Heavy Rain Dev: "Sequels Kill Creativity and Innovation"

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Heavy Rain Dev: "Sequels Kill Creativity and Innovation"

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Quantic Dream's David Cage avoids sequels in favor of giving gamers "something they want without knowing they want it."

It's no secret that sequels sell in the video game industry. Many of the best selling titles of 2012, like Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Halo 4, and Assassin's Creed III, are numbered installments in long-running series, and it can be hard for new properties to make their mark. Quantic Dream, the developer behind 2010 PS3 murder mystery Heavy Rain and the upcoming Beyond: Two Souls, has so far managed to avoid sequelitis, even though one of its founders, game designer David Cage, knows that gamers want them. Speaking with Official PlayStation Magazine, Cage stated, "Many people want the same and if that's what you offer them, they will gladly buy it."

So if sequels sell and they're what gamers want to spend their hard-earned cash on, what's the problem? Well, as Cage believes, "sequels kill creativity and innovation." Cage and the developers at Quantic Dream are going a different way with Beyond, hoping to pleasantly surprise gamers with their unconventional game that explores the realm beyond death. "We don't give people what they expect. We want to give them something they want without knowing they want it."

Cage's assessment about gamers buying sequels because they have "no interest in innovation" might be a little unfair; gaming is an expensive hobby, and trying out a new IP is a risk not everyone can afford. It's always great to see inventive, original games manage some degree of success, but it's also hard to complain when publishers give us more of what we want. Beyond: Two Souls was received positively at E3 2012, so it's entirely possible that Cage's promise to give gamers what they don't even know they want will pay off when the game is released in 2013.

Source: Official PlayStation Magazine via Polygon

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Well original IPs did give him the chance to make up for gutting Madison Page (as a character) in Heavy Rain.

I agree entirely. Not every sequel is bad, of course, but sometimes they kill how good the first game was. In my opinion, Bioshock is a prime example of this; I think that it should have just been left on the first one.

Some games should never have sequels. Other games only get better with each consecutive addition to the series. It's not as black and white as he's making it out to be.

So the same guy who took the worst game mechanic ever created and built an entire game around and says "Only play my game once" also says sequels kill creativity. While I'm always up for seeing/trying new, good, titles I can easily rattle off long-running series who have innovated from one entry to the next. Not every game series ends up like Call of Duty and just recycles the same game every year.

You know what else kills creativity and innovation? Not having the money to produce a new game because you refused to put out a sequel everyone wanted.

Seems like David Cage hates Silent Hill 2, Super Mario 3, Skyrim, Portal 2, TF2, the Dynasty Warriors games and all those other great games.
This guy is full of faecal matter.

Says the guy who sold his soul to Sony...

There's nothing wrong of a expanding and changing universe when it still shows potential.

I guess it's true that sequels kill innovation, but innovation isn't the only important thing in games.

You know, games should foremost be fun (or whatever you're looking in a game). If you find something good, you naturally want more of the same. One of my favorite sequels is Max Payne 2. No it wasn't necessary in regards to plot, but it was just an excellent game.

Besides, sometimes a game concept is so weird, or complex or something you just can't stuff everything in a single game. Take AssCreed - the first game had an amazing concept, but the devs just couldn't do everything in one game. Now that the concept is proven... We can get more, but not 'the same' in this case, since we have different eras to explore etc.

Besides I always compare games to TV series. I'd love to see a Half-Life TV series. What's wrong about having a series instead of a single movie? Nothing obviously.

Now cash-in sequels are something different entirely.

Forcing the creation of a sequel might, but just building one? Nope, not buying it. There have been a lot of rubbish sequels made, but there are a lot of rubbish games made in general. (See Sturgeon's Law) Quite a few of my favorite games this past year (Far Cry 3, XCOM, Borderlands 2, Torchlight 2, Mass Effect 3) were all sequels.

