David Cage, the CEO of Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls developer Quantic Dream, is no stranger to calling on the gaming industry to try new things. He did that again at a speaking event in London this week, when he said he predicts that more and more developers will make games that tell personal, relatable stories, instead of ones that focus on zombies and monsters.
As reported by GI.biz, Cage said he met a woman at a party who told him about how much Beyond's homeless chapter moved her, as she herself had lived on the streets for two years. The game "took her back to that time in her life" and this had a big impact on Cage.A scene from Detroit: Become Human
"I was so moved by that," he said. "When you're a creator, you can't hope for a more powerful reaction than that. I think there's a tradition in video games that they should be separate from the real world and not talk about real issues, our society, and so on. I don't know where that comes from."
"Over the past few years, I see more games creators thinking differently, realizing that films, books, poetry--any art form--can talk about those issues, so why not games?" he added. "Why should we always focus on zombies, monsters, or things that are cool but not connected to our world? The industry has been very successful that way, but I think we'll see more creators trying to talk about issues like this. Using interactivity to say something meaningful is very exciting."
Cage went on to say that he's more interested, from a personal perspective, in indie games becuase "there is more creativity and more courage there." He added that he feels very fortunate to work for Quantic Dream, which, being a partner with Sony, affords it the resources and support for taking on games that "talk about different topics."
Also during his talk, Cage spoke about the polarizing nature of Quantic Dream's games. He said Fahrenheit (known as Indigo Prophecy in North America), Heavy Rain, and Beyond are polarizing because they don't fit into the mold of what people might expect.
"If we were making first-person shooters, there wouldn't be as much discussion about what we're doing," he said. "With Fahrenheit, I was pitching a game that would be about interactive storytelling, about emotion, and things that no one thought could be in a game. Emotions? Dilemmas? Moral choices? Why would you want that in a video game? Today, you see emotions in every title--even action games. I'm not saying we invented that, but we believed in something very early on."
Anything that's new can be polarizing, Cage said, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
"I would love to make a game that everyone loves, but at the same time I wouldn't want to compromise and just give the market what it wants," he explained. "We could all make first-person shooters, but we have a much more exciting industry with people exploring different routes."
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In 2012, Cage made headlines when he called for an Apocalypse Now-type shooter that focuses on the painful realities of war; he wants to see a game "not just about shooting and glorifying violence."
Quantic Dream's next game is the PlayStation 4-exclusive Detroit: Become Human. The story focuses on the robot character Kara, who is seeking to learn the nature of her existence, as well as the robot-hunter Connor. No release date for the game has been announced.