May 8th, 2013


Yesterday we told you about the announcement of Bethesda’s new game, Wolfenstein: The New Order. Most of you seemed happy that the game was in development and could be slated to come to Wii U, but a few of you said it wasn’t your style. Former Epic Mickey developer Warren Spector agrees with you, according to a rant posted on his Facebook page. He goes off on such titles, saying they’re creatively bankrupt:

Did the world really need another Wolfenstein game? Did we need a generically dark, monochromatic, FPS, kill-the-Nazi-giant-robot game? Uh. No. The world did not. I am so tired of stuff like this.

Spector says that Bethesda is doing nothing but recycling content from a game “as old as I am”, while new IPs have a very hard time getting green lit by a publisher. It seems like a rail against the modern military shooter for sure, but Spector should probably point those guns at yearly Call of Duty releases instead of Bethesda for this one. The last Wolfenstein game that came out was in 2009. While the use of Nazis may be tiresome, Wolfenstein has always revolved around them, so it’s not like Bethesda is pulling a new cliche out of its hat.

Spector says he’s entitled to complain because he’s constantly having to fight against the attitude that game developers “should just make a shooter.”

You’re welcome to write off my opinions but I have a right to express complaints about people recycling work as old as I am. I’m allowed to complain about the difficulty of getting new stuff green lit — new IP, new game styles and so on given my perspective as someone who’s constantly fighting the pressure to ‘just make a shooter.

Do you agree with what Warren Spector is saying? While his initial creation of Deus Ex was well-received among critics, Epic Mickey was mediocre and Epic Mickey 2 has done abysmally. Is this because gamers don’t want to play these games, or is it because the content isn’t interesting enough? Let us know your opinion below.

  • Jeffrey Debris

    I don’t really care about what he has to say about it. If the game turns out to be good, then what’s the big deal? He might as well say this about every other game that is a sequel on any other franchise…

    • Syrindigo

      I don’t think that’s his point, if a squeal to a game comes out, good, if it improves and adds on to a game, thats great! I think his point is that so many games, so many shooters, they’re all REALLY similar. If it were just a few that came out every few years, that would be fine, but the next call of duty, the next battlefield, the next everything they all come out ALL the time, and in each of those games, while they are different and have some strengths and weaknesses, they’re still at heart just a shooting game. Then when something that actually takes some creativity, heart and skill gets over looked because of games like that… It just sucks for the industry as a whole.

      • Jeffrey Debris

        Bioshock Infinite wasn’t overlooked…

        • Syrindigo

          Okay… neither was Mario or most Nintendo games, but his point is that there are still a lot of games that are over looked.

        • IntrepidEmu

          Bioshock Infinite didn’t need to be a shooter, and there’s been a lot of criticism directed towards it because of the themes and story of the game clashing with the mass homicide you commit as you play it.

          • ReckoningReckoner

            Themes and the story clashing with the mass homicide? Have you played the game. The entire plot revolves around booker’s homicides!

          • Ultranist

            and the entire gameplay is about cruel killing without any mercy

          • disqus_Srej2O7Jfd

            shut the fuck up.

      • Elem187

        But his anger is misguided… Publishers are chasing the dollar, since shooters and sequels of shooters is where the majority of the money is right now, they are all spending money at a rapid pace to catch it.
        When gamers stop buying the shooters, the publishers will change.

    • Archiq09

      Wolfenstein is a game who you kill Nazi and discovers Nazi myth… Robots is as the myth of the flying saucer or zombie nazi…

  • Zombie Boy

    Don’t get me wrong, but personally, I’d buy Wolfenstein over Epic Mickey any day!

  • Syrindigo

    I love this guy. He is saying what needs to be said. The go-to safe “shoot-em’ ups” were cute in their day, but with a new one coming out every month, it gets old.

    • Zombie Boy

      But Wolfenstein was the original FPS franchise (before the same devs created Doom). It isn’t their fault they made something that hundreds of people copied. Like the article says, he should be going after the Call Of Duty guys! Ironically, Spector’s most popular game (Deus Ex) was, in itself, a Wolfenstein-inspired FPS.

