Randy Pitchford is showing me an email he received a day ago on his phone. In it someone asks the Gearbox Software boss whether Aliens: Colonial Marines, which came out in February 2013 for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, will be remastered for PlayStation 4 or released as part of the PlayStation Plus subscription service.
"Thank you," it ends. "I really enjoyed AC:M, my all-time favourite game."
"That exists, and we get those all the time," Randy tells me. We're in a bright and tidy room at the Hilton Metropole on Brighton's seafront. It's the end of day two at the Develop conference. We're doing this interview hours after Pitchford's keynote talk, in which he performed a few fancy card tricks (Randy was once a professional magician), discussed feedback from fans, positive and negative, as well as his motivation for game creation. He also mentioned he'd quite like to make another Duke Nukem game, but would probably need to partner with another developer to do it. Some headlines generated by the talk picked up on Randy saying some people who hated Gearbox's games were "sadists". That didn't go down well, as you can imagine.
"Typically, it doesn't matter what the game is, the usual ratio is about three love letters for every one hate letter," Randy continues. "The scale's different. Volume relates to impact. So Borderlands, we get a lot more mail than, say, Brothers in Arms. But it's usually about 3:1 positive to negative."
Even for Aliens?
Even for Aliens, Randy says.
The one exception to this ratio, Randy says, is for Duke Nukem Forever, a shooter universally panned by critics. 6:1 positive to negative for that one, apparently, which surprises me. It seems to have surprised Randy, too.
"It exposes how myopic we can get," he says. "Those of us who read the gaming websites and are super tuned into everything, we think that's the centre of the universe. But in fact it's like, here's the world, and it's like a pinprick of the actual people who are affected by interactive entertainment."
He tells me of a fan who sends Gearbox screenshots of Aliens he thinks are beautiful every couple of weeks or so. He's done this for the past two years.
"He's aware and knows a lot of people are bashing it, but he likes it, and so he's using that as his vehicle to defend his taste.
"What it demonstrates is taste is really weird and we all have our own kind of tastes."
In setting up this interview I'd hoped to speak with Randy about Aliens: Colonial Marines, another shooter universally panned by critics, that suffered, from what we've heard, from a troubled development that relied heavily on outsourced developers. Gearbox has been accused of deliberately misleading its customers with impressive-looking gameplay videos released ahead of the launch of the game, and of shunting development duties to other studios, such as the now closed TimeGate, while it prioritised building Borderlands 2 - a game that actually turned out great. Randy has faced the brunt of the vitriol. I wanted to get him to discuss what went wrong with Aliens, and find out why the game changed as it was being made.
So yes, I'm here to discuss Aliens with Randy, and I'm not sure how he'll react to that. Negatively, I suspect. But I get the feeling he's ready to at least entertain the idea. A couple of days before his talk at Develop, the conference organisers asked Twitter to suggest questions for the Gearbox chief, to be asked during a Q&A at the end of his talk. It came with a hashtag: #AskRandy.
Predictably, some people angry at Randy for the whole Aliens episode took the opportunity to ask him about it. What surprised me was Randy engaged with those tweets, talking about how many copies the game had sold, comparison videos and the recent messy lawsuit, which Gearbox is now free from. It was the first time I'd seen him openly discuss Aliens: Colonial Marines - and he did it to just shy of 300,000 Twitter followers. I thought it a good sign.
@ngrey651 Every demo was exactly the game at that time. Games change during development - all games do (all media, in fact).— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) July 14, 2015
@ngrey651 We invested a LOT on top of Sega’s investment hoping to compete. We still came in at under half what is spent on CoD…— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) July 14, 2015
@Dragonzeanse Not true. The footage shown says “work in progress” was for a trade show (not advertising) and was two years from launch.— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) July 14, 2015
The stars had aligned, I thought, so into the interview I went, Aliens-related questions to hand, on my own personal bug hunt.
Eurogamer: In the case of Aliens, you must accept it's not as good as Borderlands. Surely you accept that.
Randy Pitchford: It depends on what criteria you're using to define good. It did not sell as much. It didn't receive nearly the scores. It wasn't even close. Borderlands has sold maybe 15 times as many units. And the scores are very clear. Aliens got destroyed by the critics.
Eurogamer: Did you not feel that was fair?
Randy Pitchford: I probably lost somewhere between maybe $10-$15m on Aliens, whereas I made a ridiculous amount of money on Borderlands.
