underhanded practices and cheating your way to winning competitions. For all the indie developers out there: Avoid IGF like the plague. They are not interested in helping indie gaming grow. They’re interested in stealing your money and sharing it with their clique of friends.

  • Daniel Pina

    So this is the real reason why there’s no Fez 2: Phil Fish probably doesn’t really know how to make games by himself and he ran out of friends he could stab in the back.

  • Bearpants112

    A major problem across the “new” tech industries is that they’re inexperienced with business law and standard ethical practices. Older companies know the boundaries because many of them have been in court over it.

    The games bloggers and indy devs/orgs don’t see anything wrong with “signal boosting” each other without disclosure because they’re helping their friends. They don’t think their lists purging people from the industry are wrong because they’re helping out their friends. Even if they do know that industry blacklisting is illegal in California, they figure no one will be able to prove it.

    Reading RandiH’s tweets, you can see the avarice that defines their actions. They think they’re impervious to any oversight, because they have friends at every company to wipe away their terrible deeds. She knows she can do whatever she wants because of her friend at Twitter will just undo any punitive action. (Something Techraptor should report on btw)

    This is why it’s so important that some group of people act as watchdogs. Only through publicly exposing their behavior, and eventually suing them in court, will we see substantive change in the industry.

  • JackDandy

    It all makes sense now.

  • mrwizeass

    So the gist of this story is Phil Fish is a thief, a liar, a backstabber, and overall a hack. Basically confirming what we all already knew.

  • Anon

    It’s always nice to have evidence though. The more the merrier.

  • ArsCortica

    Phil Fish is an insufferable asshole?
    You. Don’t. Say!

    But seriously, the fact that you can not call out a thief and a liar because his buttbuddies would ruin your career is the clearest sign of systemic corruption you could possibly get.

  • Ryan Barrett

    “t’s an amazing soundtrack but Fish keeps bringing in new people to follow through on other people’s ideas.”
    Great article, but this quote right here is not specific to what Fish has done – it’s industry-wide. Hundreds, if not thousands of people and companies do this, always, all the time. Just because Fish is slightly more famous than some other developers because of a slanted, barely-a-documentary doesn’t make it any different than when anyone else does it. Is it wrong? Is it immoral? I can’t give answers to those questions, but I’m honestly not against doing it given the particular situation.

    That said, I live here in Austin. Met Boyer on several occasions at the monthly Juegos Rancheros events. Even showed off my game there a few times. Basically: if you’re a nobody, he doesn’t give a shit. If you’re a somebody, he does. The thing that makes you change from a “nobody” to a “somebody” is having a published game. However you decide to suck up to him for press is completely up to you.

  • Wow, I personally didn’t like Phil Fish because of how arrogant and disrespectful he is, but if this is true, this just brings my perspective of him to a new low.

    Hopefully this raises up enough of a fuss that the gaming MSM ends up having to report on it, or ends up being forced to defend someone they shouldn’t be trying to defend. That’d definitely put them in hot water because of all the questions it would bring up.

  • lazydude

    So anyone else other than myself believe fez 2 was cancel because of this? From the sound of it, sections of Fez was ripped and stolen from other devs and of course Fish could not have remade the magic of Fez without the original devs working with him.

    I am just throwing out a thought here, please do not take this seriously

  • Bearpants112

    It seems plausible, considering how easily he gave up on it. Almost as if he was looking for an excuse.

  • Bearpants112

    Isn’t it depressing to realize that perhaps the big AAA devs/publishers might end up being the least corrupt of the bunch?

    felt a cold chill just writing that out.

  • WTF Magazine

    Bingo

  • WTF Magazine

    Phil Fish is a piece of garbage

  • Andrew

    To all the people crying, “oh god look at the corruption. See! See” … let me to you something.

    Corruption is everywhere. And sadly not enough people care for anything to really change.

  • greaterdivinity

    Holy shit, does he still exist? I thought he’d faded into obscurity after his ” I WWEBSITE AS ON THE INTERNET” meltdown.

  • An Honest Opinion

    Are you taking part in #GamerGate? This comment makes it seem like you’re not.

    If that’s true, put your money where your mouth is and come help out.

  • Michael Pitchard

    We’re finally getting to the heart of all this. We’ve been saying this for months but apparently that makes us a hate group.

  • Ricardo Lima

    This was one the things they were tryint too hard to keep buried under.

  • Sataku

    Hopefully, if this spreads,people will contact and support McGrath and DeGroot and will see the truth behind “Fez” and “Indie Game: The Movie.
    Maybe even help the original “Fez” developers launch a lawsuit against FishFace.

  • ColaFlavourChewits

    I agree with you completely; there’s definitely an air of “untouchability”, to coin a term, among the more prominent antis.

    There’s that old story of how if you put a banana in front of monkeys and punish all of them if one tries to grab it, eventually they will not only avoid grabbing the banana, but they will also stop any new monkey who doesn’t understand what happens from grabbing it too. This new monkey will then join in with stopping any other new monkeys from grabbing it without truly understanding why they do it.

    It’s meant as a warning about following dogma without question, but its not a completely black and white issue. In complex situations, such as with, as you mention, business law and ethical practices, it can be hard for a newcomer to an industry such as journalism to understand the complexity of the law, and must instead rely on the example set by the existing writers and their guidance.

