id and Crytek are “risking failure,” Gearbox CEO says

Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford isn’t known for being softspoken. When he isn’t criticizing Valve, he’s telling OXM about how id Software and Crytek are approaching their engine technology with poorly timed strategy. His argument stems from the fact that this current generation may be sticking around longer than any other generation before it. “Anyone that built their strategies around the last generation timing, and is trying to employ those strategies today, is either being forced to adapt very quickly or is risking failure,” he said.┬áThis is going to be the longest generation we’ve seen in the last few of them.”

Pitchford believes that developers like id and Crytek are building technology for a generation leap nobody’s ready for. “Some people have invested a lot going to a place that’s too far, and the customers aren’t ready for that yet because they don’t have the hardware for it. And so they can’t find the market. I was thinking of Crytek, they couldn’t find a market because they made a game [Crysis] that very few people could play. I’m not putting words in their mouth, I remember reading something publically where they said they couldn’t put this on consoles because of the hardware.”

Pitchford had some choice words for id as well, “We see the id guys talking continuously about this, [with Rage] – ‘well, Sony will have a Blu-ray and I don’t know what we’ll do on the 360, maybe we’ll have three DVD’s… if the publisher will let us do that, maybe we’ll errrrahh I dunno.'”

Pitchford may not be softspoken, but behind his rants is a valid point. While history suggests that a new generation looms around the corner, neither the public nor the big companies are ready for it. Microsoft and Sony are extending the generation with their respective motion controls and Nintendo has denied the existence of an HD-capable Wii.