“Sequels kill creativity”, says Heavy Rain creator

Friday, 11th January 2013 01:35 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Quantic Dream boss David Cage has blamed sequels for what he sees as a dearth of creativity in the industry, and put the responsibility back on the gamers who pony up again and again.

“If you’re interested in innovation and believe that games could be more than shooters, then you realise that sequels kill creativity and innovation,” Cage told OPM UK.

“Many people want the same and if that’s what you offer them, they will gladly buy it. The result is very simple. Gamers invest money in publishers having no interest in innovation.”

That’s right: it’s your fault, apparently. Cage said gamers “encourage” publishers to “keep making the same game every Christmas, and everybody’s happy”.

Except the Indigo Prophecy, Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls developer, obviously.

“We don’t give people what they expect. We want to give them something they want without knowing they want it”.

Cage and Quantic Dream’s latest, Beyond: Two Souls, will preumsably be ?chock a block with creativity and innovation since it most certainly isn’t a sequel, and is due exclusively on PlayStation 3 sometime in 2013, possibly around May.

Thanks, Gamespot.



  1. roadkill

    Yes because the Mass Effects 2 and 3, Witcher 3, Guild Wars 2, Battlefield 3 and probably even others simply suck. Ha! What an idiotic remark!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. apollyonbob

    Says the guy whose awesome demo of Heavy Rain about a woman crying was followed by the awesome demo of whatever about a woman crying.

    I don’t know if it’s just the way this guy is written up or what, but he always comes off as hugely pretentious.

    And honestly, Heavy Rain was okay. It was not the best game of that year by any stretch. Red Dead Redemption was not only more emotionally engaging, it was more enjoyable to play.

    Riding into Mexico with ‘Far Away’ playing was way more emotional, to me, than being forced to watch the world’s most annoying and survival-instinct-lacking child being hit by a car – an outcome that you know is coming and is utterly fixed because you’re not playing a game, you’re playing some French guy’s “vision” and his “vision” declares that now is the time for you to feel sad so KID HIT BY CAR or WOMAN CRYING or SAD RAIN IS SAD.

    Hell, Heavy Rain didn’t even beat Mass Effect 2 in my book, speaking of sequels.

    Seriously, this dude rates himself way too highly. If his next game actually has real gameplay in it I’ll be shocked.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Clupula

    Why are you comparing two games that have absolutely zero to do with each other? That’s like saying that you think Far Cry 3 is better than L. A. Noire.

    Hell, the two Quantic Dream demos don’t even have anything in common with each other other than who made them. It’s like you’ve got diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Clupula

    @1 – Witcher 3 isn’t even a game yet and Mass Effect 3 is pretty much the weakest of the trilogy, even if you’re not rating it based on its ending.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Dave Cook

    Assassins Creed 3 was one of the least enjoyable games I played in 2012. It’s the perfect showcase for the idea that sequels cause diminishing returns. Truly terrible.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Telepathic.Geometry

    I think there are two kinds of sequels.

    There are sequels like Bioshock 2, and Rachet and Clank: A Crack in Time where they almost literally just give you more of what you got the last time, with little, or at least too little, innovation and fresh ideas.

    Then there are sequels like Pikmin 2, Borderlands 2 and PixelJunk Shooter 2 where they are able to mix it up enough with new ideas and content as to make it “feel” like an entirely new game.

    I feel like Cage is especially talking about the former type, but I think he might be right even in the case of the latter type. Maybe it’s a little too safe. Maybe it would have been safer for Arkane to make a sequel rather than make Dishonored.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. apollyonbob

    @3 So I explicitly called out that Heavy Rain was by far not the best game to come out that year. Some of the other games that came out that year were Red Dead Redemption, and Mass Effect 2.

    I understand that this may be difficult for you to accept, or understand, but you can actually compare games in different genres. And to be honest, Heavy Rain and Red Dead Redemption may be radically different in style, but they share some similarities in what they are attempting to do.

    More important than similarities in the story or themes though is that both games were very strongly attempting to make an emotional impact. By contrasting how one game makes an impact, and another game fails to make an impact, you can showcase one game’s shortcomings.

    Again, the games do not have to be the exact same genre to do this.

    “Hell, the two Quantic Dream demos don’t have anything in common other than who made them”

    Thanks, Ted, that was the point.

    This guy is talking about how sequels kill creativity, but I don’t see tons of creativity coming from his studio. I see the same hammer, used repeatedly, ad nauseum. Hence comparing the fact that when they want to produce a demo, it apparently features the same overwrought emotional chords.

    To me, I don’t see a ton of gameplay improvements coming from his studio. Heavy Rain, to me, was very reminiscent of the adventure games of yore. Only with QTEs. Regardless of how you feel about those style of games, I don’t get a sense of crazy creative innovation.

    This was then followed by being cudgeled with their idea of “emotional depth”, which, to me, was anything but.

    I compared it to RDR specifically because to me, RDR achieved what Heavy Rain set out to do. Only better.

    Also, point of information – Far Cry 3 is better than LA Noire.

    I guess I could compare Heavy Rain to Zork, if that makes you feel better.

