Kadayi wrote:The role of a director is to direct (others). I'm fairly sure that if either Stanley or Orson were alive to day and you asked them about their work they'd be pretty happy with what they produced. Given both were famous for their perfectionism I'm kind of surprised you cite them as examples of compromise. Interacting with others is not compromise, it's called real life.
The perfectionism of Kubrik and Welles is exactly why I chose them. They are two of the more powerful directors to have existed in the studio system, yet each of them was ultimately required to compromise in order to bring their vision to the screen. For example, take the Kubrik film Spartacus
. It is one of Kubrik's earlier films, and isn't even really "his" film at the end of the day. He did not have as much control over it as he had over other films, in part because, while he had proven himself as a good filmmaker, it was one of his earliest studio films. Yes, he paid his dues, and became successful within the system, but he had to give up creative control in order to get there.
Even later in his career, he had to make compromises. Look at Eyes Wide Shut
, for instance. The version released in the US had many Austin-Powers-like obstructions hiding genitals during the orgy scenes because the American distributors wanted an R rating, rather than NC-17 (or worse). If Kubrik were not worried about appeasing these distributors and producers, he could have released the film unedited.
On the other hand, because he worked with a major studio, he got certain benefits. A dependable budget to work with, and guaranteed distribution in the US. Had he gone the true indy route, he could have made the film exactly as he wanted it, then struggled to get it released in art house theaters. His choice was between compromise and stability, or independence and risk.
Those that work at IV, Chris in particular, have the same choice to make. The difference is that Chris is not Stanley Kubrik, and is unlikely to be able to leave IV and have such a powerful position. He might be able to go to some place like Valve and get control over his own little studio, but that does not seem to be par for the course in the games industry. It is much more likely that he would be employed as a coder, under the direction of someone else. In short, it is likely that he would have to give up a great deal of creative control for the stability of a "real" job.
Kadayi wrote:Actually I came in here saying that they should wind IV up as an enterprise and move on to a new chapter...
...by closing up shop, and getting more traditional jobs in the industry. Why not start a new chapter without disbanding the company? It seems that this is exactly what IV is attempting to do right now...
Kadayi wrote:From a business perspective IV has pretty much failed.
But they have not actually failed. They have scaled back quite a bit, but they have not declared bankruptcy. They are still making enough money to fund them through to the end of the next project. You have declared them a failure, but it looks to me like the board of IV considered folding, but decided that they had not
failed, and that they had a way of continuing on. Why shouldn't they do so if they have the energy and will to do so?
Kadayi wrote:Chris probably has a career in game design beyond IV but I don't think that is true for the rest, and that they should let him go rather than hold him back with pipe dreams of a phoenix from the flames style recovery. After all he's the creative/coding force to the company no? Does he really need the others to be successful?
Ah. So Chris is the only competent person at IV, and everyone else is holding him back. Of course, Chris is too stupid to see this, so he continues to let his friends exploit him. Or, maybe, Chris enjoys working with his friends, and likes the working relationship he has with them. Or maybe Chris is not actually propping up the whole business single-handedly. Maybe it was Tom and Mark that managed to convince Valve to rerelease Defcon in order to raise money to keep IV afloat, and Chris just went along for the ride. I don't think any of us here have enough knowledge of the inner workings of IV to comment about what the board of directors should or should not be doing.
As I said earlier, these men are not beholden to us. They should continue to do what makes them happy, and what they think will bring them the kind of success they want. If this means that IV folds and Chris goes to work for Valve, great. But it is not our place to tell him that this would be his best course of action.
Finally, Feud makes an excellent point about the nature of small businesses. The drama of IV's feast and famine cycle is very public here on the forums (which I think is unique among the small businesses that I am aware of), but is in no way special in the world of small businesses.