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Ex-Rockstar Dev says he won’t make any more violent games

Tuesday, 21st May 2013 04:40 GMT By Phil Owen

If you were a key cog at the studio producing, eh, notoriously violent titles like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, would you be embarrassed to the explain to the “normies” in your life what you do? Jeremy Pope was, and that’s why he left Rockstar Games a decade ago and is pursuing projects that he sees as more palatable to him.



“I would always kind of defend the games we were making and I was pretty proud of being involved, but then I would visit my grandmother… and have to explain what I do for a living, I didn’t feel so great about explaining to them that I was a part of ‘that game’ they’ve been hearing about,” Pope told Games Industry International, referring to how the GTA franchise has several times been blamed by some media outlets for influencing violent behavior in the real world.

Pope went on to found a mobile startup called Rally Games that would provide players with a perhaps calmer experience.

“What we’re focused on at Rally is really trying to push things on the social end. I think about what it is I enjoy most about games and it’s always interacting with other people, it’s multiplayer. And I think about where games really come from – guys gathering around rolling dice together – it was really about interacting with each other and not so much about ingesting something on your own.”

I highly recommend you read the full interview over at GI, because he says some interesting, I think, things about how the violence that permeates AAA titles jives, or doesn’t jive, with the stories that most of those games are trying to tell. It’s good reading.

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20 Comments

  1. xino

    now he’s using his brain. Why would anyone want to be proud of making a game that is just full of blood?

    instead of being proud to make a game like Mario that is so popular, Half Life 2, Shadow of Colossus, Halo etc

    but to be involve in stupid games like GTA, Condemned, Man Hunt, Splatterhouse etc
    just completely stupid man. the people who incur so much blood and violent into these games have completely missed the mark of purpose of playing a game- which is to have fun!
    why the hell would anyone want to have fun with blood and gore in games?
    it’s like you can punch a guy in real life so you take pleasure with all the violent stuff in games.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. redwood

    I am with you on that.. but we are in the minority.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Phoenixblight

    @1

    So where was this blood and gore in GTA because I have never seen it. Have you ever played the series?

    #3 1 year ago
  4. G1GAHURTZ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQBNNV44xnk

    #4 1 year ago
  5. redwood

    @3 lolwut? I remember a stage in gta liberty city where I was running after a guy with a chainsaw :P..

    #5 1 year ago
  6. The_Red

    This is just as stupid as making ONLY super violent games. A designer / dev should work on what the game needs. A lot of times, the violence benefits the gameplay (Dead Space, Dishonored, Mortal Kombat) while other times, it’s not needed (Super Mario, Sim City, Zelda).

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    @4 and 5

    THats hardly blood or gore. THat is just a mist of red. Condemned had blood and gore, GTA does not. I have seen more in Pg13 flicks then in GTA series.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. TheWulf

    @6

    The problem is is that right now the mainstream tends to make violence a fetish. Look how many games you mentioned that aren’t bloody by their nature — one of them is irrelevant due to its genre, and the other two are Nintendo games. The 99% of videogames tends to be filled with violence, and 90% of that is non-optional violence.

    Just something to consider.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Christopher Jack

    @1″Why would anyone want to be proud of making a game that is just full of blood?”
    GTA maybe entirely about criminal activity but there’s fuck all blood or gore, heck the worst thing I recall is popping heads off in GTA: VC.

    “instead of being proud to make a game like Mario that is so popular, Half Life 2, Shadow of Colossus, Halo etc”
    Firstly even Halo has more gore than GTA & I’m guessing the same goes for HL2. Secondly not everybody gets to pick what they work on. Thirdly I’d be proud to work on a major game like GTA regardless of criticism from the likes of yourself or grandparents born in the 1900s.

    “but to be involve in stupid games like GTA, Condemned, Man Hunt, Splatterhouse etc
    just completely stupid man”
    That’s more than just a little insulting, these guys work their arses off to entertain us.

    “the people who incur so much blood and violent into these games have completely missed the mark of purpose of playing a game- which is to have fun!”
    I don’t know about you but I find beating someone up with a baseball bat in a VIDEO GAME quite fun.

    “why the hell would anyone want to have fun with blood and gore in games?”
    Because people can’t realistically do that shit in real life, nor would the majority want to but we sure find it entertaining in shows & VIDEO GAMES.

