Dead Space producer Chuck Beaver has had quite some time to reflect on comments he made last week regarding the writing in Gears of War – and it looks like he’s ready to flip the script.
Speaking in an EA interview series on April 16th entitled “Breaking into the Industry,” Beaver broke out a full-scale fusillade on Epic Games’ frenetic shooter, saying it contained “atrocious, offensive violations of story basics” and represents “literally the worst writing in games.” The almost-immediate firestorm that ensued lead EA (who has yet to comment on the matter) to remove the interview entirely from their site, likely in an attempt to distance themselves from the comments which also reflected harshly on the Dead Space storyline.
History couldn’t be erased for Beaver himself, however. After mounting pressure – and with plenty of opinions expressed on both sides of the issue – he released the following statement to IGN:
“I just wanted to jump in and clarify some of my comments that were taken out of context about Gears of War. First, let me say that I’m a huge fan. It is an epic franchise that has trail-blazed more than a few industry-leading player experiences and mechanics. It is deservedly recognized as a top-tier title. Its success as a property is evidenced by its giant sales and rabid fan base. The industry is far better for Epic’s contributions, and we all owe a great deal of inspiration to their work.”
It’s convenient to allege that the comments were “taken out of context” – that the context no longer exists makes it subjective if you try hard enough. By all accounts and impressions, though, he was hardly intent on waxing so eloquent about Gears of War when conducting the original interview. The follow-up statement seems like more of a kneel to the “rabid fan base” Beaver alluded to as opposed to an honest professing of his love for the franchise.
Keep in mind: we aren’t suggesting Beaver needs to apologize for his opinions; rather, just the opposite. It’s hardly an overstatement to say that he has a beef with the story in Gears of War, and if the controversy brings out more discourse and self-awareness throughout the industry, then so be it. Granted, he’s employed by EA, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they influenced his downplaying of the situation for their own business interests. But if that were the case, it’s unfortunate that a company who openly wages war with Activision and Call of Duty has to pretend like it never even happened. In the end, that’s the worst story of them all.
Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.