Game Industry CEOs... gotta love 'em

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Spalls Hurgenson

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Jul 16, 2022, 11:48:10 AMJul 16
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You may have picked up over the past years how much of a kick I get
when some C-level executive in the game's industry says or does
something that shows how disconnected from gaming they really are. I
just love it when they publicly display their awfulness. So you can
bet I got a hearty chuckle when Unity's CEO Riccitiello accused game
developers of being idiots if they didn't plan their monetizations
scheme from day 0.

Needless to say, this sort of comment didn't go down well with many of
the developers - often younger, self-employed "Indie" developers - who
use the Unity engine. Many Indies started their businesses in reaction
to the money-focused development of the larger publishers, preferring
to focus on game-design and creativity rather than excessive
monetizations. Thus, they took Riccitiello's comments rather
personally.

To some degree, I actually agree with Riccitiello; if you are
designing a game with the intent of selling it and making a profit,
then, well, yeah, you gotta figure out how the thing is gonna pay for
itself, and you really should figure out the basics of that before you
start.

But when a lot of your customers are barely more than hobbyist-level
in size, /and/ are often in the business because they are annoyed at
how soullessly commercial larger publishers have become, /and/ your
company is currently in talks to merge with an adware provider, then
it just /might/ not be the best time to sound off about how important
MONEY MONEY MONEY is to the industry.

Not that calling any of your customers "complete idiots" is a good
idea at any time... even if they are. I guess that's something they
don't teach in Haas business school?

Not that anything will come of all this; Unity Technologies Company
will make some half-hearted apology and most everyone will forget this
happened in two months time. People aren't making Unity games because
they love the CEO, or the company, or even their product; they use
Unity because its cheap and fairly capable and relatively easy to use,
and none of that changes because of Riccitiello's comment.

But it is a reminder of how seemingly sociopathic C-levels can seem
thanks to their bottom-line focused viewpoints, and I can't help but
smile when their veneer of amiability is momentarily ripped away.



Dimensional Traveler

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Jul 16, 2022, 12:05:17 PMJul 16
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On 7/16/2022 8:47 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>
> But it is a reminder of how seemingly sociopathic C-levels can seem
> thanks to their bottom-line focused viewpoints, and I can't help but
> smile when their veneer of amiability is momentarily ripped away.
>
The bigger problem is that the C-Levels aren't "seemingly sociopaths",
they ARE sociopaths. They have to be just to become C-Level executives.
Not as extreme as Hannibal Lector (usually) but still significantly
higher than average.


--
I've done good in this world. Now I'm tired and just want to be a cranky
dirty old man.

Justisaur

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Jul 17, 2022, 11:51:00 AMJul 17
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On Saturday, July 16, 2022 at 9:05:17 AM UTC-7, Dimensional Traveler wrote:
> On 7/16/2022 8:47 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
> >
> > But it is a reminder of how seemingly sociopathic C-levels can seem
> > thanks to their bottom-line focused viewpoints, and I can't help but
> > smile when their veneer of amiability is momentarily ripped away.
> >
> The bigger problem is that the C-Levels aren't "seemingly sociopaths",
> they ARE sociopaths. They have to be just to become C-Level executives.
> Not as extreme as Hannibal Lector (usually) but still significantly
> higher than average.
>

I was reading some report on how there aren't really that many CEOs
that are sociopaths, but still much higher than the general population
Here's one that says 4-12% vs. 1%.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackmccullough/2019/12/09/the-psychopathic-ceo/?sh=21685af5791e

The sociopaths are of course the ones who make the headlines.

- Justisaur

Spalls Hurgenson

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Jul 17, 2022, 3:31:57 PMJul 17
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My problem isn't so much whether or not our Leaders Of Industry are
sociopaths (well, I mean, that's an issue but there are times when
that may be a necessary trait). As pointed out, most of the C-level
execs /aren't/ quite so bad. Rather, it's the fact that they have
repeatedly proven themselves to be as flawed and human as everyone
else, and yet they are still put up on pedestals as being Excellent
Leaders And Role-Models, are rewarded with obscene levels of pay, and
escape any consequences from their mistakes.

Which is one of the reasons I'm so happy to tout their errors in
public forums like this one. I don't necessarily think C-levels are
any worse than the regular grunts, but given their excessive wages
they ought to either be held to a higher standard, or take a
significant cut in power and influence.