Depending on how you count it, it might somewhat reduce the 'creativity' and 'innovation' that goes into making the game, but a game is a LOT more than just how speshul and new its mechanics are. Sequels give a team a chance to learn from their mistakes and build on their successes and the result is frequently spectacular. For instance, Pokémon games haven't changed at their heart since ever, but that didn't stop Black & White being, from a pure design standpoint, much better than Red & Blue. Whether you like the new Pokémon or not, comparing White to Red shows how much the design has advanced.

He seriously hasn't grasped the idea that a sequel doesn't kill creativity and innovation, greedy publishers and devs that want to churn out a quick cashgrab kill creativity and innovation.
There are plenty of sequels that had a lot of creativity and innovation but those were created by devs and publishers that actually wanted to make a good game and not just make more money by simply creating a game through doing as little work as possible.

In my opinion, making a serial game depends on the specific game concept. Some concepts work well to be serialized and others don't. Even of the ones that are serialized, for many, there are only a very finite number of sequels that make sense before the sensible possibilities have been explored, while others can run much longer to become long-standing franchises (e.g. Mario and Zelda; although, I feel even such franchises as these two still have a finite lifetime and will eventually expire). To that matter, the sequels only progress if there is an exploration of possibilities or revelation of new aspects of the total concept that had been previously hidden or unknown. In other words, it is possible to be creative with sequels; it simply depends on how you do it. When it comes to creative endeavors and creative products, in my opinion, it's hard to really pin down any absolutes. It always seems like what you do, how you do it, and what you use to do it depends on the needs and constraints for realizing the concept and the intended effects.

Even so saying, I do feel that the turn-the-crank type sequels do kill creativity, as there is really nothing new added to the game; it's just the same stuff but with shinier, higher-resolution graphics. However, it often seems that that is exactly what the greater percentage of the gaming community wants. The gaming community doesn't do a very good job of rewarding any true innovation and creativity, yet, complains bitterly about the stagnation of the gaming industry. Instead, through overall buying habits, we prove to the industry we just want the same old thing but with shinier, higher-resolution graphics. Basically, gamers just don't know what the hell they want.

This guy manages to sound like a douche even when I basically agree with him.

Planned sequels can be amazing. Stories that were never intended to have sequels, but oh hey it made money so let's make another one - what, you don't have any ideas for another one? No problem, let's just rehash the same plot - those, those are terrible. And unfortunately in an industry where art = big business, this phenomenon is inevitable.

I would certainly not mind if we adopted the "discrete run" phenomenon of, say, Japanese television as opposed to just running something into the ground. Or, for video games, the Final Fantasy/Spec Ops/Far Cry approach of being a sequel in name only, but in fact a completely new story and approach.

thats a nice theory there mister cage, but what the bloody hell is so creative and original about any of your games, apart from your unparalleled pretentiousness

Well, he's not wrong.

Although sequels can kill maybe a little innovation (looking at COD), sometimes it can expand upon a story that can turn out to become a great sequel/trilogy.

Also this:

People actually take this hack seriously? Heavy Rain was awful.

Yes because every original game is creative and every sequel is the same thing. Never, but never, use a term that is an absolute, always use more nebulous terms like 'probably', 'usually', 'a tendency'. That way you probably won't get burned alter when people point out exceptions.

JenSeven:
He seriously hasn't grasped the idea that a sequel doesn't kill creativity and innovation, greedy publishers and devs that want to churn out a quick cashgrab kill creativity and innovation.
There are plenty of sequels that had a lot of creativity and innovation but those were created by devs and publishers that actually wanted to make a good game and not just make more money by simply creating a game through doing as little work as possible.

What this guy said. It all depends on the circumstances.

A Raging Emo:
I agree entirely. Not every sequel is bad, of course, but sometimes they kill how good the first game was. In my opinion, Bioshock is a prime example of this; I think that it should have just been left on the first one.

And Infinite is making you eat those words.

mad825:
Says the guy who sold his soul to Sony...