    Beats Zork on graphics.
    Loses on sense of humor.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Gadzooks!

    Cage doesn’t make games, he makes semi-interactive, badly acted, poorly scripted digital storybooks. There is no gameplay in anything that movie director wannabe does, so he is spectacularly unqualified to comnent on games and gameplay mechanics.


    Which R&C game had the player duplication/time shift mechanic before Crack in Time? IMO, CiT was the ONLY R&C to innovate past the basic format laid down in the original.

    Also, Borderlands 2 is almost exactly the same game as B1. I love ‘em both to bits, but there was no innovation or progression from one game to the next at all.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Maximum Payne

    @6 Agree.
    There are sequels that were made from developers desire to improve and sequels that were made for money…

    #9 2 years ago
  10. viralshag

    What’s wrong with refining a good game into a great game? Some stories deserve more than one game just like some stories need more than one book or one film.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. orakaa

    @ apollyonbob:
    Red Dead Redemption emotionally moving ? You’re serious ? The game was good on its gameplay, mechanics, visuals and atmosphere, but if there’s ONE thing where it utterly failed, it’s on emotions and its story (just like GTA IV). It’s like a 4 hours concept artificially and poorly stretched to make it a 20+ hours game.

    You play a guy who does ANYTHING he’s been told, especially when people openly insult him and try to kill him in his back. The whole Mexican part killed me and made me wish for the main character to die… Come on the guy gets screwed by almost every character in the game and has absolutely no balls whatsoever… I still remember doing like 3 or 5 missions for the Mexican general who try to kill you several times and every time he’s like “oups, sorry, won’t do it again, HAHAHA, now go do what I tell you, you as*hole!”. Poor, poor writing…

    Story-wise, the ONLY good idea in RDR was the ending (but you have to bear dozens of hours and shitty dialogs to get that).

    #11 2 years ago
  12. silkvg247

    I don’t think it’s as black and white as he is making it. Certain sequels do harm the industry and I do wish people would just stop buying them. i.e. your FIFA type games which literally get rebranded with a new number, couple of features and that’ll be 40 quid thanks. I mean EA are just literally sat there laughing with that one I can tell ya.

    I think the COD franchise is also milked too heavily, but nobody notices because they’re happy to pay full price or what is effectively a single player campaign and some new multiplayer maps.

    But then other sequels I’d argue are pretty much essential because they continue a story that could have never realistically been finished in just one game. Or they’re needed simply because we loved the first one so much we *want* more e.g. Borderlands 2.

    True sequels don’t kill creativity, but rehashes and cash cows do.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. freedoms_stain

    I don’t think he’s talking in blanket terms “there should be no sequels” Sometimes it makes sense, other times it’s planned, and that’s ok.

    But when Bioware are asking “Next Mass Effect, prequel or sequel?” I’m thinking “Bioware, if you and your creative team don’t already know that, maybe it’s time to put Mass Effect away until you do.”

    Shoving out sequels every 2 years because “THIS FRANCHISE MUST HAVE SEQUELS” is bad for creativity within the industry.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. viralshag

    @12, I think I disagree. Yearly franchises like FIFA are needed and really don’t do much harm to the industry. Pricing is one thing but if people are willing to pay the money, EA are obviously doing something, or enough right.

    I continually buy FIFA this gen because almost every year has been an improvement on the last. And it’s not like every game designer has to do a stint working on FIFA or some other yearly sports game where they will lose their buzz of creativity. So I don’t see how some fans passion for some games impact the creativity of others.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Da Man

    Not only David Cage has yet to make a videogame, but their latest one was pretty much a sequel to the previous nonsensical button mashing sex mini game demo.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. OlderGamer

    Everything is worth only what the purchaser will pay for it.

    I hate the oversaturation of long running yearly sequels. Alot of us do. However, if gamers are willing to spend their money on said franchises year in and year out…isn’t that their choice?

    This industry follows money. If gamers don’t want something, they don’t buy it. If they stop buying something, pubs stop putting it out. I am just as guilty as the next fella, I buy NCAA Football almost every year. And I have been doing scince it started coming out on PSx. I would like some competition in that particuler market space(I used to buy 2K NFL over Madden, for example, when I had the option).

    But the reality is that I want my Football. Just like GHZ wants his CoD. So the pubs are happy to provide. I don’t think yearly releases alone kill inovation. I think lack of competition in the market space does. In the case of Madden, w/o 2K sports making a NFL game, EA did pretty much rest on their laurels and release the same product year after year. 2K was a better, more robust and cheaper(20usd/year) game then what EA offered. So EA bought out the NFL liscence out from under 2K.

    That completly sucked.

    But in todays world of high end big budget games, you have to expect franchising. That is the goal. Any game that sells decent gets a sequel with the ide of being the next CoD/FIFA/GH/Forza/NFS/etc etc etc

    No one is interested in inovating their games. Only getting you and me to buy them. If we stop buying them, they will inovate in order to get us buying them again. But invoate for the sake of making a better game? Why bother if the same old formula will sell?

    #16 2 years ago

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