Microsoft Rejected Heavy Rain Due To Child Abduction Plot

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Microsoft Rejected Heavy Rain Due To Child Abduction Plot

Sawing someone's head off with a chainsaw-gun: OK! Abducting someone's son: that's a no-go.

Heavy Rain, a dramatic noir thriller revolving around the abduction of main character Ethan's son Shaun, went on to become one of the PlayStation 3's strongest games, receiving universal praise from critics and becoming a bestseller for the system. But, it was almost an Xbox 360 title, Quantic Dream's head of development David Cage, revealing that the developer first pitched the game to Microsoft, who rejected it due to the aforementioned child abduction plot.

"We were pitching Heavy Rain to different publishers, including Sony, and we went to Microsoft," said Cage at this year's BAFTA annual games lecture. "They got scared by the fact that Heavy Rain was about kids being kidnapped, and they said, 'This is an issue, we want to change it'. Well, we could have kidnapped cats, it would be a different experience!"

"For me, that was a very interesting signal. It was like, you know what, I don't think we can work together, because you don't understand what I'm to achieve here." he continued, "They were scared of the scandal and scared of what people may write and what people may think. 'Oh, this is a developer and the publisher making games about a child getting kidnapped."

Cage said his conversations with Sony went much smoother, with the studio understanding that it had to take a risk to publish a great story. "We had this conversation with Sony very honestly saying, 'Okay, there is a reason here'. But I think they understand the upside of what we were doing. We could understand each other, and this is how Heavy Rain happened."

Source: Digital Spy (Thanks Phil!)

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Sorry, all I can ever remember from that game is Press X to JASON.

The story was not as awe-inspiring as I would have hoped. In my opinion, of course.

Not to mention the twist that involves the game straight-up lying to the player.

What about Shinobi then? There were kidnapped children all over the place, heck they were bonus points. I think they were children. Some of them could've been adults I suppose.

^Nope, Wikipedia says children: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shin0000.png

image

Fuck it, this image should be the one used by the article :D

I have heard many great things of this game, but one game alone is not sufficient justification for a console. Maybe they will do a PC release?

And this is why I'm getting a PS4 instead of an Xbox. Sony just seem more interested in unusual games

TBF, child abduction is rather more common than chainsaw gun decapitations in the real world, I could see why that'd be more of a concern at the current time.

Sorry, when I read quotes from David Cage I can only hear them in my head la Jim Sterling's "Emotions, emotions, emotions" mockery. Kinda ruins the news piece but makes it much funnier at the same time. Damn you, Jim.

008Zulu:
I have heard many great things of this game, but one game alone is not sufficient justification for a console. Maybe they will do a PC release?

Trust me when I say those "great things" are all exaggerations of a high caliber. Heavy Rain was a step in the more serious direction for Quantic because the killer/kidnapper didn't turn out to be an aztec robot who the dad goes on to have matrix style kung fu fights against.

All though considering the plot hole and red herring based twists of Heavy Rain, that might actually have been a better turn.

speaking of heavy rain i'm wondering if i should get it

I for one am happy that Microsoft decided it like that. Otherwise I wouldn't have gotten Heavy Rain on my PS3 and would likely never have experienced what I think is a great game.

Remember when George Lucas told people that studios turned down Red Tails because "it has an all-black cast"? And how he talked up that studios were all racist artless bigots who didn't want to put their name onto the "first action film with an all-black cast" (George Lucas, lying)? And then the film came out and it became pretty obvious that they didn't turn down the film for any other reason than it's a piece of shit.

Maybe Microsoft looked at Heavy Rain and said, hey, you're kidnapping kids, that's a bad that. Or maybe they looked at it and said, look, you artless hack, your kidnapping a child here is shallow and manipulative storytelling at its worst, maybe you could, I dunno, make it actually as clever as you think it is? And then David Cage said ahh no kidnapping children what is this a SNES game or some shit and ran away to Sony.

You see, creators are so often biased when it comes to relaying stories like this. I have very little reason to believe Cage isn't exaggerating here.

