Industry will die without innovation, says David Cage

Quantic Dream boss says industry will fail without new ideas, laments ubiquity of first-person shooters.

Without attempts at innovation, the game industry will perish, according to Quantic Dream boss David Cage. Speaking to GamesIndustry International, the developer said studios must at least try to create new and inventive projects.

The industry needs innovation, Cage says.

"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," he said. "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."

Cage also sung the praises of ThatGameCompany's downloadable adventure game Journey. He said this game is about storytelling and emotion, and represents exactly what the industry needs at this time, a "breath of fresh air." Contrasting this, Cage also lamented what he described as an oversaturation of first-person shooters.

"How many first person shooters can we create per year? How many can we play per year? How many of them will be successful?" he said. "Even from a business point of view, does it make any sense? I'm not sure."

Cage's latest project is Beyond: Two Souls for the PlayStation 3. Cage claims this narrative-focused game will be emotional, mature, and unique, and one that creates moments that players remember for a long time. Juno and Inception actress Ellen Page will provide the voice and likeness for the game's mysterious young woman, Jodie Holmes, and Spider-Man actor Willem Dafoe is rumored to have a part in the game.

For more on Beyond: Two Souls, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

416 comments
twistedmalice
twistedmalice

This is a great article.  If the industry doesn't try to innovate and try to create new games that are different from the norm we get stuck in a cycle playing the same things with different characters and different named games.  I loved what I say in Beyond and I like where the future of gaming is headed.

_huh
_huh

Look, this is how the free market works.  Look at all of us here pissed about the fact that what the developers are giving us is the same old crap we've seen for the last few years.  What happens next? Indies that produce innovatiive IP's that capture our interest cause us to lose interest in the biggies, thus, the biggies lose profit until they find a way to stay competitive.  When that happens, who wins?  We do, because we get multiple companies fighting to get out business from them.  Those that done, fail.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  It's the beauty of the free market that so many seem to forget, because sometimes the biggies steal the show for a little while, until the public speaks up and makes a point with their pocketbooks, which means less business for the biggies.

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

And having Juno and the Green Goblin in your movie is innovative? 

euphoric666
euphoric666

he's right... please stop with this shooters madnesss... give us some intelligent and creative games.

2x4b96123
2x4b96123

No s$^@#But there's plenty of small developers breaking ground. The industry is probably due for a crash since there's a lot of investment without the market or demand getting much bigger. But that's a result of a bubble forming based on speculation instead of actual consumer demand then isn't it?The industry that matters will be fine. The publishers applying the prior Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero strategies onto the greater part of their profit-gaining pie (eg. Call of Duty) are who are going to crash hard when the demand for their product evaporates. Nobody wants to buy the same game every year.

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

We just need another 84 crash so that companies like ActiBlob and EA die off and big investors pull back from the industry.

Merlena01
Merlena01

David C. gets lovely actress Ellen Page (Hard Candy, Juno, Inception) even starring in Quintin Tarantino's new movie; as well as appearance of Willem Dafoe!? (Platoon!) When Quantic Dream manages pull a long shot like this, then I start thinking: Where is the minds of these big-ass developers that rule the market got their head stuck in? It's just unbelievable.

Merlena01
Merlena01

@TxtBin

Say that to Kevin VanOrd, look at The Secret World. None of these other studios gets a taste of the cake. These reviewers and so on are just too busy dreaming about what Rockstar Games' or Bethesda's new buggy big screen game will be. And even if the new guys got bugs here and there; it's still going down the drain... if Bethesda got a bug, that makes their game unplayable after your save-game is over a specific size (Skyrim?) they still ignore it.

 

Heavy Rain was something unique, as it was an Playstation 3 exclusive only it got slapped. Microsoft's exclusives ain't exactly what we HAVEN'T seen before, eh?

 

Good written.

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

When a saturation point is hit in the shooter market, if those types of games are all big companies are pushing out, perhaps the industry will truly be in trouble.

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

Indie games are in a nice place right now.  But that's rather heavily on the PC side of the market.

