David Cage: “This Industry Will Die If It Doesn’t Try More to Be Innovative”
David Cage, creator of Heavy Rain and Beyond, believes the video game industry will ultimately perish if developers don’t make an effort to move beyond the standard “jump and shoot” gameplay that essentially defines gaming.
Speaking with GamesIndustry International, Cage said:
It’s not up to me to tell the industry what they should or should not do. There are very clever people out there and they know what they want to do. I can only talk for my studio. I wouldn’t be interested in making just software to sell to people at Christmas. I’m not that kind of person and I’m not interested in that. I respect people doing this, but it’s not how I see my work. I’m interested in using this medium to express something and to trigger deeper emotions. I think you can do it if you make movies, if you make TV series… all expression forms are great for that. But games, we just shoot and jump. What about trying something else and using it?
It’s a fantastic medium. It’s crazy what you can do with this thing, because the relationship you have with experience is so different from what you have with anything else. You watch a movie, you’re just passive. You watch a story, and it’s a story that’s told to you. But when you’re in a game, you can tell the story. You can decide what you want to happen. And you can make up pretty much your own story based on your choices and your moral decisions. That’s fascinating.
I wish more people were trying this, but it’s not so much about telling the industry you should do games like Heavy Rain or Beyond; the last game I really enjoyed is Journey, for example. Journey was amazing. It has nothing to do with what I’m doing. But it’s not so much about storytelling. It’s about emotion. It’s about trying something different. 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. 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.
When you think about it — and I mean really think about it — it’s depressing that the infinite potential of the video game medium is being squandered on pumping out different flavors of the same three games. Unfortunately, that’s what sells.