â€œF*** you very muchâ€ says Oddworld dev to EA
Not sure that I’ve seen such honesty in the game industry in a while
Note: Contains harsh language.
When it comes to business and public image, there's a lot of tight smiles and strained voices. This is definitely not the case between Oddworld Inhabitants studio founder Lorne Lanning and Electronic Arts. In an interview with Games Industry International on how he left the game business (and what he's been up to now that he's rejoined it) Lanning alleged that not only did EA try to buy them out, but that they spend the money they make on triple A games buying private jets and expensive cars.
"You won't be seeing our profit being spent on Ferraris and shit like that. Our profits are going back into games" said Lanning.
Regarding what he told to EA when they supposedly offered to buy his company out, Lanning claims he told them "Fuck you very much." He went on to say "That's not a sustainable model, that's a hostile acquisition," Lanning said of EA's plan to acquire the team. "That's why we had to strive to get independent. Rather than get into bed with someone we knew was a horrible bed partner we said 'let's stay virgins for longer'."
Lanning also added, on why they chose to remain independent that "Publishers are flying jets, do you think they care about the customers just one fucking percent? Not at all."
And what did EA have to say? "We wish Lorne luck on the game and recommend Lithium for the paranoia and Tourette Syndrome," said Corporate spokesman for EA, Jeff brown. “Nobody here remembers a jet, a Ferrari or an offer to buy his company," he told Games Industry.
Okay…it is pretty clear something went down between the publisher and Lanning, but EA's not telling.
Lanning indicated that there's more to tell but that he can't. "If fans heard me vent and were just like "you're a pussy, you're a complainer". You know what, you don't know the half of it. I don't mean to be condescending to fans it's just true. The real dirty shit we can't talk about because there's laws and all-powerful leaders."