David Cage: The Industry Will Die if it Doesn't Innovate

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David Cage: The Industry Will Die if it Doesn't Innovate

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Heavy Rain director David Cage reckons that an overdose of shooters may kill the industry.

"I think this industry needs more games like Journey because it's a breath of fresh air; this is necessary in any medium," Quantic Dream founder David Cage told GameIndustry International. "How many first person shooters can we create per year? How many can we play per year? How many of them will be successful? Even from a business point of view, does it make any sense? I'm not sure."

Amongst the AAA industry that Quantic Dream is trying desperately to be a part of, the shooter, in both its first and third person varieties, has become the go-to genre. Cage isn't suggesting that all games need to be po-faced and introspective, but he does believe that the industry's obsession with shallow violence will be the death of it.

"I mean this industry will die if it doesn't try more to be innovative and to come up with new ideas and to talk a bit more - not necessarily serious, but deeper things at some point," he said. "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. So if they like that they find it, but if they want something deeper and interactive, they can find that too."

Cage also suggests that "most" videogames don't focus on narrative, and developers often view a game's story as "just a way to tie levels together." He then argues that many games lack a strong authorial voice, due to the fact creative decisions are often made by committee.

"Actually, this is not the way things are done at Quantic Dream. I work pretty much like an author in many ways. I write very personal things, totally subjective. I think it gives a special tone to the games we make."

Source: Gameindustry.biz

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He was doing alright until he started stroking himself at the end there.

Activision seems to be doing pretty well without any innovation. How many times more copies of Call of Duty 7-ish were sold than Heavy Rain?

And I think you're games come off as M.Night.Shyamalan movies, so I don't think they have to necessarily follow in your footsteps.

Of course, we do need more originality out there, something more than shooters. We also do need better and deeper storytelling, and for gaming as a medium to not be afraid to show serious issues, without being jumped on and without it being used to sell the game.
*Looks at Tomb Raider*

This man is wrong. That's pretty much obvious. Not that I disagree with the idea that there needs to be more variety in games mind you. But the idea that the industry will 'die' without it is one of the dumbest statements I can imagine. Shooters are the highest sellers because they appeal to both the hardcore crowd and parts of the casual crowd. That's why your typical awful shooter will sell better then, say, Heavy Rain.

But even if the AAA industry did somehow manage to implode, it wouldn't be the death of the entire industry. We'd have indie gaming, which has been doing fairly well for itself. And then there's the casual market which has so much of the market right now it's not even funny. To act like the entire industry will die based on one genre is a fairly foolish idea.

Mr. Cage, your ginormous ego is going to send our world into another ice age...

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Sadly I find that I end up playing and wanting more of the games I already have, rather than anything "Innovative"

Take Dragon Quest, I've played and enjoyed all but #7, yet I have zero interest in what 10 is selling itself as.

Castlevania, I didn't really like LoS but didn't hate it either. Wish there were some new 2D action platformer ones, whether they are like the original or like symphony of the night. The classic monsters just look goofy in 3D and the combat was better when it involved a button for jump and a button for attack. That statement holds true for most franchises that crossed over to 3D.

The industry as a whole does need to diversify, but I just wish part of that robust new variation would involve revisiting and perhaps perfecting the fallen genres such as platformers.

The guy in the article seems to have the same idea, only he has a chub for adventure games and seems to think that games like Heavy Rain are somehow the highpoint of innovation. Adventure games, or story heavy games with branching narratives are as old as mud, or MUDS rather. Adding fancy graphics and edgy moral choices doesn't make them magic.

Although if they still made games like Shadowgate and Uninvited with fancy graphics, but the same old Take, Hit, Open etc. interface I'd buy it right up.

They could even use motion controls in a non idiotic tacked on way and actually let you examine stuff. That would be one use for the Wii U. You are in an adventure game and you use the controller as a PDA or you can use it like an ereader for a book you picked up in game.

I assume that is the kind of innovation he wants to see.

And I want another R-type Game. True the only one I really liked or even beat was R-Type Final but seriously...where are the R-Type and Gradius games? There weren't any this generation.

I love Heavy Rain, but its not a very good "game". Its like a virtual choose-your-own adventure mystery book. Now if you can make a game as fun as Tribes Ascend with the writing level of Heavy Rain then you can make comments like these.

Story in games are great, don't get me wrong, but any game that craves replayability 90% of the time can't rely on story, as nobody wants to do the same story again multiple times over and fucking over again. It has to be gameplay that keeps bringing people back.

More games don't have to focus on stories.

More games have to focus on being good GAMES.

I kinda hope gaming does die. The big companies are already sewing the seeds of their destruction with massive bloated budgets while trying to appeal to everyone and then killing the studio when the game doesn't ship the millions of copies needed (unless you are Call Of Duty).

