When Stadia acquired Typhoon Studios to bolster Google's game streaming platform's catalog of exclusives, the folks involved were probably only marginally familiar with Creative Director, Alex Hutchinson. And if you were to glance at his resume, you'd probably think he's got an impressive history in the gaming world, lending some credibility to the Montreal-based startup. Spore, Army of Two, and Assassins Creed 3 are just a couple of the things he's worked on, so on paper, you'd be forgiven for mistaking him for someone who was an asset to his team.
Unfortunately, if you look below that resume, you see pretty quickly that Alex Hutchinson has said a lot of shitty things in his career.
Earlier today, Alex made a startlingly bad Tweet.
The real truth is the streamers should be paying the developers and publishers of the games they stream. They should be buying a license like any real business and paying for the content they use.The real truth is the streamers should be paying the developers and publishers of the games they stream. They should be buying a license like any real business and paying for the content they use.— Alex Hutchinson (@BangBangClick) October 22, 2020October 22, 2020
This isn't just a bad take, it's embarrassingly naive. Game publishers pay top streamers loads of cash to play their games, because it's free advertising. Saying that relationship should go the other way, that streamers should have to pay extra on top of the cost of the game to stream it, shows a complete lack of understanding about how popular games spread. If you look at the recent smash hit Among Us, you can clearly see a good game being streamed means loads of other people then go and install it and play it.
Trying to perceive this relationship as the streamers somehow being the folks who make the "real" money in this situation is completely false, to say nothing of how terrible this take is in regards to the hundreds of thousands of streamers who don't earn a single penny.
And when pressed on this, Alex doubled down and claimed the marketing spend would somehow be more effective if everyone was made to pay a streaming license. But the only thing that would do is create a special tier of streamers who could afford it and ensure no new voices and faces are ever brought up into the big leagues.
Sadly, this is nowhere near the first time Alex has said something bad. When asked about why there were no women in Far Cry 4's co-op mode, he said the team didn't have any women on hand to do the reading for the character, and so it was shelved because there wasn't enough time to iron out all the details.
This mess was immediately following the reality of no playable women characters in Assassin's Creed: Unity because they were too hard to animate. I can't imagine why Ubisoft is in the middle of a sexual misconduct scandal this year.
Alex has also accused the gaming press of "subtle racism" because he felt many in the industry were too quick to forgive Japanese game makers for so-called substandard storytelling. Given all of the actual, real racism in the gaming industry, press included, it's hard to even know where to start with this.
This won't be the last time Alex has a bad take on something in the gaming industry, but it is the last time anyone at Stadia, which is a solid burgeoning service that's coming into its own, puts up with his nonsense in an official capacity. Shortly after Twitter got a hold of his nonsense and amplified it, Alex changed his Twitter bio to include a note about his opinions being his own.
To its credit, Google released a statement separating itself from Hutchinson's comments: "The recent tweets by Alex Hutchinson, creative director at the Montreal Studio of Stadia Games and Entertainment, do not reflect those of Stadia, YouTube or Google." Finally, YouTube's gaming lead, Ryan Wyatt, tweeted shortly afterward that "all ships rise when we work together," further undermining Hutchinson's words.
Do yourself a favor, man: keep it to yourself next time.
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