Sony being the company that brought us Ico, Flower, Journey, Legend of the Dragoon, Shadow of the Colossus, and gave Cage a blank check to make whatever game he wanted. What, if anything, is your point?

Why is it that this man's every utterance makes him come across as a snotty, pretentious wanker, even when I feel he genuinely wants to enrich my life as a gamer?

Speaking with Official PlayStation Magazine...

YOU LIE! THAT MAGAZINE DIED! /sobs

But anyway, not all sequels are bad. In fact, some sequels are better than the original because developers learn from their mistakes. Look at Assassin's Creed! Sure, right now, they've gone a bit crazy with sequels and I admit they're losing their track BUT AC2 was much better than AC1 back then.
Despite the fact that CoD has also caught sequelitis, Modern Warfare was much, much more fun than the original CoDs.
Oh, and you mind sharing that with all the Half Life 2 fanboys?
Or how about Zelda and Final Fantasy? Sure, some sequels are better than others but for the most part, they're good and original (especially Final Fantasy).

See, I agree with the fact that some sequels are just being released as carbon copies or previous games in order to make a quick buck and they just slap in a mediocre story to make it seem like a sequel (CoD and AC nowadays, Halo, even Just Dance). But there are also people out there who see sequels as a chance to improve. If you screw up the first time you do something, do you just shrug and say "Oh, well! Such is life!". No, you'll probably want to try again so you can be better at it.

An original franchise will take us by surprise and that's cool. But a sequel will make us giddy to see our newly beloved franchise carry on in a different (or not so much) direction.

It's not all black and white. Come on, now.

Also...

Shadow-Phoenix:

Thank you for making me spit my milk which almost made me choke while I was alone at home.

No, seriously. That was well worth it. Now I want this glitch on my game. 8D

Souplex: People who make games that forget to be games shouldn't have their opinions acknowledged.

His idea about sequels works in moderation. There are some games, just as there are some movies or shows, that should absolutely not have sequels. Think of how many straight-to-DVD movies there are that were sequels to great movies that never needed sequels. Sure, there are games that benefited from having sequels, like MGS, Kingdom Hearts, Ratchet &Clank, or the Jak series. But, if they ever make a direct sequel to, say, Spec Ops: The Line, I just might firebomb the studio who makes it.

Goddamn... the one person I hate more than Richard Garriot... No not you Molyneux, you're somewhat fine, I just hate your games...

The guy is a hack trying to be edgy. He wants people to look at him and go "Oooh he looks so smart", when he isn't. Its the whole "I did X before it was cool" hipster act all the time with him. Heavy Rain wasn't mindblowing, it was a somewhat decent title that suffered from some of the largest plot holes one could ever see.

Also, when he bitches and whines about how people shouldn't play through his game more than once because it "ruins the story" yet decided the best thing to do with trophies was encourage that exact same thing he didn't want people doing, or how us American blokes just hate his games because we aren't fancy enough*... Oh! Or better yet, making games just to make a brand out of his name!*

Yeah, definitely wannabee douche.

* http://www.destructoid.com/david-cage-united-states-has-problems-with-my-games-212530.phtml?s=27
Those last two bits came from here.

quick edit:
http://www.destructoid.com/quantic-ceo-whines-that-used-games-cost-him-millions-211143.phtml

Forgot about this guy being Cage's boss. Real group of talented and sensible people, huh?

Hey David Cage, remember that time Telltale made a Walking Dead game that was conceptually similar to some of your work but actually good?

Well yes Mr. Cage, but for all the shitty sequels there wouldn't be some of my favorite games in existence, yes I'm looking at you Persona 4 and Zero Escape. Let's not forget that original IPs are all well and good, but sometimes you just want to see a little more of one story than a single chapter. The way the industry is going we either will continue having an influx of sequels or an influx of one shot games. There is no winnable ground.

