Usually it's the developers who get a chance to vent at GDC, but this time the publishers gave their two cents. Greg Costikyan, who ranted last year as a developer, spoke again at this session, this time on the publishers' side of things.
"The console manufacturers have a choke hold on the industry, for which you may blame Nintendo."
Costikyan called listeners' attention back to 1985 when Nintendo began its deliciously evil scheme of making publishers pay royalties for a game at its manufacture, regardless of sales.
But Costikyan wasn't the only one who had beef with the Mario Mafia. GDC mainstay and developer Chris Hecker was given a chance to speak on the developers' behalf during the session. His complaints in previous rants had been directed at Microsoft and Sony for making multi-core monsters that tout graphics over smart game design. This time, Hecker had a little something to say about everyone's favorite console.
"The way you manufacture a Wii is you take two GameCubes and duct tape."
Not really surprising, but Hecker doesn't like that Nintendo's newest console is ridiculously underpowered, among other complaints. He also made some tongue-in-cheek comments about Nintendo's stance on games as a medium.
"It's not clear to me that Nintendo gives a shit about gaming as an art form."
I also liked the anecdote Lee Jacobson of Midway gave about working with a supposedly multi-team game developer. He said he met with team 1 of the unnamed developer, went to lunch, and then came back and met team 2. It didn't take him long to realize many members of the second team were repeats from the first, only with different clothes...