    In the case of games journalism, it seems that there just weren’t enough old-school journalists leading the way, and now the industry has ended up with a complete mess of interpersonal relationships with no professional distance. Throw in the fact that many of the writers are disdainful of their audience and medium, and it’s clear that #GamerGate was an inevitability; it just needed the appropriate spark.

  • IAmTheTree

    This. Andrew, if you look past the “harassment” and “misogyny” narrative that other, corrupt gaming journalists (and by extension mainstream media) have spun to protect themselves, you’ll find out that quite a lot of people care about this issue very much.

    And they care enough that they’re trying to affect change.

    Turns out that declaring an entire type of hobbyist dead–while doing one’s hardest to rekindle negative stereotypes about them–just to protect some corrupt buddies has that kind of effect.

  • coffeetable

    “(funnily a character named Judas in the games has a fez-hat.)a character named Judas in the games has a fez-hat.)”

    I hadn’t made this connection before, but now it seems pretty spot on and hilarious. Can’t wait for Mewgenics.

  • poofin

    Power structures typically respond with two primary defense mechanisms when attacked:

    1) Reward those who enable its continued existence (ex: FreeBSDGirl and her block list)

    2) Marginalize its opposition (“It would be a shame if we had to label you a GamerGator, now that we’ve successfully convinced everyone that any person expressing frustration is a harassing, misogynistic terrorist.”)

  • JeremyVerdi

    REMINDER:
    1. “Hello, IRS?”
    2. Brandon Boyer & Friends’ finances
    3. ?????
    4. Profit

  • JackDandy

    They should fucking sue and be done with it. If anybody can make a change here, it’s them.

  • SadamBober

    The indie scene is huge though and goes far beyond the SF circlejerk, so it’s not THAT bad

  • Ajt

    And thus you present the clearest analogy I have ever seen for what Professional Ethics are. They are the whole moving to prevent any behavior the negatively impacts all.

  • Ajt

    Weirdly the AAA’s have felt the sting of a proto GG for the past two years and have been making changes to ameliate their customers. EA is the biggest example. Note how EA won “most evil company” 2 years running, over Comcast and Bank of America. That was an early warning of just how deep the pool of gamers is, how closely they are watching the industry, and how much consumer power than can have if riled up. The AAA’s have largely absorbed the message. The Gaming Press? Not so much.

  • Mitchell Pollock

    When you’ve got journalists living with and having relationships with the developers they are ‘reporting’ on, of course there’s corruption, Up until now they got away with it. When they realised we knew, the smear tactics started and gamers were called terrorists, dead, peadophiles, virgins and more. But now sites are shutting down and people are being ‘laid off’ from dev roles it looks like their shit is finally catching up to them. Good. I hope they all end up in jobs where there penchant for corruption and underhandedness can do little to no damage. Serving burgers and fries maybe…

  • Jake

    I’m thinking that someone ought to investigate antitrust laws, and see what applies here. Last video game I played was Half Life, about ten years ago; but, I sympathize with you guys and gals. This is crooked as hell.

  • Kain Yusanagi

    Least corrupt, but certainly also least competent. 😛

  • Slick JMista

    Phil Fish is a cheating fraud!

  • Tyrannikos

    No shit corruption is everywhere. That doesn’t mean we should roll over and accept it. I hate that attitude.

  • jennytablina

    This is the wrong attitude, Indies are more victims of IGF’s corruption than everyone else is. The point is there were indie titles that could of been contenders, but never stood a chance because the winners were pretty much in the bag.

    Bear in mind you have to PAY to enter the IGF contest. So all these indie developers were paying thinking they would be part of a contest, when really the winner was likely known long before any voting actually happened.

    The answer isn’t to stop supporting Indies, but maybe be more willing to look beyond what the press attempts to sell, or contest winners.

  • It’s silly to say that people don’t care about corruption. Have you seen people get upset at the stupidest scandals?

    The problem is that people don’t see the corruption. They don’t understand it. That’s why it’s also the job of people who see this corruption, to bring it to attention. Rather than just sitting there thinking that they can do nothing about it

  • A Hyena

    Sadly it’s gonna be hard to ever break off that stereotype since a lot of the main driving force was from the chans, and then of course, the very crude humor style of parts of it like /pol/ certainly didn’t help with them calling everyone trannys, faggots, and niggas :U

    And all those ancient troll groups that awoken from their slumber causing even more chaos by doxxing & harrasing people left and right :I

  • Ryan Barrett

    Let’s also not forget Boyer’s in the credits of Fez. He better be after he basically gave Fish 2 free tickets to stardom. Too bad Fish took it all for granted and it bit him in the ass, hardcore.

  • HouseOfBrick

    Why such scoundrels are somehow allowed to continue in their nefarious designs absolutely disgusts me and that, more than fucking anything else, is what’s keeping me from doing game development. I wouldn’t be able to stomach being in the same room as these sorts of people. Sure, I could make my games, but then I’d have to be really lucky in trying to get exposure from some people unconnected to all this mess. It’s just depressing.

  • Allistair handles this whole situation with a lot of grace and maturity. It must feel good to speak out about these issues after all this time. I hope the best for you and I hope that games media sees that this incestuous fear driven “circling the wagons” tactics will only lead to their demise. Gamers are passionate and loyal sub culture. We’ve been playing for decades and we’ve had enough of this venom and blacklisting that affects people like Allistair’s lively hood. End the group think! Down with San Francisco!….hahaha that last part is kind of a joke…kind of

  • GEhotpants101 .

