Deus Ex and Epic Mickey creator Warren Spector dropped a heck of a flamebait quote in his DICE Summit 2013 presentation, saying games like Grasshopper Manufacture’s Lollipop Chainsaw “should just not be made”.
According to Destructoid, Spector didn’t name the action effort, but showed a slide of the game’s promotional art immediately after saying “There are some games that should just not be made.”
The wider context of Spector’s speech was that many mainstream games don’t embrace a wide demographic, saying the ultra-violence he enjoyed as a teenager isn’t interesting to him any more.
“Adrenaline rush and spectacle were all I needed. I don’t think I was alone in that,” he said, as reported by Kotaku. “When you’re this age, spectacle is plenty. And bloodsprays and all that stuff is really kind of what you’re looking for because you really want to alienate people in a strange sort of way. You want to shock people and you want to be different.
“Not so much, anymore. I have no interest in guys who wear armor and swing big swords. I have been the last space marine between earth and an alien invasion. I really just don’t need to go there anymore. I want content that is relevant to my life, that is relevant to me, that is set in the real world.
“If we’re going to reach a broader audience, we have to stop thinking about that audience strictly in terms of teenage boys or even teenage girls. We need to think about things that are relevant to normal humans and not just the geeks we used to be.”
Lollipop Chainsaw certainly drew criticism for its sexualised female characters and violence, although some critics argued that Grasshopper’s intent was satirical. The Warner Bros-published effort became the cult-favourite but commercially unsuccessful developer’s highest-shipped title to date, but fell off the radar rapidly.
Over the past few years, Spector has been an outspoken champion for turning down the focus on violence across the industry. His studio, Junction Point, was recently shuttered, and his intentions for the future are unknown.