Beyond: Two Souls lead says sequels kill creativity

David Cage, designer and director of Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, doesn't want to give gamers something they already know they like.

“We don’t give people what they expect," Cage told Official PlayStation Magazine. "We want to give them something they want without knowing they want it”.

Cage said too many developers and publishers are serving established interests--that's why triple-A releases are so dominated by sequels and minor variations. Of course, gamers vote with their dollars and "encourage [publishers] to keep making the same game every Christmas, and everybody’s happy."

Hint: Cage isn't happy.

“If you’re interested in innovation and believe that games could be more than shooters, then you realize that sequels kill creativity and innovation."


  • XD00175 - January 11, 2013 3:08 p.m.

    Does this guy do anything other than bitch about the problems with games? I love how he knocks sequels, when plenty of series use them to change themselves. And when are people going to stop defaulting to the "shooters suck" argument? We get it, there are plenty of Call of Duty clones. But with Halo 4 and BLOPS II actually changing things up in their series, and games like Bioshock and Mass Effect technically being shooters, I'm getting more than a little annoyed at hearing this constantly.
  • 7-D - January 11, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    I find it interesting that there's a clutch of gamers saying this lately. I personally couldn't give a toss about a story. Why do games all of a sudden have to have 'stories'? Some of the best games of all time have no stories at all. I'm personally tired of games having to have "stories". Why? They're not films or novels, they're games. What about Journey? What about Mario Galaxy (or the whole series)? I don't think anyone can argue that princess peach being kidnapped (again) constitutes a 'compelling story' - but it's a masterpiece. What about the classics? Space invaders, Galaga, pac-man, pong.. they have no (or threadbare) stories, are they all now discounted by this new generation of story-centric gamers? What about most of the 8/16bit generation? You can't tell me you played games like Sonic, Streetfighter, Duck-Hunt and Shinobi for their "compelling stories". Vanquish has a dreadful story, Bayonetta incomprehensible, Minecraft does away with it all together - yet they're all brilliant. Games can do things and convey abstract feelings/ideas in a way that no other medium can, yet it seems a huge chunk of contemporary gamers want them / implore them to tread the tired old narratives of 'other' media. Even worse the tired old narratives of Hollywood. Give me an abstract or incomprehensible "plot" with great mechanics any day over a narrative driven game which feels awkward. I'm not knocking you, honestly. If you only love games with stories that's your call, you like what you like. Just like if you only loved games with big-breasted witches.. that would be fine too. I just honestly wonder about all these gamers who keep saying "story is key"? Do they really not love story-less games?
  • 7-D - January 11, 2013 2:28 p.m.

    (Reply to Tjwoods18 - Double Post)
  • jackthemenace - January 11, 2013 1:59 p.m.

    I'm inclined to agree with him, to an extent; A lot of games DO have good, and fresh, sequels, like Portal 2 Arkham city, and DMC3 and Borderlands 2 are some of my favourite games ever. But there is a point, usually around the fifth of sixth game in a series, where a series' originality is spent, and it's just the same crap time after time. Admittedly, if the series is left alone for a while, maybe a few years to a decade, it can e picked up again, potentially, and injected with shiny new things and made to feel fresh and exciting again for a while, but in small doses. Sequels don't KILL creativity, but large franchises do need to be handled with care.
  • MyCoolWhiteLies - January 11, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    Sequels can, but don't always, kill creativity. They also bring a great deal of refinement. Once a series gets to the 5 or so installment though, they should probably move on. I know they can be big money makers, but by that point they're rarely good, unless they're seriously reinventing themselves each time.
  • Rojoco - January 11, 2013 6:44 a.m.

    Says the man who's made the same game three times now.
  • SilentDark - January 11, 2013 6:05 a.m.

    The sad thing is franchises sell, and with the spiralling cost of games and the harsh reality of the current economic climate people will opt for "safe" titles they know they will enjoy rather than take a chance on something new. The fate of Okami should be proof enough of this fact.
  • TanookiMan - January 11, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    *removes hat* Okami was just too beautiful to live...
  • pl4y4h - January 11, 2013 12:56 a.m.

    I feel more this way towards movies more than games. Of course when Mario party 57, Dynasty warriors 62, and Modern Warfare 43 come out it only helps to prove his point
  • RareHero - January 11, 2013 12:21 a.m.

    Honestly David Cage gets an undue amount of flak for his comments, and in this case I'd say he's absolutely right. Traditional sequels that don't offer anything beyond a change in setting stifle creativity in the industry. Not going to name any names, but we can all pretty much imagine what IPs fall into that category. As someone above me mentioned, I don't think games like Bioshock Infinite or Super Mario Galaxy would apply to Cage's statement, as those games represent marked shifts in direction within their respective franchises. But there's no use denying that many gamers are content paying for more of the same over and over and over again, and as long as publishers can milk something, they will.
  • ultimatepunchrod - January 10, 2013 8:42 p.m.

  • BaraChat - January 10, 2013 8:32 p.m.

    "Hey look, Ken Levine is doing ANOTHER Bioshock, what a waste. Surely this game will feature absolutely no innovation and creativity. None." or "Wow, a FOURTH Resident Evil. This is bad, nothing new or innovative will come out of a 4th installment in that series." or "Super Mario Galaxy? Again Nintendo? There's nothing new you can explore with that fat plumber. Your series hasn't evolved since the mid-80s." Most of the highly regarded titles in video game history are sequels. Many "original" IPs are far less creative and innovative than other franchises' sequels. The opposite is also true, some sequels are simply rehashing the same old formula, and some original IPs bring something new to the table. You can't go around saying That's either an ignorant statement by Mr. Cage or a very dishonest one. I can't choose.
  • ObliqueZombie - January 10, 2013 7:03 p.m.

    Okay, Mr. Hip Hipster.
  • winner2 - January 11, 2013 2:29 p.m.

    I was thinking the exact same thing.
  • Viron - January 10, 2013 4:50 p.m.

    I can make crazy and innaccurate statements too Mr Cage, like the French have never given up in a war, or that Heavy Rain was a game and not a quick time event movie.
  • Tjwoods18 - January 10, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    I could spend all day punching buttons, but I will not love a game that does not have a compelling story.

Showing 1-17 of 17 comments

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