    Well, that was illuminating and sickening to read the kinds of things that go on.
    I mean that, really. People who use fear, lies, and intimidation to control a situation are despicable.

  • Ryan Juel

    Abandon all hope…

  • Nicolas W.

    Absolutely disgusting.

  • Invin

    Thanks to sites like Tech Raptor, we do have some watch dogs in the gaming press now.

  • Niwjere

    …ye who post blog entries here.

  • Niwjere

    This, a thousand times over. If I had to choose between competent corruption and incompetent cleanliness I’d go with the competent corruption. Fortunately there are games that qualify for neither category.

    Rule 1: Software must work.

  • Niwjere

    Chan culture exists to mock mainstream culture’s oversensitive reactions and prove that there is no substance to most taboos. The clash was inevitable. Let the stereotype ride. It’s nothing we haven’t endured before, and it isn’t going to vanish when this is all over.

  • Niwjere

    The difference between Fish and the industry at large is that Fish apparently agreed not to do what he did. Fez never should have existed.

    Developers at big companies sign contracts that stipulate that their work at the company belongs to the company. If they leave, they don’t get to take their work with them. No such contract existed between those friends at the time, I’ll wager, and as such there was a gentlemen’s agreement to split the project two ways. Fish promptly stabbed his erstwhile partner in the back the first chance he got. Breaking a gentlemen’s agreement makes one a colossal douchemuffin, even though no legal action can really be taken unless the agreement was somehow made in writing. If a written agreement exists, Fish’s ass should get sued off the face of the earth.

  • Niwjere

    Your logic contains one flaw. It assumes that anyone gave a damn about Indie Game: The Movie. Why would I watch a documentary about games when I could be playing some goddamn games?

  • Niwjere

    “Down with San Francisco” is a sentiment I’ve heard a lot of San Fran residents wholly approve of. Their city got the hell gentrified out of it.

  • Niwjere

    I hear there’s this great new game coming out soon. Half-Life 3. You should totally check it out.

  • ghostlife

    wow fuck phil fish

    I want my money back for fez, that fat piece of shit doesn’t deserve it

  • Ryan Barrett

    A lot of times things can’t be forged in writing because of lawyer costs and a lot of unknown bullshit that someone just getting into the industry doesn’t know how to do. Being indie is tough – you can’t always cross your T’s and dot your I’s every step of the way. 99% of the time you’re learning the biz. I don’t crucify Fish for making mistakes or acting like a douche, I’m just not that shallow.

    Suffice it to say that “gentleman’s agreements” don’t always hold true in this insanely competitive world, especially when there’s potentially a lot of money on the line. As an artist, sometimes you’ll do whatever it takes to see your vision realized. I’m sure if there was a way to sue, they’d sue. Copyright law still applies even if there’s nothing in writing. To some indies, lawyer costs are something you just can’t afford.

  • cfStatic

    I’m probably more non-confrontational than most people. I am also quite fed up with this ‘lets all be friends’ tripe, especially when it concerns key players. No, I don’t want to kiss and make up with these people or sing kumbaya with them. People need to start getting confrontational, people need to be held to account for the shit they have done. It’s only because people aren’t that parasites like Leigh ‘another round’ Alexander still has a fucking job. Want to write about your personal politics? start a blog or try and make it big in the political news sphere or whatever else you want, but stop being a parasite on the games industry.

  • DukeMagus

    It would be intresting if Georgina managed to interview Phil fish about the matter too. I want to see how he’ll defend himself from the accusations.

  • cfStatic

    Never. Their egos are too big.

  • ghostlife

    He would cry and decline the interview, I think we all know that

  • So what do you recommend we hopeful game devs do? Competitions like the IGF are one of the best ways we have to (hopefully) get wider attention. I don’t like the implications of what has been revealed in this article, but completely avoiding entering competitions seems like a luxury I can’t afford.

    After all, I don’t have to win the competition to make competing worthwhile.

  • Zanard Bell

    #IAmDegroot

    I’ll be buying their game out, looks trippy as hell. Just to stick a knife in a Fish eye. Instead of dwelling on the negative, let’s lift up the good guys and make the IGF regret the day they fucked with videogaming.

  • Johnathon Tieman

    As a fellow developer with an interest in games, we have to ask ourselves, what is more important here? Do we want to participate in an industry that we know is corrupt, just so we can get some visibility in the short term? Do we want to have to compromise our visions and ideas in favor of a biased (and honestly hateful) ideology? Or do we need to implement a long-term strategy, supporting sites like TechRaptor and avoiding things like IGF, Gamasutra, and other corrupt journals until we can at least build up a parallel journalistic and marketing pathway?

    Personally, I’m ignoring the established infrastructure and looking to the future. No one can stop me from making the games I want, and they can’t stop you. Thanks to YouTube and new sites, I will be able to promote my work to people who care. You can already see the impact it is having, as things like Hatred and HuniePop are getting Greenlit on Steam without having to go through (and even in spite of) the current corruption in the industry. That wouldn’t have happened a year ago.

  • David Reynolds

    More and more of Allistair’s interviews just reaffirm my hatred of the Indie scene and why I don’t wanna be an indie dev. :/

  • Remnant Psyche

    Creating an atmosphere of fear in the gaming in order to create a “safe space” for a class of emotional cripples.

    You couldn’t make this crap up.

