Warren Spector, who led design on the original Deus Ex and is currently working for Disney on the Epic Mickey franchise, is uncomfortable with the industry's focus on shooters and violence. Speaking to Eurogamer Germany (via Eurogamer), the designer called on developers to use their skills to create more believable characters, not just authentic-looking guns.
"Can you imagine what games would look like if [id Software cofounder John Carmack and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney] spent as much time working on non-combat AI as they do on rendering? Can you imagine what games we would have if John Carmack decided he wanted to create a believable character as opposed to a believable gun?"
Spector explained that he believes games are stuck in a rut. He said modern games can relate violence, but they struggle with "basic human interactions" like sex and emotion.
"Think about what we do," he said. "Think about our controls. We have a controller that has a bunch of buttons on it. That maps really well to, I'm going to press this button at this millisecond which will cause a pixel to move on the screen and create another pixel. We do that really well, and that maps really well to pulling a virtual trigger on a virtual gun. It's easy for us to do that."
Elsewhere during the interview, Spector explained the culture at Disney is such that he is never asked to work on projects with much violence. "They don't even want you to do a game like that," he said.
Spector said because of this, he is interested in developing games with themes he can more personally connect to. These themes include what it's like to have a brother and how a person forms a family.
Lastly, Spector said the industry focuses "a bit too much on violence," and this is because "it's easy" and is proven to be popular. "It isn't all we can do, and it certainly isn't all we should do," he said.