If Twitter (and the Internet in general) has been good for one thing,
it's showing off how mediocre our leaders really are. Twenty, thirty
years ago people would point at an executive of a major company and
suggest he would make for an excellent statesman. That seems to be
happening less nowadays (there remain some unfortunate exceptions),
thanks to those same executives showing off how poorly they actually
lead. So, um... yay Twitter?


JAB

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Jul 21, 2022, 5:19:25 AMJul 21
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We did use to have a round up speech from one of the big cheeses about
how the company had done that year. I still remember the speech about
how the company had improved so much on the previous poor year due to
initiatives that had been put in place driven from the top level. I also
remember the speech the year before when those poor results had been to
the economic/trading conditions. Strange that. Then again this is a
company that spent a lot of money on the grounds that Google had more
colourful offices so we should have the same.

I also remember a director of our department who was frankly useless and
presided over a project that was a financial disaster for the company.
The result was after a couple of years they got rid of him by giving him
another job where he could do less harm. In his leaving e-mail he even
had the cheek to claim how he'd successfully delivered a project I had
worked on. The fact was he hadn't supported it at and if anything was
actively against it.

Rin Stowleigh

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Jul 22, 2022, 7:56:21 PMJul 22
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On Sat, 16 Jul 2022 09:05:14 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
<dtr...@sonic.net> wrote:

>On 7/16/2022 8:47 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>>
>> But it is a reminder of how seemingly sociopathic C-levels can seem
>> thanks to their bottom-line focused viewpoints, and I can't help but
>> smile when their veneer of amiability is momentarily ripped away.
>>
>The bigger problem is that the C-Levels aren't "seemingly sociopaths",
>they ARE sociopaths. They have to be just to become C-Level executives.
> Not as extreme as Hannibal Lector (usually) but still significantly
>higher than average.

I've never been a CEO of anything but I was CTO of a reasonably sized
software development company for around 7 years. In that role I
learned a great deal about what I was really good at but also saw a
lot of what I didn't want to be.

I will say this -- the farther up the totem pole you go, the more
scrutiny you are under and that will change ANYONE's behavior. It
doesn't mean you are a sociopath, but you have to prepare yourself to
know that a lot of people will accuse you of that simply because you
didn't approve and cater to every immature request made. Honestly
these days if you are C-Level and don't have create a position for a
Chief Diversity officer lobbying for 2 free menstruation cramp PTO
days per year, you're going to be called a sociopath sooner or later.
That's just how it is.

The bottom line is that people who are not high achievers are always
going to sit around and grumble about those who found themselves at
the top even when they didn't aspire to it. When I was in that role I
made it my mission to be sure I never let myself give a fuck about
that kind of grumbling.

The real reason I hated that fucking job is because it put me in too
many meetings where I was in a position to try to explain technically
complex things to people who simply didn't have the IQ to grok it all.
The amount of money I was making at CTO was roughly in the ballpark of
what I can make as an independent consultant, so I had very little
reason to stick around listening to clueless douchebags with marketing
backgrounds talk to hear themselves talk, meanwhile engineers who were
only employed thanks to the existence of a core product I created
grumbled away in their juvenile little jealous rants. Why deal with
that shit if you don't have to?

But I came away with a good understanding of why those in power seem
"sociopathic" to the worker bees. Honestly and quite frankly its
because if you are in a role that's higher in power and
responsibility, if you stop and sniff the air every time someone
complains of a stink, it only puts you farther away from being able to
have positive impact on the bigger picture... that's going to paints
you as Hitler to the sheeple and that's fine...Those who are not in
that position will never understand that or be able to relate to it.

I feel somewhat lucky to have had that experience, yet at the same
time not so much... lol

Dimensional Traveler

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Jul 22, 2022, 11:14:42 PMJul 22
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Actually my post was based on memories of a report I read a long time
ago based on personality tests of a large number of executives of large
companies.

Rin Stowleigh

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Jul 23, 2022, 8:39:14 AMJul 23
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Well there you go. Any C-level executive willing to voluntarily take
a "personality test" has a few screws loose in the first place, so the
sample was clearly tainted; more typical C-level types were excluded
from the test population by design of the experiment.
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