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Heavy Rain Week: David Cage Interview Part One

Heavy Rain Week: David Cage Interview Part One


To mark the release if Heavy Rain this week Play-Mag.co.uk will be posting Heavy Rain related content every day this week in the run up to its release. To kick things off we bring you an extensive and revelatory interview conducted with Heavy Rain director David Cage by NowGamer’s Dan Howdle. It’s just about the hardest hitting Cage interview we’ve ever read and it’s massive, so we’ll post part two tomorrow. Enjoy.

Q: The games that bring in the big bucks these days tend to involve shooting people in the head, right? Aren’t you concerned that there’s too small a market for something as subtle as Heavy Rain?

That’s a complex question. The market is diverse and we need to make products for all of these different kinds of people. There are some people – a lot of teenagers – who just want adrenaline and fun. At the same time we believe – though it’s not demonstrated yet – that there is a market for adult and for more major products based on storytelling, emotion and other things. It makes a lot of sense for the publishers to fund [FPS] because that is what the market wants, but is it what it wants, or is it because there is nothing else? It’s chicken and egg. Do people buy shooters and so on because this is the only type of experience on the market? If we offer them something new will they buy it? Do we give people what they expect, or do we give them something they don’t expect? And that’s a gamble.

Q: That’s also the difficulty, though, isn’t it? Pulling an example out of thin air, take Modern Warfare. People know exactly what to expect from a series like that, but Heavy Rain does seem to need this vast explanation. How have you overcome this to explain the game in a nutshell, so people get it?

It’s very difficult to describe. I went down that road with Fahrenheit. I spent two whole years trying to explain to people what Fahrenheit was and no one got it. Of course, when the game was released, they were like, ‘Oh, so this is what you meant’ and I shrug and say, ‘Yeah… didn’t I explain this right?’ There was something wrong there, definitely. When you are a developer, you’ve got two options. Either you go for a very established genre for which you know there is a market; you do an FPS – no surprise there, there are people out there who want to buy FPS’. The downside is that you’ll have very strong competitors who’ve been doing first-person shooters for years… much better than you.
Or you say, ‘You know what, I’m going to try to create my own genre’. I still need to demonstrate that there is a market for this new genre, but if I can do it, I have no competition… I’m on my own. I was the pioneer and I really created something, and that’s the choice we made. Not for business reasons; having a strong strategic vision. It’s much more because it’s what I believe in. I need to do something exciting; something original because it’s what is new that excites me.

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