Harvey Smith Is A Lone Ranger

By John Walker on November 30th, 2007 at 10:55 pm.

Blimey, it’s been a busy day for videogame gossip. And there’s more.

Harvey's the one on the right.

As you probably already heard, Harvey Smith has left Midway a couple of days after his rather ineloquent comments about BlackSite: Area 51. His infamous “so fucked up” speech really did sound like the last thing anyone gets to say when representing a company. And indeed, it was.

After his tribute to Gerald Ratner questions were asked about how likely Smith would be to stay on to develop BlackSite 2. But then the explanation was given that his job had come to an end before the words were uttered.

Not so, say Shacknews, accompanied by an “allegedly”. The site is reporting that he was still on the payroll at the time. According to their source,

A Midway executive allegedly referred to Smith’s talk as “his public resignation.”

Mr Smith, we have a suggestion. We’ve heard rumblings that there’s a new project going on at Eidos Montreal, for a game you might recognise. And come on, Montreal’s far lovelier than Austin. Go on. Goooooo on.

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18 Comments »

  1. kuddles says:

    I still wouldn’t be surprised if he already knew he was leaving the company beforehand. I doubt you would make the comments he did about a game less than three weeks old and be shocked your employer wasn’t fine and dandy about it.

  2. John Walker says:

    Or more likely he’d made up his mind to go.

  3. Frank says:

    NO!

    NO! This no-talent hack already pissed all over the franchise “Eidos Montreal” is working on. I hope if he does try going there, they meet him at the door with a cocked shotgun.

  4. Waffles says:

    Wait, are you sure you want him on DX3?
    Remember who was the boss on Invisible Wars?

    How many successful games have he actually made?
    DX? The one where Warren Spector, not he, was in charge?
    The Ultima stuff? Where Richard Garriot was in charge?

    While the ones he did make on his own…
    Invisible War? Yuck.
    Blacksite? Well, ask the man himself how successful that is. ;)

    Ok, I’m not saying he sucks as a designer, just that we don’t have much concrete evidence of his awesomeness. He’s been involved in some kick-ass games, but never as lead designer or project lead. The projects he did lead ended up disappointing.

    Ok, so he’s an interesting character, and makes some interesting interviews, and is very opinionated and so on, fine, but I’m not convinced he’s the one Deus Ex 3 needs.

  5. cpt.whistlepants says:

    I just want to say THANK YOU to RPS for pushing the frontline on issues in the PC gaming arena. You guys fn rock.

  6. Prospero424 says:

    Having lived in both, I can confidently sway that Montreal is not, by any means, “lovelier” than Austin.

    Quite the contrary.

    I mean, I love both cities, and the people are great in both places, but the climate and the natural beauty surrounding Austin is far lovelier.

    The point still stands, though: he should be working on Deus Ex 3, dammit.

  7. Radiant says:

    The strippers in Montreal are incredible.
    And as far as I could tell a lot of it was natural.

  8. Clavain says:

    Just to comment on the Deus Ex 2 thing, I thought it was a good game. Most of the fan criticism was PC v Console snobbery. Claims of ‘dumbing down’ were exaggerated. Funny how the very streamlined interfaces of Bioshock or Gears of War didn’t get the same uproar.
    Now that can of worms has been opened I’ll go hide.

  9. Sombrero says:

    Gears of Wars was a console game, Bioshock and DX2 where PC Games trying to squeeze into a console interface both done a bad job of it, DX2 was just the first

  10. Inflatable Moron says:

    He’s an interesting man and a good designer. However i do think that there probably was a reason he left Ion Storm. Perhaps he is just sick of the Deus Ex franchise. I would be happy for him to join the Montreal team but i doubt it will happen.

  11. Joe says:

    Just FYI: Harvey didn’t make these comments in a speech, or as part of a presentation. He was speaking to a lone guy, in what he thought was an off the record chat. Obviously it wasn’t.
    He apologized to the team at the Austin studio about this.
    I’m not making excuses because I still think he’s a dick for what he said, but it’s a slightly different situation to that which has been reported.

  12. Masked Dave says:

    I liked DX2, it was a solid shooter, but it does appear that they are trying with 3 to go back to the more complicated gameplay of the first, an decision that I don’t think would gel with Smith.

  13. JP says:

    Joe, why do you think he was a dick for what he said?

  14. kadayi says:

    “Claims of ‘dumbing down’ were exaggerated. Funny how the very streamlined interfaces of Bioshock or Gears of War didn’t get the same uproar.”

    No they weren’t, the game was hideously compromised (level size, number of AI ingame, etc, etc), and there has been plenty of uproar at the dumping down of Bioshock, vs System Shock 2 in terms of interface.

  15. Joe says:

    JP.
    My thoughts on this can be read in a previous thread: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/?p=659#comments

  16. alexgreend says:

    That is a good story.

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  17. hearme says:

    Thanks Major Pain for doing what more of us need to do more often… To those of you living near a Veterans Hospital..