Friday, August 27, 2010

Is management the only one to blame?

MMO Fallout is reporting on bitter ex employees blaming their management for the failure of All Points Bulletin. I've seen that happening a lot, and always found that discussion a bit one-sided, as most managers not named Derek Smart either have the common sense or a legal obligation to not reveal internal company information about the development of a game. Mark Jacobs recently resurfaced and mentioned that he had been under legal obligation to keep his mouth shut for a year after being fired from EA Mythic.

There is absolutely no doubt that bad management can do great harm to any project, including the project of developing a game. But I always found the story of "management is to blame for everything" a bit too smooth and easy. If the game had been a big success, would the developers have said "oh, I didn't play any part in this, the success is all due to good management"? I find it more likely that in cases like these there is some blame to be shared among all participants, from investors, to management, to game developers, and even other employees. What do you think?

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