Reply To: Ken & The Bilestoad

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(re: Ken & The Bilestoad) I remember seeing Bilestoad, but don’t remember evaluating it for publishing, and turning it down.
I am opposed to violent games. Flight Simulators didn’t bother me, such as our Red Baron game — but, a game like Bilestoad, with people hacking off arms really wouldn’t have been my style.
That said, I did publish Half-Life and Phantasmagoria …
My overall philosophy is: Children need protected, adults don’t. If adults want to buy a particular product, let them. My job was to find products that our customers wanted to buy, and bring them to market. We published everything from Micky Mouse to the Playboy Calendar on CD-Rom – seriously. I am opposed to the idea that large media companies get to decide for me what I can watch, read or listen to. I understand, and support, the need to protect children, but I am not a child, and neither were many of Sierra’s customers.
I do confess that if there were two products to publish, and one reinforced positive values, and the other was a hack and slash — I fought to publish the “good” game. For the most part, we avoided publishing violent software, but it wasn’t because we had a rule against it. I felt it was better for Sierra’s overall image, and the industry, to promote products that conveyed positive values, and to the extent that it didn’t adversely affect the bottom line, that’s where I focused.
Which is a long way of saying – if I turned down Bilestoad, it was probably because I didn’t believe it would be a hit, or because the deal was wrong, not because of its content. I don’t recall ever turning down a product that I thought would be a hit, and that we could make money with. It wouldn’t be my style…
-Ken W