STFU 2009: The 10 People We Hope Will Shut the F*** Up at This Year's E3
1. Steven Spielberg
Who He Is: Hollywood director; Oscar-winner; Boom Blox producer.
Why He Needs to STFU: It's nice to have some celebrity clout around the formerly not-always-ready-for-primetime videogame realm. But the amount of methane that flies out of Spielberg whenever he talks about games could single-handedly re-inflate the Hindenburg. I seriously doubt that Spielberg was anything close to resembling "hands-on" with the production of Boom Blox or its sequel, Boom Blox Bash Party -- so when he does his I'm-a-beleaguered-developer song-and-dance at E3, it comes off as more than a little insincere.
2. Media Molecule
Who They Are: Makers of LittleBigPlanet; makers of many award-acceptance speeches.
Why They Need to STFU: Media Molecule did the impossible in 2008: The formerly humble developer somehow moved from last year's speak-up list to this year's STFU list. In 12 short months Media Molecule went from being a tiny, mysterious, U.K.-based company to being more overexposed than poor old Susan Boyle. We fully realize that we created this monster by bringing M.M. to the stage countless times at the DICE Awards and the GDC Choice Awards and lavishing it with statues. But one more "You love us; you really, really love us!" moment and we'll chase you into the old windmill and set it on fire.
3. Will Wright
Who He Is: Father of the Sims; creator of Spore.
Why He Needs to STFU: We love hearing Wright talk as much as anybody. Heck, we'd gladly pay $1.99 per minute to hear him read his shopping list. ("Eggs. Milk. Beard shampoo.") That said, Wright currently suffers from what appears to be a chronic case of Peter Molyneuxitis. He built up Spore so much over the past five years that we practically expected it to cure cancer and resolve all conflict in the Middle East. When it finally shipped, it turned out to be a halfway-decent real-time strategy game that most of us stopped playing after two days. Will: Next time, less talk, more action, OK?
4. Satoru Iwata
Who He Is: President of Nintendo.
Why He Needs to STFU: We thought Reggie Fils-Aime was the source of Nintendo's evil. But like a final boss fight in a game, after you defeat Reggie, another, even more powerful boss appears. And that boss is Satoru Iwata. No one currently embodies Nintendo's preening, self-satisfied attitude quite like Gasbag-san. Have you noticed his ability to make workplace abuse sound cute during his speeches? Example from his GDC keynote: "My team said, 'We can do this in two years'; I told them that they had two weeks." (Peals of laughter usually ring out.) OK, we get it, Iwata, Nintendo is successful. But rubbing everyone's nose in it, repeatedly, with your charts and graphs at every opportunity, only makes us all anticipate the day when the tables turn on the Big N. once again. And that day will come. It's inevitable.
5. Jonathan Blow
Who He Is: Lead designer on Braid; Industry Pontificator.
Why He Needs to STFU: Braid was a wee bit mean-spirited. There was something very cruel at the heart of that game. How we cursed it out! Blame the way that the game relished in making us feel totally stupid. Still, we played it, Jon. We admired it, and we admired you, Mr. Blow. Until you started talking so much. And saying things like, and we quote, "And that sounds asshole-ish, and mean and snarky, but that's just how I'm feeling right now." And, worst of all, getting into pathetic, Denis Dyack-like pissing matches in the forums on Brainy Gamer. Three words: Rise above, man. You're better than this.
6. Hideo Kojima
Who He Is: Creator of Metal Gear Solid; namesake of Kojima Productions.
Why He Needs to STFU: Yes, your expensive eyeglasses are very cute, Hideo. But your games have gotten pretentious to the point of being insufferable. Just looking at that picture of you, we can tell that you're thinking of around 200 new ways to annoy us at this very moment. Let the endless cut scenes and nonsensical plotlines go. Cleanse your palate, and our palates, by making a game that is simple, and pure, and pleasant again. One more thing, Hideo: Teasing gamers about a Metal Gear Solid game that will come out in 2015 does absolutely nothing for anyone. Leave the teasing where it belongs: in schoolyards.
7. Quantic Dream's David Cage
Who He Is: Developer of the much-discussed Heavy Rain.
Why He Needs to STFU: It's official: We're interested in what you're doing. We're curious. We're even -- dare I say it? -- excited. Now, please stop talking about what you are going to do, and go away and make the best f***ing game you possibly can. We even said "please." And we never say please. Never.
8. Cammie Dunaway
Who She Is: Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Nintendo.
Why She Needs to STFU: After her infamous performance at last year's E3, during which she awkwardly snowboarded with Shaun White onstage at the Kodak Theater, and then polluted the game world with her condescending attitude, Ms. Dunaway earned herself the No. 8 spot on this list quite possibly for all time. It was like having a nightmare, in which you learn that your mom somehow got into the videogame business so that she could make games for her beloved ne'er-do-well son that were healthy and educational and good for him.
9. Bobby Kotick
Who He Is: CEO of Activision.
Why He Needs to STFU: Activision has done so many reprehensible things in the past two years that it's somehow managed to become the company that everyone accuses EA of being. Congratulations! Example: Remember last year, when Activision decided to forego E3 altogether, but then conveniently scheduled a press conference right down the road from the L.A. Convention Center during the show? All class, Bobby. With the company's knack for pimping out franchises until they are nothing but hollow shells of their former selves (see: Tony Hawk; see also: Guitar Hero), and its longstanding policy of not letting the press near review copies of its games before they ship (thus duping consumers into buying bad games, at least through the first few days of launch), Kotick and company have built their successful brand on bad karma.
10. Bungie's Harold Ryan
Who He Is: CEO of Bungie, creators of the Halo series.
Why He Needs to STFU: There will be some very big Halo news coming out of E3 next week, and Harold Ryan will be no doubt be showboating around in full-on smell-my-farts mode. Master Chief, and Halo, lost most of their gravitas with the arrival of Halo 2, then lost whatever remaining shreds of gravitas they had with Halo 3. Unless you've got something that makes sense this time, Harold, or unless you've got some high-res nude shots of Cortana, we really do not want to hear about it.