Eurogamer: Okay, if you say a person's opinion on a game is entirely their own, what was your opinion on Aliens?
Randy Pitchford: I love all our games. That's why we make them. If you want to talk to me about our games you'll find I get really animated about any of them. It's weird. I was watching footage of The Beatles talking about the White album. There are some great tracks. There's also some f**king weird sh*t I don't even understand on side two... like, I don't even understand it as music. And they're super excited about all this experimental sh*t they're doing, and it just completely doesn't register with me. I'll do Rocky Raccoon any day of the week, even Back in the USSR was rock 'n' roll.
Eurogamer: But you surely can't love all your games equally. You must accept there were differences.
Randy Pitchford: Yeah, but it's like asking a parent, you can't love all your children equally. Tell me which one you like less! So, f**k off. No, I'm not going tell you which kid I like less.
Eurogamer: I accept we're a niche, and there will be many people who love Aliens and Duke Nukem.
Randy Pitchford: And many more who love Borderlands.
Eurogamer: But I don't think you can ignore, even within that niche, that there are differences between the ratio of people who loved and hated your games.
Randy Pitchford: Oh, not ignoring that at all. It's exciting actually. How stimulating is this enterprise where, I mean, because of the subjectivity of entertainment, you can never know what taste is going to be, and then technology's always changing. Like, wow, these are impossible problems. Man, how grateful should we be that we can't reduce this down to a formula where we can be right every time or wrong every time. How awesome is that? I celebrate that that's even possible.
Eurogamer: Specifically regarding Aliens, if we forget for a moment whether we like it or we don't like it, a lot of people feel the game that launched was substantially different to the game that had been shown previously at trade shows.
Randy Pitchford: Yeah, games change under development, that's true.
Eurogamer: I absolutely accept that, and the footage was marked as work in progress and that's fair. What I'm curious about is why did this game change in the way it did?
Randy Pitchford: Which way do you want to talk about? Pick a way it changed. Do you have a specific example of something that changed?
Eurogamer: Yes! If we look at the E3 2011 gameplay demo for Aliens, there were certain graphical effects we didn't see in the launch version.
Randy Pitchford: We need a laptop. We can't do this.
Eurogamer: Oh come on. You must know what I'm talking about.
Randy Pitchford: I can't remember every effect. I can't possibly remember.
Eurogamer: Okay, but the general point is that it didn't look as good when it launched as it did in those videos.
Randy Pitchford: I think that's subjective. There was one demo that was done, there was basically the same environment that was the first map of the game, and they were trying to show, oh look how it changed. It was kind of hilarious because, the first thing was, you're walking down the umbilical cord and then there's a jolt and a shake and you look up and a body of a marine smashes against the glass and the glass shatters and there's blood and then the first-person player falls down and there's blood on the ground and then he pushes his hand off of it and stands up and you can see blood on his hand, and then he readies his gun and moves forward.
And then they showed, like, here's the final version. In the final version, the thing shakes, he looks up, the body hits the glass but it doesn't shatter. There's no shattering effect. And then when he falls there's no blood on the ground and he doesn't do the thing where he looks at the blood on his hand. And that's a scandal. Like, that is a scandal.
That's an interesting one because I did look at that one specifically and I heard the tone of the voice of the people who were talking over it telling me what a scandal it was and how obviously horrible the decision was to make those changes. I've seen lots of conspiracy videos on completely different subjects and it's the same kind of tone, where it's very convincing. And I actually know what that's about. It makes a lot of sense.
Eurogamer: Go on then. What is it?
Randy Pitchford: What's funny is - I'll get to it - that doesn't matter. In either case, whether those details change or not, that wasn't it. That had nothing to do with how people feel about the whole product. Think about Borderlands. We completely changed the art style. Completely changed it. And yet because people generally liked it, they defend it.
Things will change no matter what. Artists will make decisions. Programmers and designers will change things. There are lots of different reasons developers make changes in the course of development. Some artistic, some technical, some procedural. But they'll make changes. And when we like the result, every change we notice we can defend. And if we don't like the result, every change is a scandal.
No developer who ever worked on any game is making a change thinking, aha! This is going to make my customer mad at me. I can't wait to make this change. And so the whole premise is just completely absurd. And the claims that come from the premise are nuts. The fundamental point is, we could have done a great job, but we tried to do a bad job. It's just insane.
