Cage: Sony grants “total freedom”, indies the “future of the industry”

Tuesday, 28th August 2012 07:35 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Quantic Dream boss David Cage has said very few developers have the chance to explore new ideas – and those that do will shape the future of games.

“If you asked developers, they all have incredible ideas. There are tons of very talented people in this industry, but what you see these days is that when people cannot express them in the game space, sometimes they just leave the game space and go into films, or into movies, or do whatever.”

“Total freedom. Total freedom. No constraint in anything,” Cage told Gamasutra when asked whether Sony had given Quantic Dream liberty to pursue its own agenda.

“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!’”

Cage said Sony didn’t even make small requests to change the game’s script, which was very important to the development of Beyond: Two Souls, because “this kind of project can only be made in complete freedom”.

“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 added.

“Usually, you make indie development, and you have limited resources, but you have freedom, or you work on a triple-A and you have the resources, but limited or no creative freedom. And I’m in the strange position where I have both.”

Without naming names, Cage said many of his peers at other developers had expressed a desire to have as much creative control as Qunatic Dream has.

“I felt many times people saying, ‘I wish we could do what you do’ which was really a surprise, because I thought that what game creators were actually doing [was what they wanted],” he said.

“Actually, no, they felt they had to do certain things, because they thought that’s what the market was expecting.”

Cage said developers stick to what they do due to external pressures.

“If you asked developers, they all have incredible ideas. There are tons of very talented people in this industry, but what you see these days is that when people cannot express them in the game space, sometimes they just leave the game space and go into films, or into movies, or do whatever,” he said.

“I think it’s our responsibility in the games industry to make sure that creative people have a space where they can have these ideas. It’s interesting to see indie developers these days, because I think there’s a lot of creativity with indie developers because they have this space of freedom where they can try new ideas, and I think they are the future of the industry.”

Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain has sold over 2 million copies by this time last year; is next game, Beyond: Two Souls, is expected in 2013, exclusively for PlayStation 3.



  1. ejams

    I think they just know that Cage and his team are a creative bunch that can make a game sell based on it, so they loosened the restraints. I don’t imagine they’d be doing this for a lot of developers because that might end up in some games being too niche for a wider audience (like shadows of the damned etc) but Sony DOES have quite the lineup.

    EDIT: I’m not sure if creative is the right word for describing them, it just came to mind after hearing it repeatedly throughout the article. Their games are definitely one of a kind though.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. roadkill

    “Cage: Sony grants “total freedom”, indies the “future of the industry”” Indies? But Quantic Dream is not an indie company. Confused..

    #2 2 years ago
  3. KrazyKraut

    @1 Right. They know it makes money so they just make him whatever he wants.

    I could imagine that Sony is interfering to much in the The Last G and that is why the game needs so much time and some of the stuff is pissed off. Just could imagine.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. ejams

    @2 – I think he means like he can relate to how indies work with all of their creative freedom because Sony is allowing them to do much more than others out there, and that it is an amazing step forward in game development.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Gekidami

    Sony dont own them and neither do any other publisher, so they actually are ‘independent’.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Christopher Jack

    @5, The same way Gearbox are?

    I don’t like the word Indie because it makes something seem pretentious, like a hippy acting like he’s better than ‘the man’ but all he does is smoke pot all day. Not saying that indie games or groups are bad- not at all, I just dislike the phenomenon that they’re superior because if it were the case, the industry wouldn’t be anything like it is today. They’re different & niche, & that’s completely fine.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. monkeygourmet

    ” Sony grant total freedom “, unlike my games… :)

    Seriously though, Sony do handle their exclusives really well. I imagine their like the ‘nice’ boss when they come to look at your studio’s progress:

    ‘so, whatcha doing?’, ‘that’s cool!’, ‘I like that feature’ (driving round the office on a segway) etc..

    Whereas MS just send goons round to intimidate you, deadlines, deadlines, DEADLINES! Passive, aggresive bullying.

    And Nintendo just send round Shigeru Miyamoto, who just knocks things off your desk and try’s to distract your creative flow.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Clupula

    I imagine the former guys from Rare looking at this article and sighly sadly.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Da Man

    I imagine Wipeout guys reading this article.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Joe Musashi

    @9 Sony certainly gave them freedom. No argument there.


    #10 2 years ago
  11. ManuOtaku

    Total freedom and for that no constrains, like all things has its shares of good things and bad things, dont get me wrong some publishers hold the strings to tight, so much they might ruin the original vision and for that the final game, but in the case of Heavy Rain, i think that some advice from Sony was needed, i mean sony as a developer, regarding the over use of QTE in the game, especially when you consider their previous works did employ a lot of traditional gameplay inputs, therefore i think in some cases we dont need black and white situation, we need grays, from the publishers stand point of view.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. CycloneFox

    i’ve already heard that from alot of sources. take papo&yo for example. it was in some Interview, where the producer described how they asked Sony if they could make a game with the topic of child abuse, when Sony just said “ok” and gave them all the freedom they need.

    i’ve heard those Storys from alot of indi Studios, supported by sony.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. sh4dow

    this reminds me of a quote i recently heard that doesn’t fit exactly but still relates to this:
    “the worst thing you can do to an avantgarde artist is to ask him how he feels about having become a ‘classic’”

    i think indie devs would be well advised not to get too cozy with big corporations but instead stay true to what they do.

    #13 2 years ago

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