  • Niwjere

    I wholeheartedly agree that the gentlemen’s agreement holds no weight from a legal standpoint. The point is that Fish was still a douchemuffin. He was a cutthroat-competitive douchemuffin, and a relatively successful douchemuffin, but a douchemuffin nonetheless, and deserving of all the scorn he receives for his ill-gotten gains (sacrificing a former friend for your own gain is just low). Pointing to the stain on the wall and reminding everyone of how it got there is entirely appropriate when the homeowner is trying to act like it’s not there or shift the blame elsewhere. If the homeowner admitted fault and tried to clean it up, I’d let it slide, but he just keeps acting like it’s not there and wondering why everyone thinks his house is ugly. That’s what makes me think he has no shame in his deeds, and that’s possibly worse than the deeds themselves.

    Fish won at playing the free market, but he lost horribly when it came to being a decent human being. He’ll never escape that. It will haunt him ’til the day he dies, and with the jumbo-sized ego he has, he’ll never understand why. I would say “no amount of money is worth one’s soul”, but I don’t think Fish had much of one to start with.

  • Niwjere

    Nah, he’d DJ it.

  • dun dunna

    Ed is really great though. Like, he is a dude with the heart to get done what he wants to do in an absolute vacuum. Designers like him, or the Great Old Ones, like Carmack, would be doing this if there was no money, no love, no incentive at all besides the pure thrill of creation. They are fantastic designers, but the reality is that you can’t wake up expecting to be Michelangelo. For the rest of us schlubs, we depend on systems of support to help us, and the the current system, based on sucking up to awful, emotionally-stunted buttboys, is not ideal.

  • Niwjere

    This hashtag needs to become a thing. Now.

  • Kitsunetsuki

    The more I hear about these inbred, corrupt “Gucci socialists” that seem to infest SFC, the more I understand why companies like SEGA are relocating their HQ elsewhere… and I doubt they will be the last.

  • Meittimies

    Then join a competition where you dont have to pay 100 bucks which essentially just goes to the funding of the games of the friends of IGF judges. You’re not going to get favorable coverage of your game, as IGF judges are not even required to play your game if they do not wish to, which is already screwed up. All that money you spend on entering the competition, then booking a flight to attend the event basically goes down the drain.

    The judges have a financial interest in making sure their friends win and get most of the advertisement. There is no hope of getting wider attention in a competition where the judges are biased against you from the start.

    I know getting exposure is tough, as I’ve personally sent animated short films made by me and my team of friends to different competitions in Europe. But never in a million years would I pay to enter a competition where I know the judges are colluding with other competitors.

  • Meittimies

    This. IGF, Gamasutra and other sites have already shown they’re ready to throw developers and even their own consumers to the wolves if they receive short monetary gain and attention from it. They are certainly not something anyone with common sense would want to affiliate themselves with, or put their trust in.

  • bdp

    Just seems like it’s easier to self promote your games and avoid the indie drama scene altogether.

  • I’ve lived in Portland and now I’m in Austin…I know the feeling. I think my next stop will be something way less trendy or cool. The price of living here has nearly doubled since I moved here, and definitely not worth seeing a place you love turn to complete shit

  • David Weizades

    This interview is one more in a long line of reasons why the label “indie” has become toxic. Not only doesn’t it reflect the nature of the devs anymore but it’s become like a High School “cool kids”-clique. If you’re with them you get press coverage, awards and so on. But as soon as you leave you become an untouchable with rumors spread around and talk in back-channels limiting future employment. That could bring anyone to their knees.

  • sickbroski

    The only good thing in San Fran is Giant Bomb. The ring of unstable maniacs who write for the gaming press and support social groups with religious fervor sounds right out of a sectarian movement.

  • Nicholas Perry

    This times 10000000.

  • sickbroski

    Don’t forget to spread the message. This is what your sexism bullshit was trying to hide all along.

  • Brian Hall

    A compelling read. It’s amazing that the major news sites aren’t covering this.

    It is important to consumers that products are produced fairly to ensure the industry goes.

    At this point in time FEZ is dead as an IP.

  • Brian Hall

    I think the answer is to support indies that ‘do the right things’.

  • Mistah J.

    Exactly.

  • Guest

    “Let’s talk about Brandon Boyer. He already cut me out so I’m going to speak honestly about this.”

    That’s a rather telling quote, I think.

  • Cyberxion

    Even as a gamer that shit pissed me off.

    EA sucked, sure, but Bank of America resumed being evil almost immediately after the whole banking crises scare petered out, foreclosing on homes it didn’t own the mortgage to and destroying people’s private property in the process. It actually ruined lives. But no, raising awareness about online passes and shit for a non-compulsory form of entertainment was apparently more important than drawing attention to BofA’s evil by way of significant public shaming.

    I mean, yeah, it was great inasmuch as it showed just how much power gamers really wield, but as a consumerist it really struck a sour note with me all the same.

  • Falcon D. Stormvoice

    Misogynies!

    Wait, what’s that you say…? There are no women involved in this ethics corruption story? Um…

    Well, the lack of women being accused in this article is sexist. Are women not good enough for this scandal? You sithlords are really something else.

  • JeremyVerdi

    True, but not totally unexpected. Most whistleblowing occurs not from people with a noble sense of justice, but from a wronged party.

  • Erthwjim

    How many more in the series?

  • www

    Hah, so he really is unable to make Fez 2.