The reality is a lot more embarrassing. I'm flattered by the claim, because the claim suggests Gearbox will always make a brilliant game if we just wanted to or tried to. We must not have tried to, or there must have been some other game going on there. But the truth is so much more embarrassing, which is, we f***king tried our hardest. We were trying to do a great job, and we really committed ourselves, and yet the market judged it as harshly as it did, and we failed on that regard.
Eurogamer: But why? That's what I want to know.
Randy Pitchford: Entertainment works that way. I don't know!
Eurogamer: You were managing the project.
Randy Pitchford: How can I tell you why I like something and you don't.
Eurogamer: No, that's not what I mean.
Randy Pitchford: Okay, so those two changes. It didn't make sense. And in fact, when we showed the demo, some fans pointed that out to us. This umbilical was attached by the new ship. It wasn't part of the Sulaco. How did the blood even get on the ground? The guy just hit up there. It was a consistency flaw. It didn't make any sense. So that was removed.
Why does that glass break but when the whole thing buckles, nothing else shatters? Also, when it breaks I can't see anything. And there's this beautiful star-scape up there. These are decisions actually intended to make things better and more logical and internally consistent.
Maybe the game, okay, subjectively, if you put 100 people in front of, you have them play through Borderlands 2, which shipped at the end of 2012, and you have the same 100 people play through Aliens, maybe 95 out of the 100 would say, if they had to rank which one's better than the other, they'd rank Borderlands 2 above that. Maybe that was it. Because if you're expecting this and you get this, you're almost punitive, and you call it that. I think that was a big part of it. But I don't know. I can't read the minds of any particular judge.
Eurogamer: I'm just trying to get to the truth of why it didn't turn as good as we'd hoped.
Randy Pitchford: I liked it. And it frustrates the people who didn't to hear me say that.
Randy Pitchford: It's almost like they want to hear me say, yeah, it was rubbish. But it would be a lie for me to say it. I actually like, f**k, I like Duke Nukem Forever. I thought it was brilliant. I did! I know I'm not objective. But when I say that you should go, that guy's clearly not objective. Why would you expect me to be objective? Have you ever seen weird, bizarre art you don't even understand? The artist who created it clearly did it for a reason and loved it, you know.
And we're a collective. There's a whole bunch of us and everybody's trying their hardest. The notion of trying to get someone who created something they loved, when you don't, to try to have you... that to me is a dismal failure of human rationality. Look at how flawed our human reasoning is: I think this is true, therefore everyone else should also think this is true. But that doesn't make any sense, especially if the thing we're saying is true is either subjective, or completely unverifiable.
Eurogamer: As you've said, your opinion will frustrate people.
Randy Pitchford: They're welcome to be frustrated. What do you want from me?
Eurogamer: I know. But we've heard a lot about the development of the game, and it does sound like it was a difficult development. It had been in development for a long time. There was various outsourcing going on.
Randy Pitchford: All of our projects involve outsourcing.
Eurogamer: I know that, but -
Randy Pitchford: When you say you've heard a lot about it, don't forget you've not actually heard anything, because you've heard speculation and noise.
Eurogamer: This is what I want to ask you about.
Randy Pitchford: I'm not going to be a guy who says, oh, it was all outsourcing's fault. The whole outsourcing claim is just astonishing to me. It's like, Gearbox would have done a great job. How flattering. How flattering is that claim? Gearbox would have done an amazing job, but it wasn't Gearbox who did it. They put it on someone else and that's why it's sh*t.
Eurogamer: That's what I've heard.
Randy Pitchford: Wouldn't it be easy for me to go, yeah, you're right, those other guys suck, we're awesome. But that's not honest. It was our game. We have all the constraints you have when you work with a license property. That's a total different level of nightmare, but it's something you sign up for if you want the privilege of, holy crap dude!
Consider this. Consider what I'm about to tell you. And if you can relay this, because you're probably going to put this in text, so you're not going to effectively relay the energy you're about feel from me, because you're going to see me light up when I talk about this. I lost somewhere between $10-$15m on this game, but I wouldn't trade it for the world, because you know what I got to do? I got to work with Syd Mead. We got to recreate the Sulaco. I got to play with Stan Winston's original prop of the Alien queen. I got to f**king touch it and interact with it and use it. We got to rebuild Hadley's Hope with Syd Mead's direction, for all the rooms that were never built in the sets, all the rooms that were never shot on film. We got to do that.
