Do Games Really Need Writers?

GameSetWatch has reprinted a post from Adam Maxwell complaining about the status of writers in the game industry, claiming that games don't need writers, and they frequently just complicate the process:

... as a part of my job on Dirty Harry, I met with our writer once a week to discuss the story, his progress in the script, changes we had made to the game that he had to accommodate. It was a great process that really helped the game, but it was also a 3-4 hour event, once a week.

During that time, I was not balancing weapons, implementing core game play systems or overseeing the work of the rest of the team, which was what my job description actually called for.

Maybe it's just me, but my jobs frequently have me doing things that aren't in the job description, yet I'm expected to do them anyways. I have to say the argument that 'plenty of designers can do double duty as writers!' is lost on me, since I agree with the commenter who noted that a lot of people out there think they can write, but their skills are somewhat lacking. Clearly not all games need writers, and clearly not all writers are suited for game writing - but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.

The Case Against Writers In The Games Industry [GameSetWatch]


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