The man who made GoldenEye • Page 2

Martin Hollis on life, another life and art.

Eurogamer: It's been 10 years since you founded Zoonami. How have you changed over that time?

Martin Hollis: The next decade is going to be a different decade – I feel that very strongly. I'm slightly more mature. I still have very mixed feelings about the traditional publisher/developer relationship. That's still very difficult.

Eurogamer: How so?

Martin Hollis: It's pretty much the same as it's always been, but it always feels to me that it's harder than it should be. I can't really explain why, but I always find it difficult over the course of a project to maintain a good relationship with a corporation that's outside the walls of the building. That's probably because of the way I prefer working with people, which is close to them and actually meeting them and talking to them as often as possible, rather than through documents or even email and voice conferences. That's not my natural habitat.

I do struggle, and sometimes I feel they're struggling as well to communicate well and maintain a good rapport.

Eurogamer: Has that had a direct impact on the games you've made?

Martin Hollis: I don't know if it has an impact on the games I make. It's been 17 years since I made any games on my own, off my own back, with no one else sending me money. I can't say objectively whether I could work like that, but I'm thinking about it.

I do know it takes something out of me emotionally – the traditional developer/publisher relationship. Increasingly I feel I have to rest and I can't go from one project into another.

Eurogamer: You can self-publish these days.

Martin Hollis: You can, but there are several questions you have to ask yourself very seriously. Am I good at marketing and PR? Do I want to develop those skills? Is it something I want to dedicate a good fraction of my life to? That's exactly the point. It is a symbiotic relationship.

Eurogamer: Does having to PR and market a videogame depress you?

Martin Hollis: I don't think so. I'm pretty pragmatic about it, generally. I'm very good at seeing other people's point of view, typically, and I can see exactly what it's like to be sitting behind a marketing desk and want products you can sell and people can comprehend quickly. I can see how those things are important and I sympathise entirely with that.

Eurogamer: Do you get bored of being asked about GoldenEye?

Martin Hollis: Not really. I try and take a respectful stance. I was very privileged to be there and be a part of that. Not everyone gets that opportunity. People do ask, 'Do you feel it's a bit of a burden?' No I don't, really. I'm proud of the work we did on that project. I'm content with my decision not to carry on in that exact line of work. I'm at peace with that.

It's an easy way for people to remember who I am and I don't really object to that.

Eurogamer: How would the last 10 years of your life have been different if GoldenEye hadn't turned out to be one of the greatest games of all time?

Martin Hollis: It would have been different in that portion, but I don't know how different it would have been overall.

Eurogamer: Would you still be doing what you're doing now?

Martin Hollis: Yeah, with a different flavour, but yeah, I think so. Looking at the world in 2010, my interest in technology, which goes back to my childhood, and my interest with creativity and with graphic art and music... There's nothing obvious I can think of that would be a better career for me.

Really I have to humbly accept it's my destiny to do that. If I had been born in the 18th Century I would have been a theatre director or something like that, but it's the 21st Century and it's videogames.

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About the author

Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Editor  |  wyp100

Wesley is Eurogamer's editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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