THQ's Danny Bilson • Page 3

It's make-or-break time for THQ's outspoken head of core games and he knows it.

Eurogamer: You left the game industry to go to the film industry. Why did you then decide to go back into games?

Danny Bilson: I like games better. It's my favourite form of entertainment, so the opportunity to work in games would be my choice. The differences are great and not so great, but one thing we're trying to do at THQ is eliminate, shorten the differences.

One of the differences has been over the last 10 years is companies trying to push process over creative. You can't follow a manual and get a great game. It's still, like the film business this is where it's similar it's still talent-based, based on the inspiration of an artist, that then gets communicated to other artists who share the inspiration and contribute their talent to it.

We're building a system that supports that idea, which brings our industry closer to film in that way. It's about creative first, respecting the creators and allowing them to do their best work.

Eurogamer: Has the fact we always seemed to be in a technological arms race with consoles before now, but now aren't, helped that?

Danny Bilson: Thank god, yes. Stability of technology allows for the fruition and the growth of creative. We're not having to invest all of our focus, and, oh my god, how are we going to deal with that new technology? We understand it. We still have guys trying to squeeze it to do cooler stuff, but it puts the weight of the mission under creative, which ultimately should get us more interesting and more creative stuff.

Eurogamer: It must be great being able to say, okay, this game might be already here but we don't need to put it out until then.

Danny Bilson: That's the trick. We're not going to get beat by another hardware upgrade like every five years like it was before. There will be little things. It's up to us to compete in graphics and creativity. Sometimes I hope good creativity and style will be able to be more important. It is more important.

I just started playing Cataclysm. I had been away from WOW for maybe a year. I went back in and my first thing was, oh, the graphics are old, but then it's like, who cares when the creative and the content is great? It's so polished it's fantastic. That's the great thing about Blizzard.

Eurogamer: Hypothetically speaking, if Sony or Microsoft turned around tomorrow and said, Danny, we're launching a new console in three years, that would be a head in hands moment?

Danny Bilson: It would be horrible. But I think they all know our model's broken anyway. It still costs us a fortune to make games on this platform. If they're going to up the scale, up the art, up the content, I don't know how to make that and sell it to anybody for under $100 a game. Who wants to do that? It's bad for everybody.

As long as we're creatively satisfied as gamers by what we're getting, I'm really satisfied. I still see cooler stuff, better stuff. So much is in the software engineering and working with the technology. I look at games and I go, wow, how did they get such great characters?

Danny Bilson is head of core games for THQ.

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