Video Game Industry Trash Talk

"Our view of the 'Game Boy experience' is that it's a great babysitting tool, something young kids do on airplanes, but no self-respecting twenty-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those."

Those are the words of Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton, speaking to CNN last week. As well as laying into Nintendo he also took some calculated shots at Microsoft, which caused a bit of a stir.
Such trash talk and bravado is common place in the video game industry, as it seems that not a week goes by without someone opening their mouth and releasing some verbal gold. With some vigorous Googling and the use of a number of website resources (1UP, Edge magazine, Gamesradar, Wikipedia, IGN, Kotaku and I have gathered together some of my favourite gaming barbs. They are a mix of blistering attacks - some misguided others spot-on - as well as some quality unintentional comedy.

1. Which team are you on?
"I really didn't want to launch Saturn at all, if truth be known." 
-Tom Kalinske, ex SEGA President.
"The Saturn is not our future." 
-Bernard Stolar, Kalinske’s successor, speaking to the press at E3 in 1997.
Is it any wonder that these were the final days of SEGA as a console manufacturer? 

2. The “fuck you” ad (see above)

Say what you want about their ability to mismanage a console, but SEGA could still teach the competition a thing or two about advertising.

3. Punking Pikachu
"Nintendo knows its target audience, because it has really narrowed that down; and it’s pretty much defined by a boy or girl’s ability to admire Pokemon." 
-Phil Harrison, former executive VP of Sony Europe, on Nintendo fans.

4. Slagging off the Customer
"[RPG players] are depressed gamers who like to sit alone in their dark rooms and play slow games."
-Hiroshi Yamauchi, former Nintendo President

5. The Jaffe
“TO THE LAME ASS WEBSITE THAT SHALL GO UNNAMED- F*ck you, guys. Go f*ck yourselves. What other developer makes a f*cking change to a game when a review (IGN's in this case) has a good, valid point and is willing to open the f*cking code up at the risk of more bugs to make the game better? Amazing. But hey, you guys are great, you guys rock. I hope Kotaku f*cking puts your ass out of business, wanna be f*cktards. And if you were actual journalists you would have read the motherf*cking quote I posted on NEOGAF where I said because of the two bugs we needed to fix (not because I was afraid of the bargin bin) we had a window of opp. to fix the magnet problem. f*cking assholes."
-David Jaffe disagreeing with Joystiq’s take on his game “Calling All Cars”.
I give you the director of Twisted Metal and God of War. Now you can finally see where the aggression in those games came from!

6. Shooting From the Hip
“It was such a bollocking useless waste of space; just getting stuff on it was ridiculous."
-Codemasters VP Gavin Cheshire on the PSP
I think that is the most eloquent description of developing for the PSP that I have ever heard. Thank god they didn’t have him developing for the Saturn!

7. Patriotism
"I look around Tokyo Games Show, and everyone's making awful games. Japan is at least five years behind."
-Former Capcom R&D head Keiji Inafune
Apart from Capcom of course, who are entirely faultless. Mega Man Universe, anyone?

8. Bobby Kotick Vs. the World
"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."
-Double Fine president Tim Schafer
From Edge Magazine: “Tim Schafer. The guy comes out and says I’m a prick. I’ve never met him in my life – I’ve never had anything to do with him. I never had any involvement in the Vivendi project that they were doing, Brütal Legend, other than I was in one meeting where the guys looked at it and said, ‘He’s late, he’s missed every milestone, he’s overspent the budget and it doesn’t seem like a good game. We’re going to cancel it. And do you know what? That seemed like a sensible thing to do,” he added. “And it turns out, he was late, he missed every milestone, the game was not a particularly good game…”
-Bobby Kotick, Activison Blizzard CEO
Touche, Mr Kottick. Say what you want about Bobby, but it would appear that at the very least he did play Brutal Legend. His quote should be plastered on the front cover of every copy of Brutal Legend - "Not a particularly good game" B. Kotick.

9. Giving Your Lawyer a Heart Attack

Pound me in the ass with no lube, chafing
You're fucking with the dude who got the keys to your safe and
Those that can't do bring suits
Cry to your Uncle Sam to settle disputes
Thought you'd tackle this with a little more tact
But then again fudgepackers, I don't know Jack
-George Hotz, hacker of the PS3, rapping about being sued by Sony, in a Youtube clip
I can’t remember the last time someone became this unlikable in such a short time. Any sympathy I had for Mr Geohot – which was very little from the outset - quickly went out of the window once I heard this. Forget the hacking, his lyrical performance alone was criminal.

10. Save the Best for Last

The following are all attributed to Jack Thompson; disbarred attorney and anti-video game activist.  Jack is such a polarising figure that I found it a little difficult to verify whether these quotes were 100% genuine, and not spiced up as retribution, though they are clearly attributed to him in a number of different places online. Still, as I’m sure Jack would agree, you should never let facts get in the way of a good story. Enjoy.

“This is not rocket science. When a kid who has never killed anyone in his life goes on a rampage and looks like the Terminator, he's a video gamer."
“Take-Two (GTA publisher) has just had sex with the Lady holding the scales of Justice.”
"GTA is a Sony/Take-Two game. It was made by Take-Two exclusively for Sony's Playstation 2. Sony has led the planet in the distribution of mainstream porn. I don't have time to document it for you. As for the offensiveness of the Pearl Harbor comment, it's accurate and it's needed. The Japanese have a contempt for our culture which is patent. There [sic] dumping of garbage into our culture is a slow motion version of Pearl Harbor."
"We don’t need to play the game; it’s irrelevant to the subject." (in response to an interviewer's question about the fairness of protesting a game that has not yet been released)


  1. This kind of stuff is always fun. Also, this blog reminded me that I miss when Phil was at Sony. He was pretty great back then.

  2. There are no shortage of these kind of quotes, and Phil seems to have some of the best of them.


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