  • AD

    So Gamer gate was right, what a surprise.

  • Javier Vega

    And a few Indie Developers like Slade even if he is crazy he could be right about the fact that the IGF was bad.

  • Tengu Manz

    HA! i knew that rat faced hipster douche bag was incapable of making FEZ 2!

  • JARose

    Phil Fish is a thief as well as a bully and a racketeer. Precisely zero people are surprised to hear this.

    What an asshole.

  • Arbitrary

    “In Dante’s Inferno, those who are condemned to suffer could instantly be saved if they accepted responsibility for their condition rather than cursing God. None of them do.”

    Perfectly understandable.

  • Ben

    This is the real reason he canceled FEZ 2, because he knew he couldn’t pull of such underhanded tactics again to steal all the credit for himself. He’s such a snake, I knew it from his first twitter posts that he’s only out for number 1.

    Buying Dyad now to support these guys. The real creative minds of FEZ

  • Arbitrary

    Because it’s insightful and really, really good.

    You know – the way many actual games aren’t.

  • Jak Constantine

    Wow this is amazing Georgina.

    All makes sense why Fez 2 was never made in the first place. We all know this isn’t the first time Fish stole something from someone (kick starter).

    We may have to use BasedGeorgie and BasedPinsof.

  • docmelonhead

    We should focus of Phil Fish for this Gamergate crap as opposed to the ladies that Tumblrettes follows.

  • Jesus Christ

    TechRaptor delivers again!

  • Shippoyasha

    You know, I used to defend Fish for a while when he was in the heart of controversy. I thought maybe it was his personality quirk or autism or some kind of condition that made him act that way. But I was wrong. He is just simply a terrible human being and his lashing out at people was actually a symptom of his wrondoings.

  • InternetPeaceCorps

    So messed up.

    Small tip. Next time you Talk about corruption in the games industrie leave out Sjws and GamerGate. That way we might have a better chance of spreading it around on reddit

  • wcg

    Don’t forget, he threw a hissy fit (of many) claiming he was done with game development. Deep down, he knew he was done because he has no way of duplicating Fez or likely any game on his own.

  • SirBittle

    #PinsofInterview

  • Falcon D. Stormvoice

    A woman relegated to telling someone else’s story? Typical. It’s 2015 and you’re basically saying that a woman isn’t important enough for her own story to be told. Rather, she merely repeats what is dictated to her by MEN. She’s basically just being used as a tape recorder. An >object<.

  • wcg

    Fish came across as a whiny s.o.b. in that movie. He and his partner probably thought it evoked sympathy for their plight.

  • dsadsada

    “I want hope and forgiveness, not punishment and chaos.”

    Dude…like, dude…

    *reads rest of the interview*

    OK, I’m angry again.

  • Falcon D. Stormvoice

    It’s 2015, when are you neckbearded manbabies going to let women get shitcanned and speak freely?

  • TeLin特林

    Yep…and many of his “friends” in high places are just as horrible imho.

  • TeLin特林

    Yeah, as much as it pains me….we can’t seem to criticize women. People lose their fucking shit.

    But a shitty white male? I don’t think they’d care as much…but who the fuck knows.

  • AsatorPrime

    hmmm, interesting read, a little light on evidence though. Can’t wait for part three.

  • Syndromic

    The more I read about Fish, the more disgusted I am with him. And IGF should be proud that it managed to come across more corrupt than any award ceremonies.

  • languish

    throwing a hissy fit on developing Fez 2 (Fez 2 drama-rama) for the first time means something’s wrong about that game.

  • dsadsada

    There are plenty of alternatives nowadays. Social media, special interest sites and blogs, and Steam Greenlight are decent ways to let people know that you have something in the works.

    Interestingly, one developer intended to use Kickstarter to gauge interest for her game rather than to use it simply for crowd funding. http://techraptor.net/content/love-interview-dating-sims-get-scary The large funding she received was more of a huge bonus really since she planned on finishing the game regardless of whether or not it got backed.

    You could also try talking to the community directly to get feedback on an idea. Depending on the place, you can pitch your game directly or you can take a more subtle approach. Something simple like “what do you think of a game where…” rather than outright promoting your product, although that’s more for communities like /v/ where shilling is frowned upon. It worked for this guy at least http://techraptor.net/content/interview-man-behind-yandere-sim

    Speaking of that guy, having a development blog is also a good idea for when you feel you’ve gained enough attention. It allows you to post your main ideas, updates, etc in a single place and those interested can spread the word themselves. Or you can of course direct people there yourself when they seem interested.

    You could also try getting a known youtube personality to give the game a try. If they like it, they’ll probably promote it on their show.

    Really, old forms of journalism really is obsolete when you think about it.

    But I still wish there was a site where developers can upload news of their work and finding that information would simply require an excellent tagging feature. vndb.org has a decent tagging feature I think. If you’re aware of sadpanda, then that’s an even better example. It would be useful for people like me who usually gets our news from sites and blogs like this. The other day, oneangrygamer also featured an interesting game on Greenlight about turning music tracks into race tracks. Sadly I probably wouldn’t have known about it otherwise. But I would probably keep visiting a site like I just described for that news were it to exist.

  • Cap’n Catpants

    Thanks again. It’s interesting to see who’s trying to block this article from reaching the public eye. I can’t see it as an act of ignorance. They’re clearly trying to suppress it.

