David Cage: ‘I’ll be dead before game stories rival movies’
Heavy Rain. Beyond. Fahrenheit. David Cage might be making games that tell interactive cinematic stories and look to advance gaming as a narrative art form, but the Quantic Dream pioneer doesn’t seem confident that the rest of the development world will follow his lead any time soon.
“My opinion is that we have nothing in games that gets anywhere near to a good film in terms of narrative, characterisation or emotion,” he says in an exclusive interview in Play issue 244. “Games focus on simple themes and target a teenage audience. They could become meaningful – they could have the power to move a larger audience. But it would take new paradigms, a shift to privileging meaning over action and a lot more power given to talented people for that to happen. And the more things go on, the more I doubt things will change. To be perfectly honest, we are very few people in the world, thinking this way. Maybe incremental changes, small step by small step, could make a difference, but I will probably be dead by the time it happens.”
In a world where action-heavy triple-A blockbusters are king, he’s probably not far from the mark. The indie scene is doing its bit to bring narrative back to the fore, but few big-budget releases have even come close to Cage’s finest moments. And he implores the industy to do more. “Emotion in games is currently very marginal and we tend to focus on the same things: stress, fear, excitement, power. Playing with different emotions in games – empathy, discomfort, sadness and so on – is what interests me most. We can do much more than we currently do.”
You can read the full interview with David Cage in Play issue 244, available now from newsagents and supermarkets, as well as digitally for mobiles and tablets.