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Double Fine's Tim Schafer

On Psychonauts, motion control and more.

EurogamerI'll put it in brackets.
Tim Schafer

Yeah, put it in brackets. [Irish accent] Ah, the game will tell you what she wants.

I don't even know why Irish.

EurogamerIf you had the opportunity to work with Activision in the future, would you say, 'No chance?'
Tim Schafer

I never actually talked to them, really! I never actually met them, it was all lawyers. They did not... I don't know what to say about those guys. I don't want to get sued again.

It's a small industry. You don't want to burn any bridge because you never know. But once somebody sues you... Maybe that bridge is pretty burned.

You can't waste your time getting mad at a company, because a company doesn't really exist. A company's just an idea. It's like, in the old days I used to be really loyal to companies. I used to be really loyal to Atari growing up because I had an Atari computer, and I was constantly confounded by the different choices they were making.

I was like, 'Oh! Why is my loyalty not being rewarded?' And then I realised, oh, that's because I'm being loyal to a collective corporate structure, which is absolutely meaningless. So, hating Activision, loving Atari, it's all the same thing. There are people over there I hate, don't get me wrong.

EurogamerWhat do you think about Bobby Kotick? He's a person.
Bobby Kotick. He's a person.
Tim Schafer

He is. Well, allegedly. Ah... I don't know.

EurogamerI'll tell you what I think.
Tim Schafer

What do you think?

EurogamerI think he's a bit misunderstood because he's trying to make lots of money when people think he has an obligation to make gamers happy.
Tim Schafer

His obligation is to his shareholders. Well, he doesn't have to be as much of a dick about it, does he? I think there is a way he can do it without being a total prick. It seems like it would be possible. It's not something he's interested in.

EurogamerWhy should he care?
Tim Schafer

Well, he makes a big deal about not liking games, and I just don't think that attitude is good for games in general. I don't think we're an industry of widgets. I don't think we can approach it like we approach bars of soap, where you're just trying to make the cheapest bar of soap.

Modern Warfare 2 pleased more than just the shareholders, to be fair.

He definitely has that that kind of widget-maker attitude. I don't think he's great for the industry, overall. You can't just latch onto something when it's popular and then squeeze the life out of it and then move on to the next one. You have to at some point create something, build something.

EurogamerDo you remember when he was quoted as saying, 'I want to take all of the fun out of making games?'
Tim Schafer

I've never understood the context of that. What did he mean by that?

EurogamerI've heard Blizzard describe it as a joke that didn't come off.
Tim Schafer

Isn't that what politicians say every time they make some sort of racist joke or inappropriate comment? They're like, 'Oh, that was just my lame attempt at humour.' Because everyone's willing to believe they have a bad sense of humour.

I don't understand why he would want to do that. Hopefully he'll go back to another industry soon.