  • david jarman

    I’m torn between worlds. I love SOME fps, but he is right in my opinion.

  • Levi Johansen

    Epic Mickey was awesome, Epic Mickey 2 was a little lacking.

    I totally agree with him though, the game industry needs new stuff. It is OK to recycle old content, but not repidetly.

    It is awesome that OoT, the Wind Waker, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Goldeneye, Ducktales, Castle of Illusion and other classic games are remade, but they should only do it once!
    Remaking any of these games again and again, with different twists and turns is just ridicolus.

    Note that it is the shooters that are remade multiple times… Why? It’s not like there are too few shooters out there…

  • Ugslick

    I think shooters and that attitude of just make shooters is whats driving the industry into the ground, coupled with the focus on graphics. The industry needs creativity to flourish, and this is where I think Nintendo, and Indies will thrive.

  • Frankie

    He is completely right. They could have tried to develop a new game or even some new style. Companies today just put out the same rehash. Epic Mickey could have gotten all 10’s from every review and people still would not have bought it. Games that do not have violent killing and mature themes just do not sell as well because people think that makes a good game. Mario and Nintendo titles are completely different, they have the name already and are known to be of high quality, they will always sell.

    • Elem187

      Publishers can’t take risks anymore because of the costs involved in making games.
      The easiest way to make a buck is to dump a lot of money into games in a proven genre (right now that flavor of the generation is first person shooters)… so thats what everyone is doing.
      It wont last forever though… my hope is JRPG’s make a comeback in a collapse.

  • 7Down


  • I think he has a good point. Mainstream “gaming” is becoming stale.

    • Elem187

      Has been for years now.
      We are heading towards an industry wide collapse. Game budgets are growing to 100 million dollars, and must sell 5 million or more copies just to break even…… its scary whats happening.
      But on the plus side, a collapse in the industry would do it some good. I personally think Nintendo will weather the storm the best as they keep costs low as possible, sell their console at or near cost, and have realistic expectations of the industry. Everything NIntendo does is conservative.
      Compare that to Sony/Microsoft, where last gen game budgets exploded, and what is their answer for next gen? EVEN BIGGER BUDGETS!!!
      Last gen was unsustainable, next gen will be even worse.

  • TheGamenerd5

    I agree with him cause im sick of all the guts and gore in video games, I have nouthing agenst a good shotter like call of duity, but I dont like sick games like bioshock, the only wofenstine I played was for gamecube and I played it with my older brother and it always creeped me out

    • Elem187

      COD isn’t a good shooter. It uses auto-aim to give non-talented FPS players a feeling like they are great at it.
      You stick those same COD players on a real shooter that requires full on precision like Quake 3 Arena, and they will bomb.

      • TheGamenerd5

        I dont play cod I was using it as an example, I enjoy fun and creative games more then I en joy creepy games like bioshock and so on

  • Vinicius

    This guy have my respect, but why is he complaining about the game? He doesn’t even know how its gonna be, didn’t even played it.. seems kind of childish from his part..

  • Potemkin

    Well, how it’s going, I don’t think it will last long before the general public gets tired of the FPS.

    I remember the same thing happened with Need for Speed, music games (Guitar Hero & Rock Band) and party games (mario party and others).

  • Cerus98

    It’s the same thing in Hollywood. Those with the cash would rather they just make a prequel, sequel, reboot or remake. And unfortunately those movies sell tickets even though people constantly bitch about unoriginal films. But when something original comes out no one goes to see it and it gets trashed in reviews. TV is just as bad if not worse. Candid Camera>Punkd>Punkd>Who Gets The Last Laugh. Recycled content is the name of the game and the world keeps buying it.

  • peeer

    That sounds like a frustrated developer who’s jealous that he can’t make games that can sell. I always found interesting nazi war type of FPS games, I don’t know what he has against them.

