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Ex-Retro Director: "Everything We Do Sucks"

Matt Gardner
Armature Studio, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, Mark Pacini, Metroid Prime, Retro Studios

Ex-Retro Director: "Everything We Do Sucks"

Sometimes we're our own worst critics, and that seems especially true of ex-Retro Studios director Mark Pacini. In a new interview, Pacini has spoken of struggling to distance himself from the games that he and his teams have made over the years, particularly the Metroid Prime titles, saying that so often he finds himself too focused on the negative aspects of development.

"I never played any of the Metroid games after they were done, just because I was just so sick of them," Pacini told Game Informer. "When you work on something for two years straight, and play it for two years straight, it’s really hard to go back and distance yourself from it. When you’re in it, you don’t understand what you’re making, you’re just kind of trying to get it done and try to make the best decisions that you can. It’s hard to step back.

"It’s been a long time since we produced something, so for me I want Armature to be not the company that used to do Metroid Prime. I don’t want us to be just the guys that did that. This is going to be the first game that is truly an original Armature game, although it’s based on the property of an existing franchise. It’s our first step, and I think that from there we can continue on with making interesting games.

"What’s kind of cool now is that more independent games that are not mainstream are being looked at more seriously now, not by publishers, but by other alternate funding. There are a lot of other developers and other publishers that are wanting that sort of content that aren’t the $20, $30, $40 million games. They want to have these smaller games and I think that right now is a good opportunity to be an independent studio that has the potential to make those types of games. Not the indie games, not the big games, the in-betweeners. I think that’s it’s the right time for us."

With Armature currently working on the handheld Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, Pacini hopes that the fans won't be disappointed, and reveals the extent of the fear that went into the development oof the Metroid Prime titles.

"I hope we don’t disappoint them," he said. "That’s always my fear, because I think everything we do sucks. But that’s just me because I thought all the Prime games suck. At the end of the day all I see are all the bad things. Prime 2 was a blur to me. It was so quick, it was so fast. That thing just went out the door and it was a very divisive game. People either liked it or thought it sucked, and I can completely agree because I couldn’t tell you what that game was because it happened so quickly. Prime 1 was the best designed game. Prime 3 I feel is the most fun one to play. Prime 2 is divisive. You either like it or you don’t. That’s kind of the way I look at it.

"It is the same thing here with the Arkham game. All I see at this point, because we are knee deep, we’re in the woods right now in development, and all I see is all the crap that’s wrong with it. In my gut I feel like, yeah, it’s going to be cool. I’m excited for it. But at the same time, I hope we don’t disappoint people and I hope that they like it. We’re trying our hardest. I would like to play a game like this, so hopefully everyone else will, too."

If Blackgate "sucks" anything like the Metroid Prime titles, I think we'll be just fine to be honest.


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