Axe_Armor
Axe_Armor

I'm sorry, but these interactive movies like Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls can barely be called "games," never mind innovative.

_huh
_huh

uhhh... "I mean this industry will die if it doesn't try more to be innovative and to come up with new ideas...", no sh*t sherlock.  Is this a newsflash?  Any industry that stagnates and does not work to inspire interest from its consumers is doomed.  Is this a rant article?  There is no breaking news in this article. 

Zaalin
Zaalin

I've pretty much stopped buying games for the consoles because they really do lack variety, quality, and innovation.

 

But between Steam and Kickstarter, I've found a cheap source of excellent and innovative games that keep me occupied. Since I've started using Steam and Kickstarter to find and buy games, I've probably spent a quarter of what I used to spend on games yearly, and had my enjoyable gameplay time increase to nearly double.

 

The innovation and variety is there, it's just not at your local game store. Stop looking to companies that have advertising budgets and employ people that won't even play the game they're going to sell you. Go find the two-man dev teams, or the guys working out of a garage. They're already doing what Cage is asking for.

 

-Z- 

SebCrakpot1234
SebCrakpot1234

The main factor why games like COD sell so much is because of the casual gamers... it's all they know. Games need WAY more advertissements. Just look at all the advertissements games like Assassin's Creed, GOW and RDR did... I have had lot of family and friends who barely play video games buy these games because they saw it couple times on TV. I also remember a future shop or wall-mart flyer back then showing TV for sells and they all had RDR ads in the screen, thats how you attract and reach normal people.

 

Look at movie industry, why is it some movie gets very popular and does good in box-office... it's because everyone talks about it and everyone wants to go see it, everyone saw the trailer on TV. Even if it's a guy's movie (like most video games) it will still do good so it's no excuse for video games.

 

It seems video games are still taboo in society... I think society isn't exposed enough to video games and people who think video games are evil or make you kill people or are for nerds or guys only...just dont know what they're talking about.

SebCrakpot1234
SebCrakpot1234

There's still a couple of good original games. Yes, the majority of games are recycled and non-original but still there's no need panic, just don't buy these games. I liked games like RDR, Skyrim, Assassins Creed, LA Noire (not a masterpiece but at least they tried something different) and GTA of course, etc... there's also Watch Dogs coming who could be brilliant!

 

Just look in the right direction and stop feeding the companies who create games that don't deserve recognition. Lot of people need to open their mind cause to be honest A LOT actually like to play the same games over and over... for example people in COD reaching prestige like 20 times. Games are taken serious enough in general in the society so lot of games don't get enough advertissement...not everyone come on gamespot or ign to see what the gaming industry has to offer... they play COD for example but because thats all they know, if you ask them whats their fav game theyll say COD and they hate everything else but if you ask them if they tried anything else you'll realize they haven't cause they aren't aware of everything available in the gaming industry.

northernrage
northernrage

Look at how many COD games they spam out a year. There's no innovation in FPS shooters. They make your typical online match-making then you have about 5-6 hours of campaign and that's it. All that wrapped up in a full retail package which will cost you about 60 bucks.

 

Last year I decided to jump on the bandwagon and finally buy MW3 - the only COD game I'd ever had was world at war - I must have finished that game on hard mode in about 4 hours. Games have been dumbed down in the last couple of years, and that's not the only thing to have been reduced by half, their length is getting shorter as the years go by. If you went through the 90s and early 2000s you know what I'm talking about.  Games back then were much more challenging than today.

Zoza24
Zoza24

I Think David Cage makes some sense.

 

New and young game studios have no chance against the big ones  that produce killer games such as Gears Of War and Uncharted Halo etc..

 

This is also our fault of not wanting to play games that might be fun after all, New gamedesigners never have the chance to shine for a moment to see what their games are.

 

There are even bigger talents out there that never have given the chance to see their values in their talents.. Because most gamestudios only accept (so called expirienced people that alleady worked in the gaming industry for years.)