Or maybe Microsoft rejected the game because it's a load of horse manure, and even Microsoft wasn't willing to dirty their hands with David Cage's latest I-wish-I-was-a-movie-producer-so-bad-but-could-never-make-it-in-Hollywood-so-I-write-games-instead game.

Just sayin'.

thaluikhain:
TBF, child abduction is rather more common than chainsaw gun decapitations in the real world, I could see why that'd be more of a concern at the current time.

Personally, I still think the opening quip has a point: We're a lot more accepting of violence in our media than most other types of socially unaccepted (or even accepted) behavior. I mean, I'm not sure if chainsaw decapitations can really be related to kidnappings, regardless of how many are currently happening in real life. In any case, I'm guessing that it's not the protagonist who's kidnapping anyone (or chopping people's heads off), so I don't see why people would be against the 'bad guys' doing horrible stuff in a game designed for adults.
BTW, I in no way want to be insensitive to anyone who has actually had their children abducted and I can imagine that seeing it in a game could be painful.

Andy of Comix Inc:
Remember when George Lucas told people that studios turned down Red Tails because "it has an all-black cast"? And how he talked up that studios were all racist artless bigots who didn't want to put their name onto the "first action film with an all-black cast" (George Lucas, lying)? And then the film came out and it became pretty obvious that they didn't turn down the film for any other reason than it's a piece of shit.

Maybe Microsoft looked at Heavy Rain and said, hey, you're kidnapping kids, that's a bad that. Or maybe they looked at it and said, look, you artless hack, your kidnapping a child here is shallow and manipulative storytelling at its worst, maybe you could, I dunno, make it actually as clever as you think it is? And then David Cage said ahh no kidnapping children what is this a SNES game or some shit and ran away to Sony.

You see, creators are so often biased when it comes to relaying stories like this. I have very little reason to believe Cage isn't exaggerating here.

I haven't played Heavy Rain so I don't know anything about it's quality, but 'universal praise from critics' sounds like it was at least a little better than Red Tails. That and the fact that MS said "We have an issue with a story containing children being kidnapped", while I doubt any of, ah, 'those studios' said "We have an issue with making a show with an all-black cast."
Still! No one likes it when someone doesn't love their baby project that they've poured their heart and soul into for years.

008Zulu:
I have heard many great things of this game, but one game alone is not sufficient justification for a console. Maybe they will do a PC release?

Infamous 1 and 2
Ratchet and Clank series
God of War series
Disgaea series
Gran Turismo series

plenty of reasons to play PS3.

CriticKitten:
Or maybe Microsoft rejected the game because it's a load of horse manure, and even Microsoft wasn't willing to dirty their hands with David Cage's latest I-wish-I-was-a-movie-producer-so-bad-but-could-never-make-it-in-Hollywood-so-I-write-games-instead game.

Just sayin'.

So by your logic, microsoft is okay with fable 3 having no gameplay and a stupid story yet it's not okay for Heavy Rain. Microsoft is just as guilty if not more so for releasing a stupid game. More so, as in having far, far less exclusives and one of the few they had was WORSE in terms of gameplay and story then heavy rain.

Andy of Comix Inc:
Maybe Microsoft looked at Heavy Rain and said, hey, you're kidnapping kids, that's a bad that. Or maybe they looked at it and said, look, you artless hack, your kidnapping a child here is shallow and manipulative storytelling at its worst, maybe you could, I dunno, make it actually as clever as you think it is? And then David Cage said ahh no kidnapping children what is this a SNES game or some shit and ran away to Sony.

You see, creators are so often biased when it comes to relaying stories like this. I have very little reason to believe Cage isn't exaggerating here.

And I have many reasons to believe you're giving Microsoft far too much credit.

All the Cage-bashing aside, Heavy Rain was an interesting game. Interesting. There aren't a slew of games out there just like it, as there are with many success stories. That's always gonna win points with me.