    > Most of us just want to give each other a hug and make some fun games to play with people we appreciate and trust.

    ^ This.

    People like Phil Fish are the reason why I don’t like to work in groups. I’ve had people plagiarise me so many times throughout my entire life. Seen it happen to others around me, too. Even now, random people are still posting my stuff under their name. There are too many lazy, talentless people with huge egos, always trying to piggyback someone else’s hard work.

    That also reminds me of the staff credits bullying that goes on in game development, as well as the overworked developers who are afraid to be kicked out of the industry. Let’s not forget about those incidents. There are also some people who trick fresh game dev graduates into doing work for them without a proper contract. Interesting how that kind of thing doesn’t seem to get much exposure in the media.

  • Lars Anderson

    God Fish is a douchebag. Glad he left the industry.

  • Spokker

    I always thought it was weird how some indie games have characters from other indie games in them. Not necessarily for drama reasons, but it seemed lazy.

  • Grey

    It was inevitable from the start wasn’t it? Every time a media gets an indie scene this happens. Now there’s a split and on one side is “indie”, which is cool and trendy hipster drivel, and on the other side is “independent” where people don’t have a trust fund from their parents, aren’t rich stuck up hipsters, and worked hard to produce some art without selling out to a major company.

    Just like in music and film. Indie and Independent.

  • I do actually already have a devlog (http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=41906.20), but it hasn’t received much attention yet. Probably mostly because I haven’t been updating very regularly, but I am improving on that.

    Certainly getting noticed by a popular youtuber would be give me a lot of visibility, but they generally get a lot of requests like that, so I don’t feel like I can rely on happening to catch someone’s fancy.

    I do intend to run a Kickstarter campaign, partly just as a means of spreading the word, but also because it looks like I might run out of money before I finish development (I have been developing full time for a year now).

    Yes, there are alternatives to traditional media when it comes to getting exposure for a game. But independent development is a risky business, and only a fool would pass up an extra opportunity to get a bit more attention.
    I don’t intend to avoid sending Polygon and Kotaku press releases when my game is released even though it kind of supports them, because not doing so hurts me even worse. 100$ to enter a competition might seem like a lot, but its a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of actually making the game. From a business perspective, even with the corruption, entering the IGF could still be a worthwhile investment. Not as good as it would be if judging is done honestly mind you, but still worth the money.

  • The Unspeakable One

    They can’t do real jobs. I mean come on, their livelyhood depends on writing ‘Opinion-pieces’. If they had to get a real job they would just vanish into unemployment.

  • mrwizeass

    Of course!

  • Meittimies

    Remember, success does not arrive immediatly. Lot of people get the wrong idea from Indie Game: The Movie that indie developing is somehow easy money. Truth is, Edmund Mcmillen and Tommy Refenes both had been developing games for 10 years, before Super Meat Boy finally made them successful. Get the word out, get to know other developers, animators, coders, etc. If you stay true to striving for perfection when making games, you cant go wrong.

    ==From a business perspective, even with the corruption, entering the IGF could still be a worthwhile investment. Not as good as it would be if judging is done honestly mind you, but still worth the money.==

    In the long run however, you’re enabling bad business practices which cash in on tearing money off developer’s backs. If this kind of colluding goes on unchallenged, then theres going to be more of it in the future. Best bet for you would be to spread this information about IGF to all of your colleagues and peers, and attend some other competition instead.

    IGF used to be an actually good thing for the indie-gaming community. Back in the years when they actually did nominate and award the best voted games, instead of rigging the competition to their friends’ favor. Great games like Aquaria got the exposure they needed. Now the best thing for the indie gaming would be if there would be more competition for IGF-awards and no money (outside of San Fransisco at least) would be spent on funding this poisoned well.

    You also have to remember that judges are not required to even play your game if they don’t want to. That means at worst you will not get any exposure at all. Theres a better way of building connections and networking with your fellow developers than paying money for a competition which is going to ignore you if you’re not part of the inner clique. Edmund and Tom both felt betrayed and left the San Fransisco- IGF communities. That did not hurt their exposure or sales in any way. Quote from them on the IGF in 2012:

    ==Ed: It pains me to have Phil Fish [who won Grand Prize in 2012] directly tell me that – he straight up just told us that, “I was one of the many people that voted against Super Meat Boy because I knew you guys were going to be fine.”

    Tommy: Yeah, that was great, right after we lost, Brian Crecente [former editor-in-chief of Kotaku, founding editor and news editor of Polygon] coming up to us and saying, “oh you guys didn’t really need it.” I’m like, “wow my sugar’s 330 right now and I have $200 in the bank.” [Tommy is diabetic]==

    Even if you made the best indie game ever made in the history of ever, you would not win the competition, and the judges would make sure you would get less exposure than the games of their friends. They are actively working against you if you enter that competition. Its not worth your time or money.

  • masterninja

    So really even if you take out the 2 main victims here the whole side effect is that no Indie game gets a fair shake unleses your liked by these circles…

    They make or break your succes…it is indeed a culture of fear and I actually think if IGF wants to be legit Brandon Boyer should resign…

  • Alex

    More articles like this one please :3

  • MancVandaL

    Typical Gamergate! Anything to put down women in gaming and to push them out. Why can’t you stop with this misogynistic behaviour!? Leave these women alone! Wait, Fish is a man? But that doesn’t compute. CAN NOT COMPREHEND. KABOOOOM!