 

I think for the individual and anonymous gamedesigners that they need to be given a chance as well, because They are probably the innovators we need to keep the Industry fresh and running again..

 

Take a look at the game HAWKEN!!!..

interrasteral7
interrasteral7

David Cage needs to look at the Call of Duty franchise, because Activision is making tons of money without their developers innovating the recent games after Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. 

videogamer008
videogamer008

although i looked at one trailer i totally think that this game will be good because heavy rain was a best seller hit and david cage is a genius.  i am going to say this with my many respects towards david cage and his crew: i am going to pre order this bad*** game because i have heavy rain and i still play it although i finished it about 10 times, i still play it.... and i am guarantee i will play this one over and over again..

TxtBin
TxtBin

Whoa... can't believe some people actually disagree with this guy...

 

Now let's see... there's 2 BIG FPS series which is known for its FPS gameplay and is pretty much praised by everyone even though they are strictly average games (although one of the series at least makes the attempt to make a difference between each title in the series). Then we get all these wannabe games trying to mimic these giants (e.g Brink, Bodycount, Syndicate etc). It annoys me how these games also have some lousy campaign spanning up to a maximum of 4-5 hours (what happened to games which are 60+ hours). And what's really ******* me is that when something different or actually fun comes out and doesn't decide to take the route of these otherwise generic games, it gets written off as not worth it's retail price (and somehow these FPS games lasting 4-5 hours where you do the same thing again and again is worth paying for)....

supermoogle
supermoogle

This guy sure does like to complain a lot.

 

Fighting the status quo is admirable and good for everyone, but you can really do it without the whining.  You do your thing, let the mainstream do theirs.

s4dn3s5
s4dn3s5

LOL

 

this must be the reason why the best selling games of our time LACK ANY KIND OF INNOVATION and are just copies of the previous game

fajin36
fajin36

If we lok back at the golden age of gaming, the 8-bit and 16-bit era, it was a lot more limited in terms of types of games to play.

Basically, you had your side-scroller platform games and fighting games (Until SF2 changed all that with 1v1 fighting) and space shooters. RPG's weren't exactly in plentiful supply. Beyond that, there wasn't a whole lot to get excited about.

 

We remember classics like Mario and Sonic and Street Fighter, but forget all the doezens and dozens of lifeless and crappy titles that ripped them off. Just like today, the most popular genres back then were cloned to death.

 

Today, we have literally every kind of game we can think of out there. It's not just FPS games at all. We have motion-based games, rythmn-based games, simple flash games, huge and complex open-world games and everything in between. If people still love their side-scroller platfrom games then XBLA has plenty...or you could get an emulator for your PC and play the old classics.

 

The industry today may seem somewhat generic at times, but if one really thinks about it, it always has. The 8-bit and 16-bit era, beyond a few genuinely ground-breaking games, probably (no, definitely) had less innovation than we have now.

 

Beyond the current gen, we have the upcoming WiiU and the next Xbox/PS to look forward to. Look also what John Carmack is trying to do with head-mounted displays. Who knows in what new ways all these new technologies will allow us to have a new or different experience?

 

 

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

Another worthless and totally obvious statement. David Cage quickly becomes C.O. of the game industry.

Tangsta03
Tangsta03

The industry isn't going anywhere. The only thing that's dying is quality.

samantha_sneez
samantha_sneez

Ugh, I hate FPSs. Third person shooters don't bother me too much, but FPSs have such a lack of creativity and aren't really as interactive as TPS (Mass Effect 3 the exception). All of the CoD and Mw3 junk is just that...junk. And everyone is either jumping on the FPS bandwagon or the friggin Zombie bandwagon. I loved Heavy Rain, I also liked Indigo Prophecy (until the last two thirds of the game), and games with that level of depth and storytelling are a rare breed. Most of the games now are just shallow garbage aimed at the most common denominator. Are video games imitating Hollywood at this point? I got that impression from the awful debacle called "Mass Effect 3".