    “it’s like you can punch a guy in real life so you take pleasure with all the violent stuff in games.”
    What? Do you mean can’t? Because I can assure you that I could very easily punch somebody if I wanted to yet I’ve never even been in a serious fight in my life. I just guess some people like yourself have issues separating reality from video games.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. redwood

    too much of anything is NOT okay.. @PB come on man.. you do know that it’s GTA you are trying to defend here. If we were talking about something over-the-top like maybe bayonetta, than i would have agreed with you. But GTA is a “crime simulator”, rockstar has said it themselves a couple of times,… and crime entails violence. And GTA is a very violent game.
    *Spoiler ahead*
    I like over-the-top violence.. like in MGR. SoTC is a really good example because towards the end you actually find out that you are the bad guy.. but you were doing it for love. But it’s still not justified and you get your due poetic justice.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Phoenixblight

    @10

    Violence does not equal blood and gore. If that was the case; Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes would be the most graphic cartoons to date. :-P

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Vice

    Well, that’s why he’s an EX Rockstar president. I’ll be back to my Gears of War and Tomb Raider and others now. Violent games ftw.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. RocknRolla

    That is more than just bullshit! I would freaking love to tell my friends I work on GTA games? are you kidding me ffs??? who wouldn´t he must have got fired what else? all that money the series makes? and he says it is too violent??? THOSE are textures ffs draws!!! not real not like you make a movie Like Rambo 4 which I love :D but violence is funny in GTA games anyway, so every reason this guy give to have left R* is total bullcrap in my books :)

    #13 1 year ago
  14. RocknRolla

    @1 xino

    Why the hell would you just compare a game world to a real life and say something really stupid like that? it just shows how much you know about real life “Nothing” You should get out of the house more really. there are a lot of violent games well 80 % of them are violent at least! if you don´t like it than you should stick to Mario which is also violent lol you are killing turtles and stuff ffs?!!

    So mad at people saying things without thinking, it is just like we do here in Russia we shoot first ask questions later lol

    #14 1 year ago
  15. The_Red

    @TheWulf
    That’s a good point. I did realize that as was searching for non-violent AAA examples :)

    Here’s the thing though. I don’t think they are just focusing on blood n gore because of blood n gore OR that mainstream has shown love towards blood n gore. I believe the publishers are chasing a few SELECT games. Tomb Raider is my example:
    The game (and specially its multiplayer mode) is trying super hard to be Gears of War. Others are trying to be Red Dead Redemption. Gears made its early reputation based on the first chainsaw kill. It was bloody and gory. It was filled with chest high walls. It was a successful game.

    Most of these violent AAA games that are crowning violence are also aping the chest high covers and other Gears-ish elements. To me at least, that’s a bigger reason for reliance on violence. Mass Effect, Tomb Raider and others, they all want to be Gears.
    (Though there is no denying that to some clueless execs, violence = more sales as seen in the increased amount of violence in each new AC and COD iteration)

    (Also a confession: I DO prefer violence games to non-violent ones. Always did and probably always will. Some of my favorite gaming moments belong to the most violent moments of Carmageddon, MK2 and Fallout 1-2).

    #15 1 year ago
  16. RocknRolla

    Haha no one mentions GOW? Kratos ffs is the most violent guy out there today hahah :D ripping heads and limbs off of GODS!! :D what does Gears of war have to come with a chainsaw kill? bitch please! :D

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Clupula

    @1 – Ummm…did you just mention Half Life 2 in your list of bloodless games?

    Okaaaaay. Do me a favor. Go to google images. Enter “Half Life 2 head crabs.”

    I’ll wait.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. roadkill

    So his relatives are dumb f**ks who can’t tell good from bad and reality from fiction and now he’s one as well. Well done Mrs ex-Rockstar dev.

    ftr (for the record): I don’t like the GTA series.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. xino

    angry gamers here with their pride, just because you love violent games you don’t need to be against me.
    to make sadistic selves feel better, just announce to the world now that you love violent games.

    GTA has no blood? so punching people, attacking them and running them over with cars is not violent?

    name me a 5 10/10, highly rated game and non violent game within 5 seconds.
    i bet you can’t…because violent games are the only games that comes to the top of your heads.

    go shut up and sit down somewhere!

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Phoenixblight

    “GTA has no blood? so punching people, attacking them and running them over with cars is not violent?”

    Please point out where anyone said GTA is not violent. You had suggested it was gorey when it is not. Violent, yes. Blood and Gore, No.

    #20 1 year ago

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