Developing video games is a long and stressful process. This can often lead to delays and a whole lot of frustrations which can affect the overall result. Often, game developers tend to become frustrated with the entire process and end up hating the project.
There are a lot of other factors that can induce such frustration from the creator. Studio interference, an uncertain working environment, and compensation issues are just some of the reasons why creators end up disliking their work. Here are some creators that hated their video games.
Peter Molyneux – Fable 2
Peter Molyneux has a very renowned reputation for hating the previous games that he helped develop.
However, it was pretty prominent after Fable 2 was released and when he was working on the third game. Molyneux famously hated the previous game that he was working on and even went as far as trashing the beloved dog from the second Fable game.
This goes to show how much he did not like the game. Soon after, Fable 3 was released, and Molyneux had moved on from the series when he also trashed the third game. It’s safe to say that Molyneux is one man who has never loved any single game he helped create.
John Carmack – DOOM
DOOM is one of the most successful first-person shooter games, which started in the early 90s. With the game’s growing popularity, the company wanted the game to be available on SEGA Saturn, and a certain Jim Bagley was tasked to do so through his expertise with the console.
This would bring a smoother frame rate to the game, which meant people would have an overall better experience with the game. However, the game’s creator – John Carmack, did not like the idea of bringing the game from PC to SEGA Saturn, citing he did not want any custom code in the game.
Bagley was able to transition the game and made it available to run at 60 fps. Unfortunately, Carmack delayed the entire development process of the game by pushing Bagley away from using the custom code. It would have been a nice upgrade to the game’s visuals, but it was all for naught. The game was still released into SEGA Saturn without the smoother frame rate.
George Fan – Plants vs. Zombies
When you think about Plants vs. Zombies, you think about a fun and strategic tower defense game that is supposed to be fun for everyone to play. Its developer George Fan seems to think so as well. With the surprising popularity of the game, the studio behind Plants vs. Zombies felt the need to monetize the game to ensure more profits.
This sudden change in the game’s direction frustrated Fan so much as this was not what he set out to do. He wanted the game and its sequels to be accessible to the player. So putting a monetary advantage and incentivizing it felt like a cop-out for Fan.
Around the third game, the entire series embraced the cash shop idea that gave paying players the edge over non-paying ones. Soon, fans of the game noticed that the game’s sequel became marred with these monetary advantages and left the game. One can say that George Fan was not a fan of this change that the gaming studio introduced.
Dong Nguyen – Flappy Bird
Millions of people will remember Flappy Bird as this sadistic platformer game where you guide a bird through a maze and avoid crashing into obstacles. What made the game quite difficult was controlling the titular bird. The challenging controls of the game made rounds worldwide and soon gained popularity.
Many people were fascinated with this challenging new game. However, some were frustrated by the game’s immense difficulty. People sent so many complaints and hateful statements about the game to the developer, driving Dong Nguyen, the game’s developer, to hate the game.
The developer had to endure harassment and death threats, which led to him disowning the game entirely.
Leslie Benzies – Grand Theft Auto
Benzies has been working for Rockstar Games for a long time now. He has been part of the team that helped create one of the best and controversial video game series ever – Grand Theft Auto. However, the success of the game did not translate well with Benzies behind the scenes.
Things went south with him and the company when he asked for compensation for the work that he has done for the franchise. As a result, the company forced him on a sabbatical. And while he continued to seek compensation, the company filed a countersuit stating that his attitude towards the team was why he was forced out of the company.
This drove a wrench in their relationship, which also affected the state of the game. Benzies got the compensation that he wanted, and the video game series continued to dominate charts up to this very day. But the drama surrounding the game left a sour taste in the mouth of the developer and its fans.
Shigeru Miyamoto – Super Mario Bros. 3
Celebrated as one of the best video games to have ever been created, the legacy of Super Mario Bros. 3 was marred by controversy, with its game creator Shigeru Miyamoto claiming that he did not like the game and called it an embarrassment.
Many Mario fans scratched their heads when they saw the creator’s comments about the best game in the series. It was pretty fascinating to see the thoughts of someone that has been trying to develop the game to perfection. However, he still calls the game a massive letdown citing that they could have done better with the game.
While hindsight is always 20-20 when it comes to game development, it is still quite a head-scratcher knowing that one of the most beloved Mario games is seen as this neglected child by none other than the creator himself.
Phil Fish – FEZ
Not a lot of people will remember a small indie game called FEZ for its gameplay or graphics. But when you mentioned the title of the game, everyone’s mind would immediately go to Phil Fish, the game’s sole creator. Fish happily created the game and was quite excited about the game’s release.
However, studio interference left a sour taste in the developer’s mouth that ultimately left him frustrated with the game itself. The release of FEZ was heavily praised for its gameplay and unique graphics; however, it was already too late.
Fish was filled with frustration that consumed him so much that he had to cancel work on the game’s sequel. Up to this very day, you can still see him trashing the game that he used to love.
Howard Scott Warshaw – ET The Extra-Terrestrial
The movie ET was a worldwide phenomenon that captured the hearts of millions. So it was only a matter of time before big corporates wanted to cash in on the craze. Atari then showed interest in making a video game based on the popular and beloved ET.
They were able to convince Howard Scott Warshaw to develop the game. Warshaw had everything ready when they approached him; however, Atari and Spielberg wanted Warshaw to finish the game within several weeks to ensure that the game would be released in time for the Christmas holiday. Warshaw accepted it as a challenge and was able to deliver the game.
When it was released, the product failed so hard that it would take a toll on Atari itself. Warshaw hated everything about the entire process of developing the game, and it showed in the product that he made. Many of those who purchased the game expressed regret and returned the game cartridges, and soon after, Atari filed for bankruptcy.
Hating Their Own Video Games
Based on the list above, one would wonder what happened with these individuals and why they hated the game they created. Many of these creators’ relationships with the studio that hired them turned sour because of factors such as compensation issues, creative interference, and unreasonable deadlines.
The game development industry is already a stressful environment to begin with. Nowadays, consumers want the best possible product made available to them. Therefore, every game should come out flawless or run the risk of getting marred by controversy.
This leads to studios forcing their creative team to go outside of their comfort zone, causing even more stress. With these factors added in, there are bound to be issues regarding the relationship between creators, the game, and the studio, which led to creating this list.
Imagine hating a game that you helped create so much that it caused drama? Unfortunately, these are just some of the infamous video game creators who dislike the product they created.
Hopefully, many other game creators will be able to appreciate the games they produce in the future.