Game development for massive publishers is hard. If you ever talk to a game developer about their craft, you will find out that there can be long stretches of intensive yet monotonous work. As is the same in any job, unless you are driven by enthusiasm and a love of the project, the quality of the work can suffer.
It looks like that was the case with the Army of Two franchise’s latest installment The Devil’s Cartel. The game was quietly released to poor and mediocre reviews last year, quickly escaping some press and gamers’ minds upon release. While the series has never taken off in the way EA would have undoubtedly hoped – and never delivered on its potential – The Devil’s Cartel by some’s interpretation represented an even further step backwards for the series.
That, according to Visceral Games executive producer Julian Beak’s LinkedIn profil (via Videogamer), was due to the studio’s “negative trajectory of morale.” Beak explains that he was, “recruited late in development to nurture the team at Visceral Games Montreal to deliver a struggling product in very little time” and that he had upped the spirits of the studio by the time the game shipped.
This being the man’s work profile, he plays up his role in the game saying that he boosted morale by creating “a trustworthy culture through hard work and the frequent celebration of success” and that “honesty, tenacity and commitments at all levels” were key tenants of his philosophy.
The source here is, of course, dubious, as LinkedIn is an online work profile that users can use to apply for employment. This means any information found on the site may be inflated by users to entice new employers, meaning Beaks comments could be exaggerated. They could not be too, but it is just impossible to say when sourcing an online resume.
What is almost certainly true though is that Visceral Games was demoralized about the Devil’s Cartel‘s direction. That leaves fans to wonder who’s to blame in all this. It is possible that the game was pushed onto the studio by EA and members of the team had no ambition to complete the project from the off? It is also possible that Visceral Games were excited about rejuvenating the Army of Two franchise and production went awry later on down the line. It is unlikely we will ever know the complete picture, but thanks to Beak’s profile, there is plenty of ammunition for gamers to speculate with and the news comes at a poor time with EA failing to launch key titles like Battlefield 4, NBA Live and SimCity all within the last year, while also giving up and cancelling on the Command & Conquer reboot.
Should gamers be concerned about the Star Wars game Visceral is developing or their rumored Battlefield spinoff?