Aliens is one of my favourite films of all time and I got to spend time in that space. We built APCs and frickin' Power Loaders and Dropships. And I get that you or somebody else might think the game is sh*t and I'm sorry. I really wish you'd loved it, because I exist to try to entertain people like you, but I still got to have those experiences, and honestly, I'd do it again. I would absolutely do it again. And the results could be twice as bad, and I still wouldn't have traded it for anything in the world.
I do have one regret. One of the first meetings that happened was when Brian Martel and David Eddings sat down with Ridley Scott long before there was any deal signed. F**king Ridley Scott, man. And they're talking about possibilities, and Mr. Scott calls for one of his assistants to brings in his original storyboards he'd hand drawn. He blows the dust off the book, opens it up, and is going through the original storyboard. The thing I regret most is I was not at that frickin' meeting. That sucks, man! I missed out on that!
Eurogamer: That is a fantastic experience and I totally get that. But this is an interesting debate and it's one I want to have with you. I think much of the feeling about Aliens and yourself is based on an idea people feel misled by gameplay footage released before the game came out. I'd love to get your take on that specific point.
Randy Pitchford: It's hard to deal with without talking with any specific individual. Because I have engaged some people on this, and invariably there are slightly different things. One guy I engaged with was like, well, you know, I just thought it was crap when all these Weyland-Yutani soldiers showed up.
Another person I engaged with it was like, the aliens were really stupid, they just sort of ran at me. I was like, kind of like they did in the movie? They're bugs. What are you expecting? Smart flanking manoeuvres? It's kind of weird.
Eurogamer: I'll make a specific point, which is the graphical quality of the game.
Randy Pitchford: What about the graphical quality of the game? I thought it was great.
Randy Pitchford: Yeah. So one decision that was tricky was, there's platform parity issues, so a PS3 is not as strong as an Xbox 360, which is not as strong as a state of the art PC. So if you play the game on a PC you're getting the best graphics. And whenever they make trailers, they always use the PC version. But it's kind of a trick, the fact that PC content is used to market the game when there's different versions. Pick any game.
Eurogamer: You admit it's a trick then, so why do it?
Randy Pitchford: Well I don't do it. I'm not a publisher. I'm a developer. I'm actually not responsible for any marketing. They'll put me up there and ask me to talk about the game I'm working on, and I'm excited. I don't do anything I'm not thrilled about. So you'll feel the energy come off of me.
And in fact there was one point... I don't want to get into that. But sometimes I get kind of concerned about how they're representing the game and I try to make a point.
Eurogamer: What do you mean?
Randy Pitchford: I'm not going to get into it. But what's funny is the PC version when the game shipped, there's this problem with platform parity, and a decision was made - I don't remember exactly who made it - let's ship all the platforms with the same level of content. And it wasn't until somewhere between three and six weeks later, where the highest fidelity materials were re-released for the PC and it was a massive patch. But I don't know how much that affected things. It's hard to say.
Eurogamer: Are you suggesting this feeling some have of being misled by the footage they saw of the game when they compared it to the game they bought is because of some kind of platform parity?
Randy Pitchford: No, not at all. When people were playing the final game and just thinking about the graphics in general, I think that had an effect for PC gamers, and I think that effect probably affected the zeitgeist.
The actual trailers, the actual promotional material, it's the same as every video game campaign that's ever happened, where, okay, here's a thing that's kind of quick cuts, okay, here's something they did with a CG thing... that's just the publisher selling the game and using the content. As far as I know, all that stuff was straight up. All that stuff was above board. I didn't make those materials. I didn't cut them. I don't know. But the publisher just has the game to work with.
This is premise you're trying to get at, and this is another conspiracy theory: let's trick people, and that's how we're going to make money on this.
Eurogamer: Yes. That is the sentiment. That's where this feeling of being misled comes from.
Randy Pitchford: But that's also an absurd premise, because here's the reality: pre-orders for that game were sub-150,000 units global. About 130,000 units. The game ended up selling 1.5m. The pre-orders are less than 10 per cent. And if you build bad will, you have no hope of a tail. So any strategy that's predicated on that is a failed strategy before it begins. That is not a strategy that can ever win. And it's not a strategy that any rational marketer should ever even consider.
Any time the game is being talked about by any developer it's sincere. It's not about misleading. People get passionate about this stuff. Marketing efforts are just marketing efforts. The idea, the premise that, ah! That's, like, no, that's a sure-fire way to do the opposite of winning. The whole premise is just absurd. And anyone who's ever actually been in this business should know that.
