'Game designers suck' comments taken out of context, says Garriott

Ultima creator issues statement in response to online backlash

Richard Garriott has said that recent reports quoting him saying "most game designers really just suck" have taken his words out of context.


His comments made headlines yesterday after an interview with PC Gamer in which he argued that there are flaws in the way modern design talent is assessed and promoted in large parts of the industry.

In a new statement, Garriott says that quotes taken out of context were used in reports that were "inaccurate representations of the intent of my full commentary".

"Without the broader real time discussion, as often happens, much can be made out of partial thoughts used as headlines of comments meant as quipping simplification of complex issues, as was the recent case for me," he said. "The variations of headlines where I either disparage others, or glorify myself are inaccurate representations of the intent of my full commentary."

Garriott went on, "Still, I have received numerous comments of support and numerous complaints about my recent words about the challenges of finding great game designers. But, please let me clarify! By no means did I intend to disparage others who have led the many great games of each era in gaming history. I was trying to say, and show why finding or growing NEW great game designers is hard!"

Game design, Garriott argues, is "the most valuable aspect when it comes to the potential of success of a game", yet is "the skill set with the least formal and informal training available to game developers".

Seeking to further clarify his original point regarding game designers, Garriott said, "While ALL artists in the industry are better than I ever was, and while I can easily hire a programmer who is better than I ever was, it is far more difficult to hire a designer who is clearly capable of leading a top 10 game. For any company, growth only comes when the company finds another leader who can make a top 10 game. Origin only grew when we found people like Chris Roberts and Warren Spector. Most other attempts at creating new game lines failed when we gave the reigns to junior people looking to advance."

Read the full statement via his studio Portalarium's website.