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Cage: Sony Gives Me "Total Freedom"

Sometimes, regardless of how popular a sequel might be, you just have to respect the original artist's vision and let him do what they want.

In an industry often dominated by sequels and big-name franchises, developer Quantic Dream aims to survive and flourish on the strength of innovative new IPs like Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. But after Heavy Rain earned widespread critical acclaim and easily bested internal estimates in regards to shipments and sales, one would've expected Sony to go, "Hey, we need a sequel."

But in fact, Quantic Dream boss David Cage said Sony asked no such thing. In a recent Gamasutra interview, Cage was asked how much freedom he has received from Sony so he can pursue his ambitions. His answer:

"Total freedom. Total freedom. No constraint in anything. Many publishers, after the success of Heavy Rain, would have said, 'Well, you need to do Heavy Rain 2. And do what you want, but it's going to be called Heavy Rain 2.' And we never had this conversation with Sony. They just asked me, 'What's next? What do you want to do?' 'Well, I have this idea, what do you think?' 'Yeah. It looks great!'

We talked about it, explained the concept. They never asked for me to change anything in my script. And, no, total freedom. I think this kind of project can only be made in complete freedom, because otherwise it's not the same experience at all. I'm not the kind of guy who works on command and someone tells you, 'You should write something about sci-fi, or about this, or about that.'

I think the real value of this type of experience is that they are true and they are sincere. It's really a story that I needed to tell, and Sony gave me the opportunity to do it. Which is quite unique. It's really incredible in this industry to have the possibility to work like that."

He went on to add that not all designers are in his position; not everyone is lucky enough to have the resources he has at his disposal. Oddly, Cage has both the required resources and the creative freedom, which is definitely unique. But is anyone really surprised to hear that Sony never pressured him to do a sequel? I'm not surprised at all, based on what I've seen of differing business approaches in this industry between Sony and Microsoft...

Tags: david cage, quantic dream, heavy rain, heavy rain sequel, beyond two souls

8/27/2012 8:26:27 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (33 posts)

homura
Monday, August 27, 2012 @ 9:27:28 PM
Reply

I wish all developers are treated that way.

FREEDOM!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 27, 2012 @ 9:51:34 PM
Reply

That kind of thing is often how you get the very best games. Are they ever going to outsell their polar opposites like CoD? No but look what even a single game like HR did for the industry.

It doesn't surprise me at all that Sony didn't try to control their vision or goals. If you want quality you've got to let artists make art! And I defy anyone to say what Cage and QD is doing isn't art.

What he mentions is actually why Hollywood movies tend to suck so bad, you have way too many cooks in the kitchen forcing mainstream ideals onto some poor shmuck's artistic vision until it suffocates. We don't need that in gaming, publishers need to stay out of it as much as possible.

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EMax
Monday, August 27, 2012 @ 10:22:46 PM
Reply

I think that there are a lot of Cage fans within Sony itself. I mean after indigo prophecy/farenheit and heavy rain, I would have just wanted to see what he does next. In this generation a lot of devs speak of innovation and creativity, however, Cage and the rest of QD are really tugging -- stretching the perceived boundaries of what a game is supposed to be. New tech is good, yes, but without enough great minds to constantly challenge the industry, stagnation occurs. Maybe this also partially contributed to the fall of the once titanic Japan games industry. Please note that I am not saying that great games are not being made, it's just that you shouldn't have previous gen mentality towards making games if you're developing for the most current hardware. Limitations exist because of current hardware. For some, those limitations still exist even when they have been removed. We need to look 'Beyond'. (lol please excuse the pun)

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Xombito
Monday, August 27, 2012 @ 10:43:56 PM
Reply

Meanwhile at Microsoft:

developer: Hey Microsoft we have this great and innovative idea for a game.

Microsoft: Is it a shooter?

developer: No. Its a adventure title with deep and well define characters.

Microsoft: Yeah. But add shooting elements. Its what kids want these days.

developer: But...

Microsoft: NO BUTS! No guns no budget!

developer: (sigh) Yes sir.

Last edited by Xombito on 8/27/2012 10:48:44 PM

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Dancemachine55
Monday, August 27, 2012 @ 11:55:08 PM

Only 3 new IP's announced at E3 for 360, all downloadable titles on XBLA.

Other exclusives include Halo 4, Gears of War Judgement, Forza Horizon, Fable the Journey and Kinect games.

Only Nike + Kinect Training interests me, also interested in Halo 4 which I'm getting for multiplayer with friends. Everything else is on PS3 as well.

I'm surprised 360 is still selling so well in the US. You Americans sure love your shooters!

