Developer Q&A’s are a great representation of why you should never allow an interview subject to cherry pick their own questions. With the exception of an exceptionally newsworthy answer, I’ve stopped covering developer Q&A’s here at MMO Fallout for a few reasons, not least of which being that they have a habit of wasting everyone’s time and in many cases don’t actually answer any of the questions they are asked.
I harped on this back when Jagex would do Q&A sessions with their community, because they would ignore hard questions in favor of filling up the transcript with things that they knowingly couldn’t answer, with at least half of the answers being “I can’t answer this,” “this isn’t my department,” or “this isn’t what we’re talking about today.” The thinly veiled attempt at dodging questions under the guise of transparency is obvious to anyone paying the slightest amount of attention, and in the end it wastes time and likely causes more PR damage than actually answering the questions to begin with.
Trion Worlds recently put out a Q&A for Defiance, and in a fashion that I have heavily criticized in the past, managed to not answer just about any of their hand picked questions. Out of eleven questions in the latest Q&A, two fall into the “we are looking into it,” seven into the “we might in the future, maybe,” with one definitive no and one definitive yes. Eleven questions, all hand picked by a Trion employee, and only two answers provide concrete information.
There are two parts to a Question & Answer, the questions and the answers.