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THQ's Bilson: Research and focus testing will 'usually destroy' creativity

During an interview at the 2010 Game Developers Conference, THQ executive VP of Core Games Danny Bilson told Joystiq that market research creates "bland" titles, citing it is not a process his group is willing to utilize for future development. "We don't do research to find out what people want to play. If you need to do that kind of research you must not be playing games yourself," Bilson said, noting that research and overusing focus tests can "misguide creative forces."

According to Bilson, his core group at THQ is ruled by creating "excellent" titles. Put simply, Bilson says he will not ship a game if it's not "really good" -- noting that doing otherwise will make it impossible for him to "sleep at night." As an example of this process, Bilson noted his decision to push Darksiders from a 2009 release into the early-2010 calendar in order to ensure the game was of high quality. (Darksiders currently holds an average Metacritic rating of 83.)

"Inspiration comes from one place and research and focus testing will usually destroy it. It will usually create 'bland' and create something for everyone and really nothing for anyone," he said, praising the idea that publishers should not ship a game until it's ready. "If my teams make really good games, in the long run, that's what people relate to. They're not buying advertising, they're not buying Wall Street nonsense. They're buying what's on that disc."

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