More to the point, this is the kind of thing that compels people to use the phrase "interactive media" over "video games" because there is a diminutive stigma about the word "games"; it would appear that Microsoft still considers them to be a children's product, context be damned, & Sony deserves credit for handling things in a more genuine & mature manner (que the "rated M" jokes)

Mick P.:
What about Shinobi then? There were kidnapped children all over the place, heck they were bonus points. I think they were children. Some of them could've been adults I suppose.

I think it was less about wanting to avoid getting behind a game featuring child abduction, and more about not wanting to risk backing such a project at high budget levels. Shinobi was a cheaper affair, so likely nobody much cared about backing it or not. Although more relevantly, I can not find anything indicating that Microsoft published that Shinobi, so doesn't really apply...

It was actually Heavy Rain that sold me on PS3. Its not the greatest game and it was bit boring at first, but good times were had. If it were multi-platform, my choice for PS3 over Xbox would've been harder.

Vivi22:

Andy of Comix Inc:
Maybe Microsoft looked at Heavy Rain and said, hey, you're kidnapping kids, that's a bad that. Or maybe they looked at it and said, look, you artless hack, your kidnapping a child here is shallow and manipulative storytelling at its worst, maybe you could, I dunno, make it actually as clever as you think it is? And then David Cage said ahh no kidnapping children what is this a SNES game or some shit and ran away to Sony.

You see, creators are so often biased when it comes to relaying stories like this. I have very little reason to believe Cage isn't exaggerating here.

And I have many reasons to believe you're giving Microsoft far too much credit.

I just don't want to give any to David Cage, either.

It was just an idea, anyway. Maybe they had quarrels with its quality, maybe they didn't like it cos it was too linear or story-based, maybe it wasn't the action-packed FPS they wanted. I don't think it would have all hinged on "child kidnap plot" - the execution would have been a big thing for them, and Cage doesn't mention such things.

There are omissions in his quote, make no doubt of that. I just need to question what this omissions might actually be.

It's their loss.

I'm not sure if there is anything to debate about further. It's just too bad they decided to do this. I'm glad, though. I have a PS3, not a 360.

Um, guys, it's David Cage. The man has an ego the size of a mountain. This is the same guy who criticized the hell out of L.A. Noire when it came out for its face technology and is now suddenly saying that it's brilliant tech now that he's using it in his game. He's a hack who can't take criticism but feels like he's some kind of auteur. I can't trust a word he says that isn't verified by a second hand source.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

008Zulu:
I have heard many great things of this game, but one game alone is not sufficient justification for a console. Maybe they will do a PC release?

Infamous 1 and 2
Ratchet and Clank series
God of War series
Disgaea series
Gran Turismo series

plenty of reasons to play PS3.

Heh, I only bought a PS3 to play Gundam Extreme VS. (Since I am a huge fan of the series.)

Sure, over time it became my "main" gaming console alongside the Vita, but the library of the PS3 is definitely as solid as my X360 library. :)

Infamous is a brilliant series. Only issue I had was with Cole and hygiene? Poor guy not being able to shower anymore, that's just sad. :(

BrotherRool:
And this is why I'm getting a PS4 instead of an Xbox. Sony just seem more interested in unusual games

I fixed that for you.

Microsoft has a renewed interest in exclusives right now, but I expect that to die down in two years.

Zeckt:

CriticKitten:
Or maybe Microsoft rejected the game because it's a load of horse manure, and even Microsoft wasn't willing to dirty their hands with David Cage's latest I-wish-I-was-a-movie-producer-so-bad-but-could-never-make-it-in-Hollywood-so-I-write-games-instead game.

Just sayin'.

So by your logic, microsoft is okay with fable 3 having no gameplay and a stupid story yet it's not okay for Heavy Rain. Microsoft is just as guilty if not more so for releasing a stupid game. More so, as in having far, far less exclusives and one of the few they had was WORSE in terms of gameplay and story then heavy rain.

Really, Fable 3 isn't as bad as people make it out to be. I had a good bit of fun with it. Ya, the story wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible. But really, no gameplay?