  • André Murgo

    Let’s not forget Ben Kuchera

  • Jake Martinez

    Understood, but dismissing everyone’s motives as they’re “just afraid” is minimizing what’s actually going on and makes it look like Brandon Boyer is the only “bad guy” here, when in actuality if he is running his festivals as little fiefdoms for the benefit of himself and his friends, then he is being assisted by the gaming press who *should* be reporting on this.

    The reason why they aren’t is obvious – they stand to benefit from these festivals being corrupt because most of them are either aspiring developers or have friends who are, so having these social connections are far more valuable than serving either their readers or the developers who are not part of the “in group”.

  • SevTheBear

    In short… FISH IS FULL OF SHIT

  • Some Person

    Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor. I’m not entirely sure what makes me more angry. I’m actually more angry that the so called journalists whose job it is to report on crimes and corruption like this, have instead chosen to get on the gravy train in exchange for their silence. THIS is why an ethical media is so important.

  • Becka Tarloni

    The indie games scene just gets slimier and more foul the deeper we thrust our hands into it.

  • Andrew

    Agreed, but video game corruption is low on the list. There are far more important things being corrupted in America that people should be focusing on. Politicians as a whole are the most corrupt people that have ever existed on the face of the earth, and no one seems to care that they are running the country. For every good 1 there is, there are 20 ones just trying to get rich somehow through some illegal means.

  • Andrew

    I believe that women should be allowed to play video games and be able to talk about them, therefore, #gamerzgate are not my kind of people.

  • NorBdelta

    Reading such injustice compels me to think we need to burn down the media and start anew, its too late for reform.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    Ironically, a game like Fez II would be relatively simple to make – Hell the unreal engine already has a template for platformers, and I’m sure a little tweaking could provide the 2D rotating world no problem.

    And hell – the only 3D models necessary would be textured blocks.

  • Sergio Nacher Fernández

    So, basically, we would have to make all the current media outlets fall and let the newly rising ones like Nichegamer grow and thrive? Is that really the only solution? I’d prefer not pulling out the guillotine unless explicitly necessary.

  • PhilK3nS3bb3n

    Look at you with all your upvotes!

  • People tend to agree with simple truths. 😀

  • Falcon D. Stormvoice

    I can’t believe it’s 2015 and you’re still promoting the sexist practice of letting women have jobs. Have you no shame?

    There’s something not quite right about what I’m saying, but I’m not sure what.

  • Flor D. Turra

    So, all you have is an interview with somebody saying something and you expect the media to cover it? You know that you’re gonna need more than that, right?

  • SevTheBear

    Well it work for Anita, jonathan and Wu 😛

  • Zanard Bell

    That’s funny, because that’s how Kotaku defended Phil Fish.

  • Zanard Bell

    So, not getting what #GamerGate is all about. Got it.

    It’s ok, my kind of people are the male, female, gay and lesbian GamerGate supporters.

  • Paul Abruzzo

    Having nothing to lose can be a big motivator and honesty maker.

  • Guest
  • Guest

    The thing is, who says you’ll get any attention at all as long as you aren’t part of the circlejerk/clique and play ball and suck up to your “superiors” and you aren’t just wasting your time and money?

    I think this mail to Kotaku by the Seedscape developer put it best:

    http://i.imgur.com/iLNDWSf.png

    Considering games like Seedscape, HuniePop and The Fine Young Capitalists (despite their stated goals) and how they were largely ignored by the mainstream gaming media I’d say that’s a risk.

  • InfernalDinosaur

    All of this sucks because I like Fez. The style and disasterpeace’s soundtrack is totally awesome. I’d like to compare it to the original soundtrack – I have a feeling it wasn’t too copy-pasted because I heard Degroot’s work on super time force and which was awesome chiptune – disasterpeace’s soundtrack really isn’t pure chiptune music – kinda just electronica with retro sounding elements.

    Reading about this backstabbery and such makes me kinda pissed off, because this game is a gem to me. I love it, but at least I can credit other cool developers that helped make it happen besides Phil. Great pixel artist, kinda sketch in the head.

  • NorBdelta

    To be honest I really do not know what should happen but it is clear the current media needs to be at the very least purged.

  • Sergio Nacher Fernández

    I do agree on that point. All the bad apples need to, at the very least, get sent on obligatory retirement.

  • Logeon

    Which is one of the reasons why we have the saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

  • Andrew

    As long as you stand behind Anita Sarkeesian’s right to have an opinion and say whatever she thinks, even if you don’t agree with it, then you at least are fine by me.

  • Andrew

    SJW? I’m actually a person, not 3 letters randomly jammed together which lacks a vowel.

  • Andrew

    EVERYTHING IS A LIE. Did you not play Portal.

    I said agree with HER RIGHT to talk, not agree with what she says. READ.

  • Andrew

    KKK is is a known thing. What in the world is a SJW?

  • Zanard Bell

    I do. I couldn’t care less what she says since she’s not even a dev. But free speech being free speech, she’s allowed to say what she wants and I don’t have the right to stop her.

    I can counter her points, though. That is, if she’s even willing to stand up for criticism.

  • Thanatos

    Each new revelation makes Phil Fish out to be a bigger douchebag than before. It’s unreal. He’s a lock for Biggest Douche in the Universe at this point.

  • Thanatos

    That mail is awesome. It’s the game journalism version of the Sokal Affair and Kotaku got caught red handed.

