"Why Iíll Never Work on First-Person Shooters Again" says Microsoft Man

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E3 2012
E3 2012
OK, we've only just come across this blog post from Charles N. Cox who lists his job as, "Head of AAA strike teams for PS3, new platform education for Xbox, and agile micro-studios for mobile". Back in December last year, he apparently tried to kill that job by blog.

He said, "Microsoft has a term they like to throw around: a Career-Limiting Move (CLM). Refuse to take point on a major project from your manager? Youíve just committed a CLM. Accidentally send that witty, opinionated email to a wide audience that includes your Group Manager? CLM. Stand up and throw an iPad at Steve Ballmer at the annual Company Meeting? CLM! Just maybe, what Iím about to say is a Career-Limiting Move of its own. " He didn't but what he said was fascinating.

We picked up on it via VG247, which in turn picked up on it via Critical Distance which got it from Cox's own Boxing Day 2012 posting entitled:

"Why Iíll Never Work on First-Person Shooters Again"

In it he points out that, "Action games of all stripes make up about 20% of worldwide sales Ė run ní gun games made up 3 of the top 10 grossing games of 2011. Over 20M copies sold of Call of Duty: MW3. 10M for Battlefield 3. Those two games alone made up $1.5 billion at retail in 2011. Even if the publisher only nets $20 per copy, and a wild pessimistic guess at $100M for production costs (2x what it cost to make MW2) MW3 alone pulled in $350M in pure profit on that one title in launch year alone.

"The amount of cash up for grabs in the business of Shooting People in the Face is simply staggering."

He then explains that he lived, "this tightrope walk between building virtual violence while fashioning a safe space for the next generation Ė was forced to live in the same building that received countless letters, forum posts, YouTube videos, and more from angry gamers that threatened us Ė and our families Ė if we didnít deliver them the bloodthirsty experience they wanted, the one they demanded. The pressure in these pipes does not let up, not from any source. Experience it, and you can begin to see why executives feel they have no choice but to ride these rapids to the hazard of all."

Read the whole thing, it's old, but it's fascinating and somehow invigorating.
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