"Nerd/Gaming Culture" is already pretty cancerous as well and in my personal opinion independent developers and their games aren't that good either. At best they are fun for a few minutes but they are not substantial enough to support an entire industry.

I would rather gaming die now and be reborn from the ashes in a few years than it continue as it is now, it would be nice to catch up on my backlog to.

Cage is hilarious. If the sales data of "Generic Modern Military Shooter 12" is any indication, minor iteration is the way to go.

Lol. Games are fine. The industry is fine. More money than ever before is being made and more people than ever before are playing video games (as a percentage of the public).

They said in 1970 we'd have an ice age by now. They said in 1999 all the computers would die. They said global warming would kill us all. They say every fucking year that the world is going to end.

Mr. Cage is right. Except that gaming won't die, it'll simply reset itself.

Just like the movie industry gaming is ultimately going to collapse under it's own weight to a point where it can sustain itself again.

As long as there are ranty teenagers playing games, the games industry will continue, not necessarily in a direction everyone will abide, but a direction none the less.

The problem is not ours, it's the industries! it's greed.

FFS why do we always hear these blowhards, banging on about lack of originality, about how the Indi developers are doing things better. Here's a question - why is it that indi developers are making the changes the industry needs, why not the big name publishers?...

Greed.

Everyone wants to write the COD beating FPS game, or the Gears beating TPS, or the WoW beating MMO... there is a distinct lack of innovation, and the only cure is for guys like that to turn around and boldly stand up to the publishers. Won't happen, so instead just focus on ranting to the gamers, like preaching to the choir.

Gamers are not the industries undiscovered solution to their own bloody problems. We tend to buy good games, be they AAA FPS games, or indi games, or whatever that takes our fancy. If the big publishers can't provide original and engaging gameplay, then they deserve to wallow in their shallow little puddles of shit. We won't suffer - because the more gamer coin out there not being spent on all those FPS games, means that there's more for them to spend on iOS games, Android games, and of course the bigger indi games like Journey and Minecraft. Money that goes a lot further, in the pocket of someone who didn't expect it, didn't create their game on the back of it. Personally, I'd rather help out the guys who want nothing more than to entertain us, who would make their games regardless of how much money they make. Sadly, the only people who are capable of this attitude are people who have never worked in the industry, people who have not been tainted by that environment. And that includes these Kickstarted projects that we shouldn't really have to fund - I won't back a project that is using public funding to bypass a publisher, and make the developers a lot more money. Surely Kickstarter is there to help struggling developers, writers, artists - not to replace Activision!.

It's not all sour news though, I mean I'm imensely looking forward to Farcry3, and Borderlands2, triple A needn't be all about the same brownish-greyish-brown environments and gameplay, you just have to excercise some taste - be a bit more discerning, maybe skip the next incarnation of COD and get Farcry3 instead. It would be great if a game like Farcry made it as big as COD - with the user designed levels etc it would be a massive amount of game for your money... instead of an 8 hour campaign and multiplayer that's died out within 3 months.

Games have a good deal of gameplay, so i'm not certain this guy is the best person to talk about them.

Toilet:
I kinda hope gaming does die. The big companies are already sewing the seeds of their destruction with massive bloated budgets while trying to appeal to everyone and then killing the studio when the game doesn't ship the millions of copies needed (unless you are Call Of Duty).

"Nerd/Gaming Culture" is already pretty cancerous as well and in my personal opinion independent developers and their games aren't that good either. At best they are fun for a few minutes but they are not substantial enough to support an entire industry.

I would rather gaming die now and be reborn from the ashes in a few years than it continue as it is now, it would be nice to catch up on my backlog to.

no thanks

I like my AAA games

""Nerd/Gaming Culture" is already pretty cancerous as well"- in regards to what exactly?

That isn't quite how it works. The games industry will keep making shooters as long as people keep buying them. So either that doesn't change or it does and they start to branch out more. Niether of those things sound much like death to me.

I'm as sick of the "me too" COD clones as the next guy but having everyone trying to muscle in on the exact same market isn't going to kill video games. It might suck but games will persist.

You know, I kind of like what this guy is saying. I really want more games to focus on narrative even just a little bit more. It's incredible how many games have completely nonsensical and stupid writing just because the devs didn't care enough to do it properly, despite how much better off they would have been with it. I've seen that games can be just as capable of carrying a message and delivering a story as any book or movie but it just isn't happening.

So I agree with him even if he didn't phrase it quite right.

I agree that FPS after FPS gets old... really old. I agree that developers need to innovate and give us more variety in terms of games.

