N’Gai Croal to Phil Harrison: What’s Up With Rare?

Following yesterday’s big news story about Rare’s departing co-founding brothers, Chris and Tim Stamper, N’Gai Croal of Newsweek interviewed Sony’s Phil Harrison and asked him what he thought of Rare’s recent decline in fame.

Can someone explain to me why he asked Sony this question? Did he willingly pick the most irrelevant person to ask, or was it, “Damn, I have this huge hole in my Q&A sheet. Hmmmm. Oh, I know what to fill it in with!”

Phil tries admirably to dodge the issue a bit, and tries to assume logically what happened.

“… I think that they became quite insular and quite inward-facing, and they missed some of the trends that were going on in the business generally. Now also, if you sell your company to Microsoft and get hundreds of millions of whatevers, currency in the bank, it does tend to defocus management a little bit.”

Feeling a bit embarrassed that he even went that far, he ends by saying:

“But Rare, and prior to Rare, Ultimate, are responsible for some of the best games ever made.”

But what did N’Gai Croal expect to come from that question? Was he looking for some hot quote to put on his blog or something? I’m really starting to not like this guy. He was great at pushing EA’s buttons on the issue of PS3 supplies a few weeks ago at a New York conference (which is really bad interviewing and journalism skills, btw), but this is just dumb.

Thumbs down on N’Gai Croal.

Source: Kotaku

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17 years ago

I think you’re being a bit hard on the interviewer, and you’re also reading way too much into how Harrison responded. I thought this exchange was rather interesting.

17 years ago

I might have been a bit harsh (that interview with Larry Probst left a bad taste in my mouth with Croal), but the question is highly irrelevant. Sony has nothing to do with Rare. They were never in contact with Rare, and Rare never made any games for Sony. So how would Sony know anything about the day-to-day working habits at Rare? It would all be conjecture from Harrison’s side. It’s definitely interesting to hear big guys talk about things like that, but I just don’t believe in that kind of journalism. It seemed to me Croal was trying to MAKE news, rather than report it with a question like that. And if you saw from the interview, Harrison had a long pause after Croal asked him that, like he never would have expected that kind of Q.