Besides creators sometimes want to improve on an existing product and they don't have the desire to create something new when a potential goldmine of untapped potential already exists in a given universe. (lol that made me giggle)Besides creativity goes both ways you don't have to create something new everyday, creativity also strives on improving something. I could go all day with the counter arguments, man wish I could actually talk to this guy for all his bluster.

Sarah LeBoeuf:
"sequels kill creativity and innovation."

No, shitty writing and lack of ideas kill creativity and innovation. The phrase "same shit different label" comes to mind.

Sarah LeBoeuf:
"We don't give people what they expect. We want to give them something they want without knowing they want it."

Ah, the "I have a very specific vision of a work of art and those who are unable to appreciate it are uncultured heathens unworthy to even think of my creation" school of thought. Fascinating. /jk

Most of the games that came out in 2012 were sequels. Yeah, there were many uncreative, bland additions to popular franchises (I'm looking at you spunkgargleweewee games and Diablo 3), but there was a lot of interesting and creative stuff that came out this year, many of them direct sequels. Look at Far Cry 3, Max Payne 3, Torchlight 2, Borderlands 2, along with many others I haven't played yet. And we are looking forward to a Bioshock sequel that's taking a completely different approach.

To say that Sequels kill creativity and Innovation is a sweeping generalisation made by Auteurs. You know, those wankers who never accept criticism towards their Magnum opus. *Ends Ironic Tone*

Look Cage.

Sequels are as old as time.

Remember playing D&D (I will not believe there exists a single game dev who didn't)? That's basically sequels to the max. Every new story is basically a sequel to the story of your character. Exploring more of a world you know and love and want t see more off.

Broad generalizing statements are stupid. Don't make em to often.

Woah! Gettin' real edgy there with that opinion Mr. Cage! What an innovative and creative thing to say! It also sure means a lot coming from a game developer whose idea of innovation is to just be really bad at copying and imitating everything movies do.

JenSeven:
He seriously hasn't grasped the idea that a sequel doesn't kill creativity and innovation, greedy publishers and devs that want to churn out a quick cashgrab kill creativity and innovation.

I think that's what he's trying to imply. What I assume he's trying to tell this to the industry, which does a lot of cashgrabbing for the most part, is exactly that and not to gamers.

I agree with you that there are some amazing sequels are out there. Hell, some of my favorite games ever like (Portal 2 or Fallout 3/New Vegas were sequels. But let's face it, there is a lot of money grubbing at the moment where publishers don't give a shit and know people will buy it either way. And I agree with him that it's doing harm to the artistic side of games.

The way he said it, however, is what kind of gets on my nerves. It was that type of "You don't know what you want! I know what you want! Listen to me!" kind of way. Yikes! :S

He sort of has a point, but it's hard to make out because he's muffling himself with his own anus. Whilst some franchises are a bit milked, they're not necessarily uncreative so long as you can actually make a decent game. Besides, Heavy Rain wasn't all that creative either; the reason no one had tried it before was because everyone thought it was a terrible idea rather than because it was a bolt of inspiration.

Sarah LeBoeuf:
Cage's assessment about gamers buying sequels because they have "no interest in innovation" might be a little unfair; gaming is an expensive hobby, and trying out a new IP is a risk not everyone can afford. It's always great to see inventive, original games manage some degree of success, but it's also hard to complain when publishers give us more of what we want.

No, it's not hard to tryout a new IP at all. There are plenty of gaming magazines that people can buy, some even come with demo discs and there are plenty of websites that review games and have footage of the game, like say this one or even this one. If you end up not liking said new IP you can trade it in, for consoles at least, towards something familiar with a new subtitle or number at the end.

Don't get me wrong however. I love it when a sequel to great game is announced, but alot of sequels these days seem to rushed and barely seem to have a year or two development time, mostly it seems by publisher mandates. However in the long run sequels do seem to kill creativity and innovation. For every sequel that sells muti-million copies worldwide, there is at least one decent new game that barley sells half a million. Once in a while a new IP will get through, but mostly they just get buried and forgotten about.

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