But I disagree on the assertion of development by committee being a bad idea. In fact, I think that's one of the biggest problems with his games. Someone needs to go in and review his writing. Tell him what sucks and what's good about it.

I'm indifferent to the statement about game being designed with the levels in mind and with the story just being a way to tie it together. While it's true and story should be important, the game should always be top priority. It should be fun to play.

JokerboyJordan:
And I think you're games come off as M.Night.Shyamalan movies, so I don't think they have to necessarily follow in your footsteps.

Of course, we do need more originality out there, something more than shooters. We also do need better and deeper storytelling, and for gaming as a medium to not be afraid to show serious issues, without being jumped on and without it being used to sell the game.
*Looks at Tomb Raider*

I think in that case it was blow waaaaay out of proportion and its wasn't exactly their fault

Is it that time of year again? David Cage looking down on the rest of the industry from his high horse, still not noticing he's sitting on a pony?

He's got a point, that's the sad part. There needs to be more, better narrative, and games need to start being more than a combat simulator. But the solution is not making glorified FMV-games with sub-par writing, and as long as that's what David Cage is doing, everything he says will ring somewhat empty.

This guy sure talks a lot for someone who's made one so-so 'game'. Whether he has a point or not, he needs a hell of a lot more to back his words up.

"Everyone Sucks But me!"
Hey Mr. Cage, God of War was stringing QTEs together and being Playstation Exclusive LONG before you came along!

Oh, David. If by "special" you mean the kind of short bus way, then I'd agree. But nothing you people do at Quantic Dream is innovative or new in the least. You're still stuck writing poor rip-off Shyamalan movies, using dated quicktime events as your leading game mechanics and you're only progressing in visuals - something that Ninja Theory and every other studio already has done or is doing as well.

The moment you start writing something as well as the folks behind the Uncharted games, or even the folks behind Odyssey to the West (which, to be fair, was dated in terms of gaming mechanics before it even hit the shelves), then maybe, just maybe, I might start taking you seriously.

Until then, you're still in the corner with the dunce's cap on for the atrocity that was Heavy Rain.

Kapol:
This man is wrong. That's pretty much obvious. Not that I disagree with the idea that there needs to be more variety in games mind you. But the idea that the industry will 'die' without it is one of the dumbest statements I can imagine. Shooters are the highest sellers because they appeal to both the hardcore crowd and parts of the casual crowd. That's why your typical awful shooter will sell better then, say, Heavy Rain.

But even if the AAA industry did somehow manage to implode, it wouldn't be the death of the entire industry. We'd have indie gaming, which has been doing fairly well for itself. And then there's the casual market which has so much of the market right now it's not even funny. To act like the entire industry will die based on one genre is a fairly foolish idea.

This.

Its doubtful the industry will fall apart if more developers dont fallow cage's footsteps.

And I really hope they dont fallow Cage's footsteps, cause Cage is an awful Shyamalan knockoff. As uniqe as his games are, the writing is just... *cringes*

The industry is far larger than just the MMS developers, even putting Indies and casual developers aside. Sure, the MMS market will collapse at some point, but then someone will discover something else that sells really well at that time. And then everyone will just copy them, because that's the way the industry has always worked.

I played Indigo Prophecy (aka Fahrenheit) and while it entertained me until it dove headfirst into retardation, but how "interactive" is it, really? After I finished it I started a second play, trying to change the story by being incompetent, but nothing of importance budged an inch. There are at best a small number of options to succeed in every scene. It's like a less frantic version of Dragon's Lair. Is this really what video games should be doing?

All I see here is a small subset of individuals in an industry desperately banking on a fragmentation of the industry at large.

By repeating that generic this or that "will" fail the industry issues a condemnation that the purchasing public is "demanding" something different.

Is it true?

Eh? I don't think so. In fact as a life long "gamer" (man I shudder to use that term), with thousands of games in the library... what am I looking forward too the most this year?

Phantasy Star II Online Localization - loot grinder

Grim Dawn - loot grinder

Planetside 2 - Persistent Shooter

X - Rebirth (if and when that ever happens) - Builder / Space Sim

Day Z - improvements - Semi Persistent Shooter

Faster than Light (indie) and Starbound (indie). - Rouge Like, Terraria thingy, maybe...

Now of course I own Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy. I won't be buying any more titles from Quantic Dream though... branching story line? GTFO, linear story with mildly different resolutions dependent on QTE's successes. It's a tech demo, sure it was interesting... for the time, for what it was... but narration? No. So poorly researched with plot holes that would make Mass Effect 3 shine as thematically consistent.

Complex narrative in video games is still the undiscovered country this generation. I put it right next to deform-able terrain and a proper 3d map interface for a space builder/rts. Tech hurtles that may not ever be solved.

