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.