EA: “We need to realize that we tell traditional stories very badly”

Saturday, 31st October 2009 21:30 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Army of Two: The 40th Day’s director, Alex Hutchinson, has said that “player storytelling trumps game-authored story every time,” and that in the past, game makers aren’t so good at storytelling.

“We need to realize that we tell traditional stories very badly,” he told GamePro. “There are very few game stories that would get published in your average fiction magazine, and it’s not because we have bad writers.

“We enable other people’s stories, and that is so powerful and fresh that if we nail it… the sky’s the limit.”

Hutchinson chats more about storytelling ideals, and Army of Two: The 40th Day in the video posted below the break.

Thanks, GoNintendo.



  1. Sethos

    Yeah, that’s not your main problem is it EA?

    #1 5 years ago
  2. mescalineeyes

    that’s not what he’s saying.

    in before people praising the “storytelling” of half life 2. you are kidding yourselves, people.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. The_Deleted

    Rockstar seem to mange both pretty successfully.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. NiceFellow

    Rockstar tell disjointed stories ripped straight from movies, books, etc. and even copy missions straight from other mediums too – for example the big heist mission in GTA IV is pretty much taken straight from Heat.

    The story is any GTA game only seems good until you sit down and watch Goodfellas, or The Godfather, or watch the Sopranos – then you see it’s weak.

    He’s pretty much right. I think Uncharted 2 has convinced me a game can convey a light, action narrative pretty well, but anything deeper just doesn’t work as well in a game as any other medium.

    Maybe Heavy Rain will do better, but for now he’s pretty much right.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Neolucifer

    That’s just a gross generalisation . It’s obvious that some genre are prone to not go beyond blockbuster movies plots , like a COD , Halo or Killzone .

    But there are genres when plots can and do shines , and obviously exception in the others deemed stupid ones .

    Hell i would bother mentioning a few jrpg but soon enough someone would probaly drop the usual “blabla bla generic animu weaksauce” crap (as if many anime didnt actually have some great writing and plots anyway).

    There are also obviously a few in wrpgs . And in every genre in fact . Some title are just so under the radar that in debates like this , people wouldnt even think about dropping their names , but the obvious big titles like GTA wich would never be good enough .

    Anyway i agree with above that GTa doesnt work . Imo to judge the plot , one might ask himself , if the story he saw in the game , could work and be worthwhile , is some capacity , diminished or not , in another medium such as movies , series , books , manga/comics .

    In GTA’s case imo the answer is no . Any of the gta games , the 4th included are such rip off and straight copies of genre movies , that translated to the screen or other medium , it would feel like a “serious wayans parody movie” .

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Gheritt White

    The story telling in BioShock and Portal can’t be beat as far as this gen goes, IMHO.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Ashelia Bnargin Dalmasca

    “The story telling in BioShock and Portal can’t be beat as far as this gen goes, IMHO.”

    At least in the case of BioShock, games like that are unfortunately the major exception to a very heavily adhered to rule. The vast majority of game stories reek.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Gekidami

    I dont recall anything special about Bioshocks story telling. It had a decent back story as do many other games but the actual plot was pretty lacking.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Gheritt White

    The way in which the stories were revealed in both Portal and BioShock was what made them stand-outs, IMHO. Both games tasked the player with putting disjointed plot pieces together, mostly through unobtrusive voiceover but also level architecture and decoration. Plus, let’s not forget both games carried really well revealed twists.

    There was nothing particularly stand-out about either of them in terms of actual plot – they were engaging, but hardly Booker prize winning material – however the way in which their stories were revealed really played to the interactive medium’s strengths, rather than weaknesses.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Ashelia Bnargin Dalmasca

    “I dont recall anything special about Bioshocks story telling.”

    Then 90% of the game flew completely over your head.

    #10 5 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.