It's one of those weird things. It comes back to that point I made earlier: I didn't like the game, I expected I would because of Gearbox, something must be wrong. And so the speculation of what's wrong is where all these hypotheses are invented. But the most simple and obvious answer is, they just made a game I didn't like. They tried to make a game I liked and I didn't like it. It's like that weird track on the b-side of the White Album.
Eurogamer: Within the court documents there is an email from an employee of Sega who says Gearbox verified that E3 demo as indeed, and I quote, "the bar we should use to determine where the entire game will be". I should point that out as you say the marketing wasn't down to Gearbox.
Randy Pitchford: I don't know the email you're talking about or who sent it.
Eurogamer: I can tell you...
Randy Pitchford: But think about that in the context of the intent and the reality. The reality proved true. Here's the fidelity of the content. And in fact, almost all of the assets in that E3 2011 demo are in the actual final game. They're the same aliens. They're the same marines. They're some of the exact same set-pieces, identical. Things are reconfigured, but it's the same stuff. And that is the bar. And that was the actual engine.
One claim was, that was all CG. That's f**king absurd. That's crazy. It's unreal! It's the engine. I can't even believe anyone gives that claim any credibility, and yet it still persists.
Eurogamer: We've seen 343 apologise for f**king up Halo. We've seen Ubisoft apologise for f**king up Assassin's Creed. Have you ever considered apologising?
Randy Pitchford: Apologising for what? Because I think earlier in the conversation I said I'm sorry if you didn't like it. I want you to like it, and I failed if you didn't.
Eurogamer: I sense a lot of people who do feel misled, if you just held your hands up and said, yeah, the game didn't turn out as well as we'd hoped, then essentially a lot of this would go away. And I'm just wondering if you've ever been tempted to say that.
Randy Pitchford: I've already said the outcome absolutely did not reach what I wished for. I wanted people to like it and I wanted to make money, not lose money. Absolutely. But this is the world we live in. The market decides and we have to accept the reality of what the market decides, and that's the world we're living in.
But if someone says, you committed fraud, you're the liar... I remember around launch time, we'd worked our asses off over too long, and, you know, it's here, and some people are saying nice things, and I think I retweeted some of those. And some people were saying sh*tty things, and I obviously don't retweet those. That's natural. Every person would do that. Someone invented this premise the people I were retweeting who were saying nice things were invented accounts, were fabricated accounts. Someone believed it was just unanimous that no-one could possibly like it. That person was so motivated to convince the other people they could reach that I am a liar, was willing to lie themselves. That's offensive and it should be offensive to everyone who cares about truth and decency.
I hate it when people aren't entertained by the work we create. I hate it. That's the only reason why I exist. But what am I to do? We've already suffered and we continue to suffer. People will not trust us as much in the future. Do you think Fox is ever going to let me have another swing at Aliens? Come on.
Eurogamer: I assume you won't work with Sega again.
Randy Pitchford: That won't happen for a lot of different reasons, but that doesn't help anyone to get into that.
Look at what we did with Half-Life, and look at what we did with Halo and some of the other things we worked on. We could of been the J.J. Abrams of video game licenses. That's probably out the window now, right?
Eurogamer: I take your point.
Randy Pitchford: So the world works itself out. But it's cool, man. It's fine. We gave it a shot and we didn't have the right stuff. So the market judged us, decided it didn't like what we did. I thought it was amazing.
Randy Pitchford: Did you happen to see Aliens before seeing Alien 3.
Eurogamer: Oh yeah.
Randy Pitchford: What did you think of Alien 3?
Eurogamer: I didn't think it was as good. I didn't think it was terrible, but I didn't think it was as good.
Randy Pitchford: I think I felt about Alien 3 what presumably you and a lot of other people feel about Aliens: Colonial Marines. And I think David Fincher's a great film maker, and I'm glad that didn't end his career as it started, because he's done a lot of great things. But I thought the movie was terrible. I'd learned later there were a lot of reasons for why it was the way it is. There were constraints on who he could cast, and his budget and his timing.
Eurogamer: This is what I'm trying to get at with you. What were the reasons for it?
Randy Pitchford: You can put all of the hate on me. If you're trying to ask me to put someone else under the bus, it's not going to happen. I'll take the hate.
Eurogamer: Not at all!
Randy Pitchford: Let me get to my point on this: the thing I thought was wrong was, I wanted an escalation. We went from Alien and a single alien to Aliens where there's a lot of it. And the threat was, what if they get back to earth? What if the sh*t escalates? These things are dangerous, and here are some people who think they can control this and try to commodotise it. That was the question: it was man versus nature. I thought that question was interesting and I thought it just got snuffed out. And in the process, the heroes of the film got snuffed out. Hicks died before the film even started.