Stuff that "was" on the list that isn't anymore? Glad you asked.

X-Com Reboot - I fear change, streamline =/ innovation

Sim City - Always on DRM and mandatory persistent multi-player? GTFO... I play a God game to be God, not to share a domain with a bunch of nobodies like myself... it's my fantasy F'Off.

It's not about the industry "not" innovating, it's about attempting to change the perspective of the very people that play all this stuff... for art? or to make a hedged bet as to "how little" game people will dole out a stack of cash for.

Bottom line, it's always cheaper to sell nonsense than it ever was to write a new engine or work out the complexities of a detailed system.

Want to sell an interactive book? Great, I'll pay the price I would for a book...

Want to sell a movie? Great, here is some movie money...

Want to sell a game with 60+ hours a solid game-play, that sounds about like 40-60 bucks.

[leaves soap box for the next contestant]

Cage sounds a bit like pretentious douche in this, but he's got a point. I loved Heavy Rain and Journey for the fact that they were different to my video game line up. I'm not saying that "interactive movies" should be the next big thing, but maybe some AAA developers can take a chance and make an innovative that doesn't follow the same routine of most adventure, RPG, or shooters. But yah it's pretty silly of him to think the gaming industry will die, shooters and causal games will keep money in the industry for a good while.

I only disagree with one thing Cage says, if we keep churning out FPS'es, gaming won't die, but it will stagnate.

However, I am so very tired of playing Johnny Spacemarine shooting the enemy because "They Are Bad Guys". Been there, done that in different settings. Surprise me! Make twists and turns and mix awesome game design that not only ties together levels, but which enriches a brilliant story. Engage me. I want to blame allergies when giant manly tears roll down my cheeks as my favorite character died. That being said, I still think that mindless shooters can still exist.

Sometimes I want to sit down and just shoot dudes in the face. Sometimes I want to sit down and get engaged by an awesome story. There is no reason why both of these cannot coexist and why people shouldn't be able to choose whichever they like the most (or in my case, spend all my money on ALL THE GAMES).

I'm getting aggitated about all the self proclaimed "X will die" prophets.

The day the game industry dies is the day civilization ceases to exist. Not a day sooner.

I think he's being a little dramatic with the 'industry will die' nonsense, but I do kind of want to see a bit of a video game market crash. You know, just to hammer out a few of the issues with the industry, like over-bloated budgets. Maybe get a few of the companies to see that their market plan might not be a wise long-time setup.

"You know... Here at Quantic Dream we make very matchure gamesh... I'm an auteur, I conshider my worksh to be very artishtic. We try to appeal the matchure gamersh, giving them cinematic exchperienches, very personal, very narrative oriented..."

Clearing the Eye:
They said in 1970 we'd have an ice age by now. They said in 1999 all the computers would die. They said global warming would kill us all. They say every fucking year that the world is going to end.

They said oil would get more expensive, they said climate would change, they said banks would collapse...

You get my point. From all the predictions everyone has made, most are bound to fail.

Vault101:
""Nerd/Gaming Culture" is already pretty cancerous as well"- in regards to what exactly?

Because there is actually no "culture" to celebrate? Do the people that go to the cinema get together and make up a new name for them? Does everyone who listens to music get together to celebrate their culture?

Almost everyone plays videogames now, and it's such a broad demographic we can hardly call "gaming" a culture.

Toilet:
I kinda hope gaming does die. The big companies are already sewing the seeds of their destruction with massive bloated budgets while trying to appeal to everyone and then killing the studio when the game doesn't ship the millions of copies needed (unless you are Call Of Duty).

"Nerd/Gaming Culture" is already pretty cancerous as well and in my personal opinion independent developers and their games aren't that good either. At best they are fun for a few minutes but they are not substantial enough to support an entire industry.

I would rather gaming die now and be reborn from the ashes in a few years than it continue as it is now, it would be nice to catch up on my backlog to.

My backlog would vanish if the industry died...

Damn it Steam.

That man will never ever die from rectal cancer. He's got his own head so far up his ass he'd see the earliest diagnostic markers as soon as they pop up.

And about the industry not innovating... while gunplay is incorporated into many games, a lot of them aren't straight-up shooters. Also, I'm not primarily a shooter guy, and I'm not starved for entertaining games. Among the flood of shooty-shooty-bang-bang we still regularly get quality products in platforming, puzzle games, strategy, hack-and-slash, and games that fit either several bills at once or even outright defy proper classification, and don't even get me started on the ever-expanding indie market.
Seriously, this dude needs his head set straight.

There's possibly more shooters coming out these days than any other genre... But, I think there are more non-shooters out these days than shooters.

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