Quantic Dream's David Cage believes his success with Heavy Rain is thanks to Sony's willingness to take risks above other publishers.
PlayStation 3 exclusive Heavy Rain, which blurs the line between videogame, movie, and cabinet-opening simulator, is the type of product that the world hasn't really seen before. The game's visionary, David Cage, says that the only reason it was able to become a "commercial success" was because Sony had enough "balls" to take a risk on the Quantic Dream developed product.
Speaking at GDC Europe 2010 (via Edge), Cage stated that it's time for the videogame industry to break out of the same game design rules it has been following for "25 years." He wants new ideas to invade the market, but thinks it isn't going to happen because the industry's publishers are too conservative. Other than Sony, that is.
"Publishers in general don't have balls," he said. "That's a fact. They want a safe bet. They look at what was successful last year, and ask you to do the same. You need to give them reasons to trust you... With a game like Heavy Rain, it comes together very late. If I showed you the alpha of Heavy Rain, you'd probably kill it and say that it would never happen. Many publishers would have killed that game at that stage. Sony didn't."
Because Sony was willing to take a risk to publish Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream was able to develop Cage's vision. Cage knows the market is ready for new ideas like his, revealing: "Very few developers take risks, or have opportunities to do so. But the market is ready for that ... now I can say that for sure. Heavy Rain is a commercial success, which is something that nobody at Sony or [Quantic Dream] expected, to be honest with you."
Whether you enjoy the game or not, Heavy Rain is something different that wouldn't have been properly funded by a publisher that didn't want to take a risk. In this instance, the risk paid off and as Cage says, Heavy Rain was a success. We definitely do need publishers with "balls" so that we can see new types of games being developed, but at the same time I can't blame a company for not wanting to funnel millions, or even tens of millions of dollars into a game to only go under when it doesn't reach an audience. It really does take balls to risk that kind of investment.