We thought, we have an opportunity. Let's make the film we wanted, the experience we wanted, let's do it as a video game. And we wanted some other things, too. I wanted to go back on to the Sulaco. I wanted to go back to Hadley's Hope. So in one way I wanted to make Aliens, but we've already had that. So how do you get those experiences in a new story? And that's what we crafted.
Some of the things people objected to were like, why are the Weyland-Yutani guys there? There's a story logic for why that all happens. I think it makes a lot of sense and I really quite like it. When it was pointed out to me by one of the guys on the team, you know, the only evidence we have that Hicks is dead is they showed a charred body in an escape pod. What if that wasn't Hicks? Oh sh*t!
Maybe it's a bad kind of retconning. At the time I thought this was fixing a mistake and doing it in a way that's absolutely plausible with the storyline. We told that story. And in fact, people liked the DLC. If you look at the feedback for the DLC it actually did pretty well. There were probably a lot of things going on there. Maybe a Star Wars Episode 2 kind of syndrome, where we were so negative about Episode 1 that anything feels better by comparison. Maybe that's some of it. I don't know. I think a lot of it is because the people who were still engaged and playing were people who actually liked it, so they were more likely to be the louder voices.
That DLC combined with the set-up we did in the original story showed how that all took place and how, in fact, that was a Weyland-Yutani guy that ended up in that thing, that Hicks put in there in a bit of a scuffle. It was a really cool twist on the story I thought that enabled the character we liked the most to not actually be dead.
I thought there were lots of cool things we did like that. Being able to go out to the derelict. Having the derelict, the iconic thing from Alien, in the same narrative construct as Hadley's Hope and the Sulaco, that's f***ing cool, man! We know the derelict was there, because that's how Hadley's Hope got infected when they went out to it, but we didn't get to see them both in the same film.
Eurogamer: It's clear you're passionate about Aliens.
Randy Pitchford: I love this stuff. It's so cool, man. I'm sad it didn't work and I'm sad people didn't get it. I would have loved to have kept going with it. Sega didn't know what to do. When the press started coming at it they just clammed up and told us to shut the f**k up. So that was sad, too, because we think we had something. I think our multiplayer game was super fun and awesome. People still play Bug Hunt. We still have lots of people playing Bug Hunt. It's a great game. I think there was something there.
Eurogamer: In a tweet you said you wished you'd had an extra two months. I saw that and thought it was interesting. What could you have done that you didn't do?
Randy Pitchford: There were a lot of polish issues. The problem was... I'm going to leave that.
Eurogamer: This is the first time certainly we've had the opportunity to talk to you about it, and the impression I got was you seemed to be willing to talk about it on Twitter in recent days, and I hadn't seen you talk about it on Twitter before, so it felt like you were ready to talk about it.
Randy Pitchford: It's not that I'm ready. I really would hope not to. I'm generally transparent. When the litigation was going on it was just a gag order.
Eurogamer: And now that's over?
Randy Pitchford: It's over. The courts have decided those claims are not pursuable. It was funny, some guy on Twitter said, 'I just want the truth.' I said, look, you're not accepting what I'm telling you, because I've already offered you something, and you're not accepting that, you're also not accepting what the court said, I don't know what I can do for you. Because if those things are the truth and you're not accepting them, then you don't want the truth. You just want me to say what you want to hear. And he said, just because a court decided something doesn't absolve you of any accountability. Actually that's exactly what that means. You don't get it. This has been litigated. It's over.
Here's the thing: there are going to be folks for whom it doesn't matter what is said, it doesn't actually matter what the truth is. There are people who have decided I'm a villain and they're going to continue that narrative. And that's fine. They're free to do that.
There are other folks who maybe can see it for what it is. We should always be sceptical about offerings. But I hope when we make entertainment in the future - because we're just going to keep making entertainment, that's why we exist - and I hope when we make entertainment in the future that should be the kind of entertainment some of these people like, that they actually give it a chance. And if it's worthy of their joy, they give it that opportunity to create the joy for them. Because that's the only purpose we have, is to try and make joy and happiness and to create entertainment for folks who like video games.
We will keep going and sometimes we'll have good stuff, and sometimes we'll have those weird tracks on the b-side of the White Album.