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___________
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 3:41:43 AM

you do realize that some of the biggest 360 games this year are NOT shooters right?
sigh, some people these days i really wonder.......

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Looking Glass
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 9:30:42 AM

@ No-name

And those games would be?

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Raze22
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 1:18:49 PM

you do realize sony and nintendo are not excluded?

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___________
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 7:35:08 AM

forza horizon, nike + kinect training, fable the journey, dance central 3, wreckateer, ascend new gods, not to mention the LONG overdue internet explorer app and xbox smartglass taking a big chunk out of nintys wiiu.

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Looking Glass
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 9:35:46 AM

@ No-name

The internet explorer app and smartglass are not games.

Forza Horizon and Fable the Journey are spin offs that may or may not go over well (keep in mind what happened with Halo Wars). Dance Central 3 is a sequel so no new IP there either. Ascend: New Gods isn't coming out this year.

And with regard to nike + kinect training and Wreckateer as well as pretty much all of the games you mention: referring to them as big or anything along those lines is probably at least a bit of a stretch considering that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is virtually guaranteed to sell more copies than all of them combined. In fact it wouldn't be surprising if Halo 4 accomplishes this as well to say nothing of the combined numbers of those 2 games.

In any case are the games you mention at all likely to do all that much (if anything) to really combat the idea that America is practically obsessed with shooters? Not very likely.

Last edited by Looking Glass on 8/29/2012 9:37:25 AM

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___________
Friday, August 31, 2012 @ 8:55:54 AM

and since when was it suppose to?
just pointing out the BS notion that M$ makes nothing but shooters is exactly that.
BS!

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Looking Glass
Friday, August 31, 2012 @ 10:57:35 AM

@ No-name

Except that no one in this thread ever said that they did. That's really just a straw man position that you yourself made up.

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___________
Saturday, September 01, 2012 @ 8:53:02 AM

what?
look at the first post dude!
christ, are you really THAT dumb!?

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Looking Glass
Saturday, September 01, 2012 @ 4:03:17 PM

@ no-name

The first post doesn't say that Microsoft makes nothing but shooters either. That's just your interpretation of it. It looks like it actually just pokes fun at how dependent Microsoft's gaming division is on shooters. Their two best selling and highest profile franchises are both shooters and it's no secret that Microsoft really goes out of it's way to secure exclusive Call of Duty content.

And of course let's not forget that the Xbox 360 controllers are designed with shoulder buttons that are made to look and function like gun triggers. Needless to say Microsoft's gaming division is very shooter centric.

Last edited by Looking Glass on 9/1/2012 4:30:18 PM

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Dancemachine55
Monday, August 27, 2012 @ 11:48:14 PM
Reply

In an alternate univserse, We'll be seeing Heavy Rain 2 in 2012, followed by Heavy Rain 3 in 2014 exclusive to Xbox 360.

Has anyone else here noticed a trand of 3rd party exclusive developers leaving MS to go multiplat? After the terrible things I've heard about MS' way of doing business, can you blame them?

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Beamboom
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 12:36:49 AM

Have you noticed that the exact same happens with Sonys 3rd party devs? ;)
When the market is split practically in half by two platforms it's only natural that this happens. Most 1st party devs would have done so too, had they been given the chance.


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/28/2012 12:37:30 AM

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Dancemachine55
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 6:31:32 AM

I guess a universal platform seems more desirable with the 360 / PS3 / Wii evenly split.

The PS2 was pretty much the universal platform last gen, and it worked out well!! Only thing missing was Halo.

I really would love for MS and Sony to team up and make an incredible console to take on the PC market. Either that, or one of them bow out and all the software developers jump ship. (would prefer it if MS was the one to bow out, since their exclusives are running thin)

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Beamboom
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 6:41:33 AM

I think it's excellent that Sony has a competitor! It should give us both better consoles and prices.

Just as long as Microsoft don't start buying up developers and make them 1st party devs I'm fine with this whole situation. I firmly believe it is to our benefit.


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/28/2012 6:42:35 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 12:39:40 PM

Halo was originally slated for the Dreamcast. Bet you didn't know that :)

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daus26
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 12:51:12 AM
Reply

I think Cage may be an exception.

I'm not sure if Sony will give the same treatment to PD of Gran Turismo lol. I just don't think Sony will ever let Kaz make his "rpg" dream game. PD already got their hands full with one franchise.

Same goes with Killzone, Infamous, Resistance, Uncharted, etc. I mean not necessarily force them to make sequels, but eventually would want them to.

