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Behemoth exec criticises publishers for "armchair developing"

Dan Paladin, co-founder of independent studio The Behemoth, has called on publishers to refrain from interfering with the creative process of developing games.

Dan Paladin, co-founder of independent studio The Behemoth, has called on publishers to refrain from interfering with the creative process of developing games.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz at last month's Nordic Game Conference Paladin said, "I would like to see the traditional publishing deal change. I would like to see publishers act more as distributors.

"All developers will tell you the same thing - a publisher has taken away something of theirs that they felt really needed to be there, or they changed something in a way they didn't agree with because they own the money and the IP.

"I do you think publishers have too much power over developers, for the most part. All publishers are different, but on the whole," he added.

The Behemoth was set up in 2003 and has since published self-funded title Alien Hominid on a wide range of platforms. According to Paladin, self-funding ensures that creative control remains with the developer: "That's why we risk everything up front, so we can take it in and it's all there; we trust our own judgement."

However, he continued, most developers are often forced to take on the creative ideas of their publishers - and as a result, the games they are working on suffer.

"The problem is the people who aren't making the game are calling the shots on how the games should be made," Paladin said. "It's armchair developing. They're saying, 'Wouldn't this be cool?', and lots of things that sound cool don't necessarily turn out that way or make the game more fun.

"Publishers aren't developers, so I think they should stay out of the creative process," he concluded.

To read the full interview with Paladin, click here.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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