I guess all that questing I did killing baddies and collecting items, isn't gameplay. Right, right....riiiggghhht? Yeah, no. I mean really, if Fable 3 has no gameplay, then games like Dragon Age, the Banjo Kazooie games, the Mario games, and anything like those have no gameplay.

From what I've seen of Heavy Rain, it was basically a movie with quick-time events, now that isn't a game, I don't care how good the story is, which that was even a mixed bag from what I've heard.

Sonic Doctor:

Really, Fable 3 isn't as bad as people make it out to be. I had a good bit of fun with it. Ya, the story wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible. But really, no gameplay?

I guess all that questing I did killing baddies and collecting items, isn't gameplay. Right, right....riiiggghhht? Yeah, no. I mean really, if Fable 3 has no gameplay, then games like Dragon Age, the Banjo Kazooie games, the Mario games, and anything like those have no gameplay.

From what I've seen of Heavy Rain, it was basically a movie with quick-time events, now that isn't a game, I don't care how good the story is, which that was even a mixed bag from what I've heard.

Hyperbole aside, Fable 3 was pretty bad. It was really an amazing sum of bad decisions like "hey let's have our leveling system be magic chests with no real character customization," and, "NPCs are flat and lifeless, let's make it even less interesting to interact with them for simplicity sake."

That and MSGS doesn't have the same reputation for quality it used to. You can easily say that there hasn't been a Crimson Skies or Halo this entire game generation... but hey, there's an on-rails Kinect game they're soooo proud of.

And if it was actually rejected for quality concerns, Microsoft should have told them that. Saying 'nope child abduction' helps no one.

I've traded my xbox360 for a ps3 just for this game and it was the best gaming decision this gen. The only notable x360 exclusive was halo, and I hated shooters.

I guess it all depends on what you like to play, approaching middle age that I am, I like my games more mature and less shooty, also something different and new like Journey once in a while. Relive my childhood dreams as a super hero in Infamous or go on adventures like indiana jones in Uncharted. It seems sony just got more to offer for my taste than microsoft ever will.

In addition, I think microsoft just don't understand games and gamers in general. That is why they made all the wrong decisions on the Xbone to me. We buy consoles for the games, it's never going to be a monopoly or "one box for all" in the living room as long as there is a good enough exclusive game for another console, they didn't get that, and that's why they'll lose.

Personally I wouldn't support microsoft or buy their console not because it's a bad machine or doesn't have good games, but because they people that's running the company believed in something that I can't agree with.

Well that's a shame, but at least the PS3 exclusivity is explained. I did always want to try Heavy Rain out.

cainx10a:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

008Zulu:
I have heard many great things of this game, but one game alone is not sufficient justification for a console. Maybe they will do a PC release?

Infamous 1 and 2
Ratchet and Clank series
God of War series
Disgaea series
Gran Turismo series

plenty of reasons to play PS3.

Heh, I only bought a PS3 to play Gundam Extreme VS. (Since I am a huge fan of the series.)

Sure, over time it became my "main" gaming console alongside the Vita, but the library of the PS3 is definitely as solid as my X360 library. :)

Infamous is a brilliant series. Only issue I had was with Cole and hygiene? Poor guy not being able to shower anymore, that's just sad. :(

This aint related to the topic but lol man. He doesn't get zapped from a little bit of water just a large amount like a ocean lol

I can easily see Microsoft turning down Heavy Rain for the reasons mentioned in the article but I also can't shake the feeling they turned them down for other reasons and "no child abduction" is the reason they told Quantic Dream; it reminds me of the only time I was fired in my life and found out from a mutual friend to my boss that they did it to hire one of her (my boss') friends. There's no way to know for certain if they had other reasons for turning Heavy Rain down but it feels like they had other reasons for it.

I actually enjoyed Heavy Rain more than, a game very similar to it, in the Walking Dead.

Tony2077:
speaking of heavy rain i'm wondering if i should get it

I'd recommend it. I got PS3 relatively recently mostly for the exclusives and Heavy Rain was one of the things I really wanted to play, so I had high expectations of it. The game definitely delivered. I'm the sort of guy who hates QTEs and while I can't say I loved that aspect of it, it didn't bother me much and I even enjoyed most of it as they kinda sorta made sense. Being still quite new to the console controls when I played it, I didn't have too much trouble with them and the game never punished me too much for it.