  • Macavity

    Well, I haven’t heard of any obituaries related to him… but even if there were, his idiocy has long since been recorded for posterity by the fine folks over at Know Your Meme (see: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/paul-christoforo-ocean-marketing-emails).

  • FreedomFighter

    Unity would be another option.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    heh, yeah but since I wrote my earlier comment, the unreal engine is free to download and use, with only a 5% gratuity which is awesome. There is literally no comparison between unity and unreal.

  • FreedomFighter

    When I went to the art institute thats all they trained us on pretty much. Back then it was UE3. Now UE4 can do mroe things but I think its easier to make a game with the Unity playmaker tool than it is in UE4. I would have to actually try and make a prototype in UE4 to be sure tho ive never used it.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    It may be easier in Unity, but UE4 is getting improved alot all the time since Epic started their new engine licensing. People not even working for Epic can submit patches to the engine.

    Plus, I’ve liked Epic since I played ZZT and Jazz Jackrabbit, so I may be a little biased, lol.

  • FreedomFighter

    lol tell me about it. I had to use UE3 all 4 years I was at the school. Wish I would of spent that time learning unity. We had a poor game design program as well. Oh well. But yea if you haven’t checked out playmaker its ridiculously easy. I gotta check out UE4 to actually compare but ive seen videos.

  • Chebz

    What makes it better than unity?

  • Gregg Braddoch

    Well for one: Unity has been around for maybe a little more than a decade, and Unreal has been around for over 20 years

    Two: Unreal has had more triple A titles published than unity

    Three:FREE with no limited version or functionality, unity wants $75 for “professional” level tools. This is including team-based tools such as Perforce being included by Unreal out of the box, while team licensing being part of the “professional” unity package.

    Four: Unreal devs answer questions in their community forums daily.

    Five: The unreal engine will always have the cutting edge in graphics so long as it exists.

    Six: The unreal engine is the industry standard. Unity hasn’t grabbed a large enough market share in AAA titles to come even close – You will be much more likely to get a job knowing the Unreal engine over Unity.

    Seven: Development is much more frequent on the Unreal Engine, and the core features already implemented are worlds ahead of unity. Unity is still playing catchup: WebGL has been supported as a platform in Unreal for several versions now, Unity 5.0 is still just a “webgl preview”. The same applies to other features.

    Eight: Blueprints – Games can be constructed without the need for writing any actual code.

    About the only advantage Unity has on Unreal is that Unity has a lot more pre-made assets available in their content marketplace, however a savvy individual can use most of what is there in unreal also. (Minus scripting, of course)

  • Guest

    Don’t you have to pay 5% of what you make with unreal? I’ve heard Unity 5 made the whole version free now too, without paying them afterwards.
    Also why most mobile games are using unity?

  • Chebz

    I admit i never used unreal, so can’t comment on any of the points (out of curiosity, have you used unity?). Im not arguing that unity is better, but I have doubts that it’s so black and white as you state. I would argue that many AAA titles today prefer using their own proprietary engines. And many mobile and indie games choose unity, why? if as you state it’s worlds apart? Try looking for game job, say on Gamasutra.. There aren’t that many positions requiring experience with unreal (at least not more than that of unity)

  • Gregg Braddoch

    Yes, you do have to pay 5%, but that is peanuts for an engine that used to license for over $250k per game.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    ” I would argue that many AAA titles today prefer using their own proprietary engines.”

    There are some companies, such as Maxis (Sims) that use their own engines, however the list of games using the unreal engine (even just the UE3 & UE4 versions) is quite extensive, and I’m sure this isn’t exhaustive either:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unreal_Engine_games

    “And many mobile and indie games choose unity, why? ”

    Because Unity has been available at indie level pricing for longer – Unreal just had their pricing change last year. Some might also wish to code in C# (unreal uses c++ / ‘blueprints’ [visual scripting, quite powerful], but I’m sure a wrapper will appear soon).

    “Try looking for game job, say on Gamasutra.. ”

    lol, Gamasutra – I doubt many triple A game developers get their start from dev jobs on gamasutra.

    “There aren’t that many positions requiring experience with unreal (at least not more than that of unity)”

    Yet game design colleges have been teaching Unreal for several years now – There are tons of people in school for game design putting vids on youtube of it.

    Really it is whichever engine meets your needs – However if you want cutting edge graphics in an industry standard engine, Unreal is far superior. If you want quick, and easy indie development, with lots of pre-made content, then pick unity. The only engines that come close are the cryEngine, which lacks user friendly dev tools, and the id tech engine, which isn’t licensed in an affordable manner.

    The community – Go to the Unity forums and see how the Unity devs answer feature requests / requests for help on how to do certain things with the engine. From the start, the devs at Epic have responded quickly, efficiently, and with good information. There is a ton of grumbling in the Unity community about Unity devs not fixing things after several versions, even though the community has reported them to the dev team. Meanwhile, the Unreal development roadmap is significantly influenced by the community, and devs will even respond to requests asking how to add features to the engine that do not yet exist.

    All this is my opinion of course, so you can decide what you like, but seriously, can you come up with any reasons that Unity is better?

  • Gregg Braddoch

    Also, Unity still charges money for their “professional” level toolset, albeit way less than they used to charge ($75 as opposed to several thousand), however the differences in graphical/performance/tool quality in unreal makes it worth the 5% IMO.