Last edited by daus26 on 8/28/2012 12:54:49 AM

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Looking Glass
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 9:34:27 AM

Maybe.

But regardless Sony does generally give it's developers a great deal of leeway with their games while keeping executive meddling to a minimum. As opposed to some other publishers like Square-Enix and possibly EA.

Last edited by Looking Glass on 8/28/2012 9:35:09 AM

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Clamedeus
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 12:29:24 PM

I agree!

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 3:06:10 AM
Reply

But he's third party. It's completely understandable because if Sony gets under his skin he can just up and look around for another publisher. After the relative success of Heavy Rain, I think that he'd be able to sign with any number of publishers, even though he may want complete freedom. At the end of the day, it's money in the pockets of everyone involved and businesses exist to make money. Let the man do what he wants and market it.

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Looking Glass
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 9:53:55 AM

Well with regard to David Cage I think there may be more to it than that. I believe Cage has said before that he's not interested in making money. He has a vision that he wants to make into reality.

And as for Sony, Sony had absolutely no idea what to expect from Heavy Rain from a commercial standpoint but they put complete faith in David Cage regardless. So it's really not hard to see why Cage would want to stick with Sony.

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___________
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 3:40:53 AM
Reply

exactly what i meant the other day when i said this guy has it a bit *TOO* easy!
hes constantly criticizing developers for doing this, or doing that, but what he does not realize is that not everyone has one of the biggest publishers in the industry kissing his feet!
i just hope one day he will wake up and say sh*t you know i really am very lucky!

back to beyond though, it would have to be that way it just would not work any other way!
plus how would you put restrictions on a game like this?
some games are easy to say ok will do this to bring in a larger audience, but with something like beyond its so alien and fresh doing something common would just totally ruin the game.
so $ony kinda has no point but to sit back and say let her rip!

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Alienange
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 4:55:00 AM
Reply

"I'm not the kind of guy who works on command"

Does this clown know he sounds like a prick when he talks like this? Buddy, making games is some peoples JOBS. They HAVE to do what they're told because it's their JOB. Not all game makers are starving artists like you!

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Beamboom
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 6:04:12 AM

I tend to agree. This guy has started to sound a bit cocky lately, imo.

Last edited by Beamboom on 8/28/2012 6:06:59 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 9:48:52 AM

I think he's just being honest about himself in that he won't bow down and fully recognizes that he is in a, quote "incredible" position to able to work this way.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 8/28/2012 10:30:13 AM

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Beamboom
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 10:49:44 AM

You are probably right, World. But ever since that "action games don't need good actors" statement I've grown a tad vary of that guy. he's starting to sound terribly snobbish.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 12:44:49 PM

I think he's making the mistake of talking too much about stuff that isn't his own, it does come off snobbish.

But I'm still with him on that so long as you parse the words and define "need". My opinion is you don't need good actors or performances in shooters because they will sell well without them so long as the action is wild and satisfying it will review well. On the flip side, if you have bad actors in a QD production it will just get ripped to shreds in the media because that's what is important.

Now, many of us do want great acting in action like say Andy Serkis in Heavenly Sword or Enslaved and Nolan North in Uncharted but is it NEEDED for success? I don't think so, though to me it's needed for a great experience.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 2:49:42 PM

But he didn't put it like that. What he said was in essence that platform and action based games were not "meaningful" enough, it's just a waste to use talented actors in those games.

Man, Cage sure did get on my tits there. What would games like Bioshock, Portal and Mass Effect have been without their talented actors?!


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/28/2012 2:54:01 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 @ 3:36:47 PM

In short, their reviews would have dropped by half a point at most.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 5:53:38 AM

Oh well, even just half a point means they would go from 90+ to 80+ titles. That *is* quite the difference. And would they make such a lasting impression on us? At least not on me, that's for sure.

To use another example on the other side of the scale: Army of Two. That game had horrible, HORRIBLE voice actors. And oh my God, call me picky, call me whatever you like but it wasn't graphics or mechanics that spoiled the game for me: It was the poor voice actors and a story that were cheesy and downright ridiculous.

And what would Bioshock be without the crazy good narratives? Not more than just another Unreal-engined shooter!

Sure, interactive dramas like Cage is making depends *entirely* on actors and script while it's just one element amongst many in other games. Sure, I agree there.
But from that, to say that it is a waste of resources to use professional actors is simply too far a stretch.

Let's look at movies for comparison!
Take Inception and Matrix. Two "90+" movies comparable with these titles. Extremely action and effects focused movies. No deep feelings or complicated drama there.

But what would those movies have been if they skimped in on the actors?


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/29/2012 5:58:10 AM

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