I don’t remember Randy Pitchford ever being so talkative. Maybe the kerfuffle that was Duke Nukem Forever brought out the Gearbox CEO’s chatter side. More likely, we’re just writing about him more and today, I won’t be doing my part to end the cycle. Pitchford recently gave his opinion on THQ’s attempt to push Activision’s Call of Duty around with Homefront.
Speaking to Gamasutra, Pitchford says that tackling the behemoth series head-on was not “the best strategy”. THQ obviously could see the delicious cash pie sitting in the oven of the FPS genre and wanted a bite, but the CEO says it should have gone about snatching a slice in a smarter, not bigger, way:
To compete with Call of Duty, he said, “you really have to go for it. You really have to spend a lot. You have to not only out brute-force the market leader, but out-clever them. The game has to be better, the marketing and production better have to be… Everything has to be bigger and better.”
Pitchford can stand behind his words — Gearbox’s own Borderlands is a shooter, but it brings a lot more to the table, including a Diablo-like mentality, enough that you would hardly put it side-by-side with Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3. I dare say they appeal to different types of gamers — I couldn’t give a stuff about the next CoD, but I played the hell out of Borderlands and will likewise give the sequel a good workout.
To THQ’s credit, it has put this “do it smarter” advice into practise previously with Red Faction: Guerrilla and Saints Row: The Third. Unfortunately, it just couldn’t capitalise on or repeat these successes.