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

internet says one thing , gamers out in the real world say an other, and since the others are the majority , get ready for steady stream of shooters.

 

Casuals killed the Video game star.

 

vicke32
vicke32

I personally blame industry, games used to be something personal, in the golden years of 1995-2006 the best games were made, sure, other games are good as well, but that's generally a good timeline.

The problem is not the fact that they have run our of ideas, it's the fact that they don't need ideas to make profit. Games used to be a solid package of love, sweat, tears, frustration, and all that good stuff, you used to be able to feel the emotion in games, you used to feel immersed, you used to feel like you were doing something. But nowadays things are much, much different, games are made for profit, and that's it. Games are made for one explicit purpose, to generate revenue and income, therefore they make games as simply as possible while not really caring about stuff like story.

A game has a story and a narrative, like a book, this narrative is what you see and hear, but "see" is so far different now. Take for example in Neverwinter Nights, "Also,  [person you trust] is missing, I know this is a problem but it will have to wait.". Now, if you just rush and kill everything you will just go "What the f***?" when you reach said person, but if you instead took your time and read through the journals, letters, diaries and whatnot that you find you will think of it differently. At one point the character in question says "In the name of... Tyr..." just once, nothing more hinting at it. Talking and reading in games used to be different things, talking was during extremely important parts and reading was during everything else, but these days people seem allergic to reading dialogue which causes a problem, mainly that it limits how many people and characters you can have due to voice-acting-related limits.

Basically, the more simple you make the mechanics, the more simple the narrative, the more simple the narrative, the more simple the story.

Oh yea, also, the reason modern FPS sucks is because it's modern and brown, in CoD 1 during the Russian campaign if you tried to retreat or take a single step back you were shot to death, today it's all "RAMIREZ, PRODUCT PLACEMENT!" and you shooting at an ever-increasing amount of Russians.

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

 @Ultramarinus Yeah, that's cool. The two biggest companies going out of business, great franchises dying, thousands and thousands without jobs, pensions, hope. Yeah, that does sound great, ya jackass. 

hastati4
hastati4

 @Merlena01 I've never seen anyone else with my avatar. You're the first. Yay Dreamfall. That is all.

 

Oh, and good comment.

2x4b96123
2x4b96123

 @TrueProphecy22 

Those types of shooters you mean-which is the disadvantage of mainstream as your market. When the stream decides to flow elsewhere there's nothing but rocks & dust remaining of the demand for your product. Niche shooters (and other genres) will do just fine. Deus Ex, Half-Life and Tribes, will do just fine.WoW clones will crash and burn. The overinflated MOBA scene will deflate considerably in the next couple of years once the audience matures, those who stay stay while those who weren't hooked move on.

Rexx760
Rexx760

 @Axe_Armor They are very much so games and Heavy Rain was one of the best game experiences I have every played in my 20+ years of gaming.

2x4b96123
2x4b96123

 @SebCrakpot1234 Play on PC more. There are TONS of good original games thanks to small developers.Even the free to play scene is getting some really good games. Tribes and League of Legends are loads of fun. Path of Exile and Shootmania are both AWESOME so far though they're still in closed beta (you can buy access for like $10 if you're interested), DOTA2 and Mechwarrior Online are both going to be great fun to play.In non-free to play, there's many indie developers out there who have a following and a market on PC. Tim Schafer's next adventure game will be worth following. Check out the Humble Indie Bundle to buy entire packs of high quality (and innovative!) games on what is basically an honour system.Step down into the rabbit hole of PC gaming friend :PYou've never experienced developer-consumer relations like this before.And bring your friends with you, if they're willing to step outside their mundane bastion citadels of Playstation or Xbox into the 'hated' wilderness of PC. It is an experience full of trials and tribulations, but ultimately far more rewarding than most things you'll experience on your console platform.(though splitscreen gaming is pretty cool) 

