Gears of War lead designer Cliff Bleszinski has no plans to emulate Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack and tackle his critics in "Internet flame wars", insisting: "If you do a good enough job, your fans will come to your aid and defend you."
The artist formerly known as CliffyB, who was speaking to Eurogamer TV in London ahead of the release of Gears of War 2, argued that it was futile to engage with dissenters on forums, because "whenever something becomes large or successful then there's always a certain percentage of backlash where it becomes cool to hate what's universally accepted as something that's stellar or very interesting."
Dyack infamously launched an attack against critics of Too Human via a post on NeoGAF, urging anonymous hecklers to "stand up and be counted", while defending the quality of his game.
But Bleszinski, who has been cultivated as the high-profile frontman for the Gears of War franchise, believes criticism comes with the territory. "You have to have thick skin to be in this business and be some sort of public figure," he explained. "I think one needs to be very careful when dealing with those kinds of criticisms on the Internet, because you're never going to fully get rid of it."
With specific reference to you, dear reader, he added: "Eurogamer commenters aren't huge fans of me; it's highly amusing to read. I believe I've been called a wanker numerous times. You can't take it to heart, man. The Internet sometimes facilitates dickishness; I don't know why that is, but it is. You can call me whatever the hell you want as long as you play Gears of War 2 and give it a fair shake."
The original Gears of War, you may recall, received an eight out of ten in its Eurogamer review. Confident in the quality of his sequel, Bleszinski expects better this time. "I'm hoping it'll get a nine or a ten or I'm going to find you and kick you in the bollocks. One ball at a time." Ouch.
Gears of War 2 releases exclusively on Xbox 360 on 7th November. You can see more from our exclusive interview with Bleszinski over on Eurogamer TV. Be sure to check out our Gears of War 2 hands-on preview for a playthrough of the first act and some thoughts on multiplayer. too.