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Wednesday
Nov192008

I'm No Longer With Backbone Entertainment

I'm no longer with Backbone Entertainment.

If you're wondering whether I'm available to work on a patch or update that Street Fighter HD Remix might need, the answer is YES I'm available. No matter what project or company I am working with next, I will be available for anything Street Fighter needs, if Capcom asks (and pays). We all want Street Fighter to be as good as it can be and last as long as possible.

This would usually be a time for biting criticism, but I'll try taking the high road for a change. Let's see what new flowers bloom, and what new articles will show up here.

If you'd like my help with design or balance and you have a lot of money and you don't make me use an alarm clock, I might be available, but I'm honestly pretty busy. Contact me and see though!

I'll leave you with this wikipedia description of Backbone. No I didn't write it, but it's interesting that I'm the only person prominent enough in the entire company to be mentioned:

Backbone Entertainment is an independent video game development company with offices in Emeryville, California, Vancouver, British Columbia, and formerly Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Backbone Entertainment is the result of a merger between Digital Eclipse Software (which specializes in arcade game emulation), and ImaginEngine (which specializes in children's software). One of Backbone's prominent key members is David Sirlin, an arcade game enthusiast known for his involvement in fighting game tournaments, mostly the Super Street Fighter II titles.

--Sirlin

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Reader Comments (48)

o_O Wow, I don't really know what to say. Would it be asking too much if I asked why you left the company?

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterXeroma

Allright, good luck. Perhaps you'll score the jackpot.

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSTCAB

MY SCREENNAME IS USELESS

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBackboneLuver68

So if Capcom decided to release an HD remix for SFIII, you'd be on board for any rebalancing and design?

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCWheezy

sirlin you are an idiot manchild with a huge sense of unwarranted self-importance

grow up please

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Well, regardless, it'll be nice to see whatever you're working on next.

If I ever get to a point where I have a bunch of money and a game to balance, I know where to look. Best of luck.

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterx1372

Well, I have only recently stumbled upon your blog and had the pleasure of reading your balancing posts for HD remix, so I can't say that I have that strong of a grasp on your personality. Based on what I have read (and seen) of you on the internet, however, I admire your respect for fighting games and all of the hard work you have put into them during your time in game design.

With all of that said, I must now say this in response to you quitting Backbone: take this post down immediately. Like some others have said, a simple professional statement of resignation would have been fine, but as the posting currently stands, it comes off as very bitter and somewhat boasting on your own behalf. I want someone with your fighting-game experience to go on working in the industry, so please take down or edit this post for the sake of your career.

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterScOULaris

"Hi I'm David Sirlin and I *AM* Street Fighter." herp derp

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

sup polarity

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I wish you good luck on your next project, but common your post is very childish and unprofessional remember that Capcom still has many departments under it's flag that can slice and dice and patch STHD without even needing to ask for your help.

I suggest you remove this post, it's bad really bad for you.

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterQ80Warlock

The replies telling you to take this post down are funny. "Oh no, you'll upset the mighty videogame gods of publishing if you post something snarky on a blog!"

As if Backbone themselves doesn't realize they make mediocre crap.

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMusedFable

First of all, as a person who loves Street Fighter and respects the minds and work of people that bring it, in all its iterations, to me. I wish you luck in the future. However, I agree, this post is a bad look on your part Sirlin. Maybe if there was some explanation to go with it it'd sound better but right now you're not taking the high road at all. I guess I shouldn't expect much when you make posts with titles like "Street Fighter Lead Designer Unable to Use Street Fighter License" as if being an employee on someone's project/IP entitles to you to create your own spin-offs. Lets take a new direction along with the site's face lift: Grow up.

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternoky

For crap's sake, if you don't like the post why are you even here commenting on it? I'm sure Sirlin could have been FAR nastier about this than he is, especially when all he did in this case is say that he left and copy a wikipedia article. Maybe it would have been "less offensive" to leave that out, but it's not like that's hurting anybody. The article about WoW teaching the wrong things was a lot more provocative than this, and while that drew plenty of hate, it also at least partially has been acknowledged (Blizzard has changed almost everything that Sirlin mentioned as a problem).

Besides, if he's not allowed to be "self-important" on HIS OWN FREAKING SITE, there's something wrong with the world. Its a site about Sirlin, what he thinks, and what he's done. Posting anonymous comments insulting him for it is pointless, he's not going to change, and he has no reason to.

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterx1372

The comments asking you to take down your post are hilarious and misguided.

Pretty sure that Backbone and Sirlin have severed ties permanently, and at this point, there are no negative ramifications for Sirlin (gasp!) pointing out that a lot of other Backbone titles have sucked, or that he was a very prominent designer for them.

What are you all so afraid of? What can Backbone do even if Sirlin wrote an angry post chronicling everything he disliked about them? Sever ties with him? Oh, wait...

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFinalSlayer

Sirlin, I wish you the best of luck in future endeavors!

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarkMan

I heard ArcSystemWorks are looking for employees... *wink wink*

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertataki

Sorry posters, but one can't change their reputation by removing a post. Sirlin helped tweak a re-balanced mode in HD Remix, but that's about it. The game was written 15 years ago. Not sure how you can claim the title lead designer, when all you did was adjust the fight tree and move some hitboxes. If Nintendo were to re-release Super Mario with some tweaks to reduce falls from hidden ledges, is some designer going to stamp their name over Miyamoto? Probably :/

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSwitch

The blog post says that Sirlin no longer works for Backbone, and how weird is that given he seems to have generated a lot of good press for them based on quality work. What part of the post is really that bad? What part of the commenter is so insecure about his job and his own abilities that he thinks the post is bad at all? Or do you folks work for Backbone?

And how bitter can Sirlin be when he used to be affiliated with a company that can barely score above a 5 with its games, and made one so bad that XBox live rejected it? Is it bitter to link to IGN.com? Is it bad to point out that you're no longer affiliated with such mediocre work? When people try to associate me with crap, I publicly denounce it so dumb people don't think I want to be friends with them, and smart people understand I'm not as mediocre as the company I’m accused of keeping. Maybe the people who want this post taken down are dumb enough to think Sirlin wants to keep company with them.

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDP_E

In response to the posters asking about why Sirlin claims so much responsibility for the HD Remix title after only "adjust[ing] the fight tree and mov[ing] some hitboxes" I would suggest you also consider such issues as quality control on the new sprites & backgrounds and also the improved latency & reliability of network play. Go take a look at some of the initial sprites that were leaked a year or so ago and also recall the network issues from Hyper Fighting (or even the HD Remix beta). Also check out vgchartz.com and note that HF is one of the all time most profitable XBLA titles. In light of this fact, try to figure out why Capcom would invest so much additional time & money into polishing the artwork & testing / improving network play instead of just releasing (another) mediocre title and watching the cash roll in. Is it possible that Sirlin had something to do with this? (Hint: "Yes")

If you ask me, what Sirlin *didn't* do (i.e. allow a sub-par game to be released) on this project was every bit as important as what he did do (i.e. rebalance the game, update the controls & etc.)

For some reason I'm reminded of this scene from a recent South Park: http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/187266/

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEric

I approve of any Backbone shit talking. What a terrible company, and it's good to see that they were limited to grunt work solely while you and Udon did the real work.

Keep it cool David, and good luck on any future projects. Hopefully nothing was left bitter between you and Capcom, although it doesn't sound like it.

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPastor Toastman
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