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Barnett: "Smart people with bright ideas are more important than creatives"

Mythic's creative director explains what's good and bad about… creative directors

Paul Barnett, creative director at Mythic - the company behind forthcoming anticipated MMO Warhammer Online - has told a session at this year's Develop conference that while creative people can be great value for money, they need to be managed carefully, and that smart people with bright ideas are also vital.

"Too many people think they're creative - they're actually smart people with good ideas," he explained. "Being a smart person with bright ideas is more important than being creative."

"I find [creative people] troubling and dangerous when they're not put to work properly…but in my experience it's always been a pleasure working with creative, creative people. Exasperating, but a pleasure."

The talk, which focused on the benefits and potential downsides of the creative director role, comparing them to a volcano.

"They're like volcanoes…very interesting, lots of fertile ground, lots of villages on them, where we harvest materials - but they come with an overhead.

"Sometimes they growl, sometimes they explode, and everything is laid to waste. Sometimes they can go extinct, in which case they're no longer a volcano, they're just a big hill. You have to watch that."

And among the notes of caution for dealing with creatives, Barnett advised being very specific about what they are and aren't responsible for.

"Don't let them run any businesses ever…they'll waste your time, money and goodwill," he said, instead saying that it's the businessman that needs to look after the business aspect - although it's important to remind them regularly that the chief objective of the exercise in creating videogames is to make money:

EA's Mythic studio recentlyrevealed that it plans to drop the EA brand from its name and revert back to being known as Mythic Entertainment.