Update: Sony Bend has already responded to writer John Garvin’s controversial comments about Days Gone, and its team. And now former game director Jeff Ross has followed up. In a series of tweets, he explained that the studio has a “small but incredibly talented engineering team who punched way above their weight class to finish Days Gone”.
He continued: “One engineer single-handedly coded all sound, music, weapon, melee combat, and localisation systems. Another engineer was singularly responsible for all animation systems, physics, the motorcycle, and the horde – which is just insane. And there were many more just as talented.”
Garvin had previously implied that the programming team was partly responsible for Days Gone’s softer than expected reviews, but has since set his account to private.
Original Article: Days Gone has become a treasured title among PlayStation enthusiasts, perhaps partly because of its slightly rough reception from critics. It’s important to remember that the undead open world was never slammed: it attracted a respectable 71 on Metacritic, and we awarded it a 7/10 on this very website. By our scale, it’s a good game.
But platform holder Sony decided against developing a sequel, and the soft critical reception was allegedly a contributing factor. Perhaps still feeling burned by the outcome, Bend Studio veteran John Garvin has taken to Twitter to share his thoughts on the title’s subdued reviews. In a string of tweets, he pointed to tech issues and “woke reviewers” as a reason for the less-than-stellar scores.
The chain of tweets started with a fan posting a picture of the game’s Metacritic score, and pointing out they loved the title. Innocent enough. Bend Studio’s community manager Kevin McAllister interjected that the PC version scored better, which triggered Garvin to chime in.
He said: “The crazy thing is, nothing changed that [game director Jeff Ross] and I were responsible for. Gameplay and missions and story. All that changed was code cleaned up their sh*t. So, I guess bugs, streaming, and framerate matter. Funny that Jeff and I are the ones who are gone. Huh.”
Both Garvin and Ross left Bend Studio in the aftermath of Days Gone, but throwing the programmers under the figurative Harley-Davidson doesn’t seem especially professional from an industry veteran. Garvin continued to outline why he thought the game didn’t review as well as it could have originally, pointing to tech issues, reviewers who didn’t finish the game, and “woke reviewers who couldn’t handle a gruff white biker looking at his date’s ass”.
It’s true that Days Gone required several patches to get it up to scratch, and this was reflected in many of the reviews. Personally, we didn’t have too many issues with the performance at launch, and we mainly criticised it for its cookie-cutter design – even if we did ultimately enjoy (and recommend) the open world comfort food on offer.
Whatever your feelings on Days Gone, though, we can probably all agree that ranting like this on social media is rarely a good idea.