  • audi lover

    The micky games fail on so many levels they just dont deliver, fair enough to many shooters are a pain in the arse, but the wii u has non as yet so im all for it(cod is awful so I dont count that crap) Bethesda are a great company and if one of there title arrives on wii u hopfully more will follow

  • Elem187

    I agree with him, but thats what AAA publishers do because of how expensive making games are.
    Nintendo has the right idea of trying to keep development costs low, by slowing down their uptake of new technology… The industry is unsustainable as it is, Iwata and crew see this collapse coming a mile away. Game budgets are already outpacing mega movies and have to sell 5 million copies just to break even.

    How many studios closed in the last 6 years? Hundreds. I can’t wait for the industry collapse, it would get publishers to start getting realistic.

  • TrueWiiMaster

    Epic Mickey 1 was actually pretty good, despite the camera issues. I haven’t played the second one though. Either way, he’s partly right. There are far, far too many shooters out there, and they just keep coming, but it’s not just the developers’ fault. Consumers keep buying all these shooters, and budgets for making games nowadays are through the roof. If they don’t make a game that sells a ton, they won’t even break even, and the safest way to do that is to make a shooter. So yeah, “gamers” are as much to blame as developers/publishers.

  • Nintendofreak

    he should have concentraded more on Epic Mickey 2 than bashing some old ass classic game sequel

  • Zorlac79

    Coming from someone who is recycling an idea that is “older” then him…
    I hear what he is saying. Shooters are the fad right now, and they get old. That is all people want to do is call of duty runs, same crap over n over….ugh.
    That is why I like the Wii U so much, is the potential for different games.
    Since I love Wolfenstein, playing since part 1 on an Apple II-e computer (yeah, the green and black monitor, lol), I will play the heII out of this. And since I am not tired of shooters (since I don’t play many), this will be refreshing for me.

  • Metal_Man_v2

    Hmm, I have to disagree with you here.

    ” but Spector should probably point those guns at yearly Call of Duty releases instead of Bethesda for this one.”

    Regardless of what you think of the franchise, I don’t think that you can single out CoD for cluttering up the video game market with FPS games. Sure they release annually, but that one game a year doesn’t doesn’t single handedly tip the balance of game genres that are released.

    Anyways, I can at least understand this guy’s frustration. It’s hard to come up with a new IP, and have it not be very successful. The smart developer though makes games that gamers want to play, not make different games for the sake of being different. Besides, it not like Epic Mickey was really innovative or well executed anyways.

  • Bob Brochee

    Spector had his chance with Mickey and he failed miserably. Gave us a game that no one wanted to play… Go away, Spector, your games are garbage!

    • Bob Brochee

      By the way, Wolfenstein is about as NON-GENERIC as you can get. The ORIGINAL FPS copied from NO ONE and set the standard for EVERYONE ELSE!

  • I am not really a FPS fan but if it has a good story and gameplay then who cares. The problem with many FPS is that they are clones of one another and the repeated sequels or new editions coming out every 6 months is ridiculous. That does not mean another FPS style game cannot come out and have a great story, gameplay and be a breath air to the game genre.

    • Ultranist

      those are mostly console fpses
      try something like tribes or natural selection on pc

  • ICHI

    I love you warren spector….Im sure if you did make an fps it would be more like deus ex……..oh wait a minute!!!

  • Arthur Jarret

    It’s because epic mickey was a buggy mess, and pt.2 was even worse.

    At least the yearly shooters are patched afterwards… also, wolfenstein is about humor! About hitler in a mech suit and big soldiers yelling: Gutentag! to their enemy before they fire their minigun

  • John Madsen

    i hope to god this doesn’t turn into another bad game

  • JVAN63

    I like that more games like this will come to the Wii U. I like Wii games, but I also own an Xbox, for when I want to play a less family-friendly game.

  • Jeovany

    “Did we need a generically dark, monochromatic, FPS, kill-the-Nazi-giant-robot game?” How many game can u name like that other then wolfenstein which we haven’t had since 2008 and yes there are alot of shooter out there because they’re the most popular. There a plenty of other genres of games out there

  • I’m sorry, but I will not tire of games that let me shoot Nazis. That’s like saying not to use Zombies anymore.