David Cage: Games “Will Die” if There’s a Lack of Innovation
E3 2012 was definitely the year of sequelitis. Most every major showing had a number attached to it: Halo 4, Assassin’s Creed III, Dead Space 3, Far Cry 3, Lords of Shadow 2… The list goes on and on. Whether this means a drought of ideas or creativity remains to be seen, but David Cage believes that in order for the games industry to live on, studios need to stop thinking about producing blockbusters to simply sell, and to start thinking about emotional elements, things that will engage the audience on a much deeper level than simple shoot n’ loots.
“There are very clever people out there and they know what they want to do,” said Cage in an interview with GamesIndustry. “I wouldn’t be interested in making just software to sell to people at Christmas. I’m not that kind of person and I’m not interested in that. I respect people doing this, but it’s not how I see my work. I’m interested in using this medium to express something and to trigger deeper emotions. …we just shoot and jump. What about trying something else and using it?”
Using Thatgamecompany’s recent phenomenon Journey, Cage explained that it’s not just about shooting things. It’s about getting an emotion across, much like how a successful movie will make people laugh, cry, smile, or even angry. In a market saturated with FPS and games that involving “Let’s kill that big ugly monster,” Cage said that Journey was a breath of fresh air, and a welcome one.
“It’s crazy what you can do with [video games], because the relationship you have with experience is so different from what you have with anything else,” he said. “You watch a movie, you’re just passive. You watch a story, and it’s a story that’s told to you. But when you’re in a game, you can tell the story. You can decide what you want to happen. And you can make up pretty much your own story based on your choices and your moral decisions. That’s fascinating.
“…the last game I really enjoyed is Journey, for example. Journey was amazing. It has nothing to do with what I’m doing. But it’s not so much about storytelling. It’s about emotion. It’s about trying something different. I mean this industry will die if it doesn’t try more to be innovative and come up with new ideas and to talk a bit more — not necessarily serious, but deeper things at some point. It’s great that you can shoot at monsters, and that’s great and it will always be there and it will always be successful, but at the same time, what about giving the choice to people? Give them different options.”
To read more on Cage’s interview and his thoughts about Beyond: Two Souls, head over to GamesIndustry.