SebCrakpot1234
SebCrakpot1234

*Games aren't taken serious enough*     - I meant

mechmaster525
mechmaster525

 @TxtBin Can't agree more! I love gamespot I really do, yet I also love how Gamespot gives EVERY SINGLE COD MW TITLE A 9.0 editors choice. I was thrilled when CoD MW 3 ACTUALLY got an 8.5 for being "more of the same". I think it's funny that with big series and big companies Gamespot will give their games 9.0's and even only a -.5 for being more of the same, yet if another game dares to do the same thing over and over it would get a -3, -4, or even -5 whole points! It's one thing I can't stand about Gamespot and their reviews. CoD 1 deserved the 9.0 it got, CoD 2 deserved about an 8.0, and CoD 3 deserved about a 7 (and I'm being generous in those numbers with 2 and 3). Why did they deserve to have -1 and -2 points taken off? Because CoD 2 is exactly the same as 1 with crappier sound and a slightly different story, and CoD 3 is 1, and 2, but with the same crappy sound and a slightly different story.

 

mechmaster525
mechmaster525

 @vicke32 If your saying what I think your saying in that last part, then you just proved the point I was trying to make in my rant. That first person shooters can have substance and be innovative.

 

Take CoD 1, like in your example, it was historically accurate and actually gave factual information about WWII and made you feel like a soldier. Even Modern Warfare 1 had you feel like a soldier and even though it was a fictional war it still had enough realism in the weapons, soldier comments, and other parts that made you believe it. Cod 2, and 3 are just carbon copies and are just loud, noisy, overblown Michael Bay fests. They have no substance, realism, or complexity. I even think they skimped out and used the crappiest sound for the M4 rifle in 2, and 3. In 1 it sounded loud, realistic, and powerful, in 2, and 3, it sounds like a tire leaking air in bursts.

 

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

 @Sgthombre Couldn't care less about bloated, overrated, tired, copy&pasted franchises and their companies dying and getting replaced. Those same companies are the ones who buy off little competitors and close them 2 years later, causing tons of lost jobs. If you're ignorant, stay put.

Rexx760
Rexx760

 @Axe_Armor Puzzle Solving, twitch reflex interaction, exploration and a amazing story that you play out and has many outcomes. Yeah Heavy Rain is far beyond a interactive story.

hastati4
hastati4

 @Sgthombre I believe by "COD games" he means CoD and all the modern shooters like it.

 

You can make the argument that there aren't nearly so many copies of AC as there are of CoD. I still think Ubi was dumb to release AC2, Brotherhood and Revelations back to back to back.

JM_Lerris
JM_Lerris

 @jamyskis When he says "this industry will die", he's talking about money, not game quality. If the money is there, even though the games are unoriginal, the industry will be fine.

s4dn3s5
s4dn3s5

 @leviathanwing just stating the obvious with irony, I don't expect kids like you to get it btw, maybe when you'll grow up

mechmaster525
mechmaster525

 @KDogKool ME 3 is a horrible game in so many ways I could write a book describing them all. Even the "extended cut" endings didn't help. I feel like ME 3 WAS a good game, but the ending just ruined it completely to the point where I can't even say it's a good game anymore. I felt the same way with The Matrix Revolutions. I thought it was good movie until the end, now I despise it. Both ME and The Matrix were great series, but lets face it, the third episode in both series sucked mainly because of the ending. I have to agree with samantha_sneez that "beautiful" is subjective. The rest of ME is "beautiful", I will agree with you there.

 

KDogKool
KDogKool

 @mechmaster525 I feel the extended cut fixed all the main problems for me, and actually added emotion to the end (which the original ending lacked). Had the EC shipped on disc I don't think there would have been the huge controversy.And yes I'm aware of the "problems" of Mass Effect 3, eg the horrible Journal, lamer squadmates, often only 2 dialogue choices, the large amounts of auto dialogue, and how the rachni choice in ME1 or the collector base in ME2 hardly matter. However, these were all dust in the wind for me compared to how amazing the rest of the game is. Refined combat, extraordinary plot/storytelling/voice acting, and all the different ways many choices from the whole series can play out make this game easily GOTY so far for me.