So yeah, again - get it imo. It's a one shot game, doesn't really have replayability as it's all about telling that story, but the game's been out for a while now, so you can get it cheap anyway.

OT: Microsoft are idiots. If you're scared of publishing a game like this, you don't deserve to be a publisher at all. I'm not saying that out of some fanboish love for Heavy Rain - the fact is, the game tells a great story, doesn't glorify any violence or anything and there's nothing to be "afraid of" here unless you have no interest in games other than making money from them. And that's clearly all Microsoft sees in this medium.

Vrach:

Tony2077:
speaking of heavy rain i'm wondering if i should get it

I'd recommend it. I got PS3 relatively recently mostly for the exclusives and Heavy Rain was one of the things I really wanted to play, so I had high expectations of it. The game definitely delivered. I'm the sort of guy who hates QTEs and while I can't say I loved that aspect of it, it didn't bother me much and I even enjoyed most of it as they kinda sorta made sense. Being still quite new to the console controls when I played it, I didn't have too much trouble with them and the game never punished me too much for it.

So yeah, again - get it imo. It's a one shot game, doesn't really have replayability as it's all about telling that story, but the game's been out for a while now, so you can get it cheap anyway.

OT: Microsoft are idiots. If you're scared of publishing a game like this, you don't deserve to be a publisher at all. I'm not saying that out of some fanboish love for Heavy Rain - the fact is, the game tells a great story, doesn't glorify any violence or anything and there's nothing to be "afraid of" here unless you have no interest in games other than making money from them. And that's clearly all Microsoft sees in this medium.

You're right, that sounds more like fanboish love for Sony, not heavy rain.

And it is still up to system creators if they want a game on their system or not. Nintendo probably didn't want this on wii, does that make them a "bad" publisher as you say? If that's the case, Sony "turning down" backwards compatibility for the new PS3's makes them a bad console maker.

cainx10a:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

008Zulu:
I have heard many great things of this game, but one game alone is not sufficient justification for a console. Maybe they will do a PC release?

Infamous 1 and 2
Ratchet and Clank series
God of War series
Disgaea series
Gran Turismo series

plenty of reasons to play PS3.

Heh, I only bought a PS3 to play Gundam Extreme VS. (Since I am a huge fan of the series.)

Sure, over time it became my "main" gaming console alongside the Vita, but the library of the PS3 is definitely as solid as my X360 library. :)

Infamous is a brilliant series. Only issue I had was with Cole and hygiene? Poor guy not being able to shower anymore, that's just sad. :(

Hundred of lemon fresh dry wipes :)

Also, Extreme Vs is bloody amazing, and I want to import it ASAP.

Vrach:

Tony2077:
speaking of heavy rain i'm wondering if i should get it

I'd recommend it. I got PS3 relatively recently mostly for the exclusives and Heavy Rain was one of the things I really wanted to play, so I had high expectations of it. The game definitely delivered. I'm the sort of guy who hates QTEs and while I can't say I loved that aspect of it, it didn't bother me much and I even enjoyed most of it as they kinda sorta made sense. Being still quite new to the console controls when I played it, I didn't have too much trouble with them and the game never punished me too much for it.

So yeah, again - get it imo. It's a one shot game, doesn't really have replayability as it's all about telling that story, but the game's been out for a while now, so you can get it cheap anyway.

OT: Microsoft are idiots. If you're scared of publishing a game like this, you don't deserve to be a publisher at all. I'm not saying that out of some fanboish love for Heavy Rain - the fact is, the game tells a great story, doesn't glorify any violence or anything and there's nothing to be "afraid of" here unless you have no interest in games other than making money from them. And that's clearly all Microsoft sees in this medium.

considering what i've played watched read if the story is really good i may pick it up the next time i go to ebgames when ever that may be.

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