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Forums - Sony Discussion - Creative freedom, bravery, and risk in games development/publishing

Some of the Sony developed or published games from the last five years:

The Last Guardian
Alienation
Hardware: Rivals
Kill Strain
The Tomorrow Children
Driveclub VR
Hustle Kings VR
PlayStation VR Worlds
RIGS: Mechanized Combat League
The Playroom VR
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
Gravity Rush 2
Horizon Zero Dawn
Knack II
MLB The Show 17
Everybody's Golf
Matterfall
Nioh
Wipeout Omega Collection
Drawn to Death
PaRappa the Rapper Remastered
Patapon Remastered
Stifled
Farpoint
No Heroes Allowed! VR
StarBlood Arena
Air Force Special Ops: Nightfall

PlayLink titles:
- Hidden Agenda
- Knowledge is Power
- SingStar Celebration
- That's You!
- Chimparty
- Frantics
- Knowledge is Power: Decades

Detroit: Become Human
God of War
Marvel's Spider-Man
Shadow of the Colossus
Astro Bot Rescue Mission
Bravo Team
Déraciné
Firewall: Zero Hour
The Inpatient
Track Lab
Concrete Genie
Days Gone
Death Stranding
MediEvil
Dreams
Erica
ReadySet Heroes
Blood & Truth
Everybody's Golf VR
Immortal Legacy: The Jade Cipher
Ghost of Tsushima
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Nioh 2 (Published by Sony Interactive Entertainment outside Asia)
Predator: Hunting Grounds
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
The Last of Us Part II
Marvel's Iron Man VR
Tilt Brush



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Hynad said:

Some of the Sony developed or published games from the last five years:

-

-

It is so strange that some people here actually believe Sony only publish "third person open world" games or whatever. I had fun with games like Sackboy, Concrete Genie, and Gravity Rush, more than most of the bigger titles from them.



The term "hardcore gamer" is cringe and needs to be dropped from the vocabulary of people. I hate the term in general but found it laughable at the general use of it since the 7th gen usually means the exact opposite. Imagine someone goes to a movie and comes out saying "I saw Avengers so I'm a hardcore movie fan!"


Hardcore gamer belongs in the same trash bin as ___ Killer (remmeber terms like "Halo Killer" ?) and Casual gamer.



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

Sony only makes third person open world games with rpg elements

Sony games are all safe

The last of us 2 is shit , everyone is wrong

Games awards are paid , its all BS

Geoff is lying to everyone , the goty does not mather cause games media have an agenda

Jim ryan is a piece of shit

...

Sony lives rent free in peoples head



 

IcaroRibeiro said:

1) The older characters actors wee pretty old. Killing them was the right thing to do, as they were also old in narrative context. Harrison Ford was specifically direct on his demand to only play Han Solo again if it was the last time. 

2) Both Han and Luke had nice ending arcs for me, I don't see exactly what make people mad about them, and I'm also a Star Wars fan. I'm just sad Leia was the only one who couldn't get a more satisfying end, as Carrie passed away before most of the movie was filmed 

3) I also think people get too invested on fictional arcs and characters and starts do get too stressed out with small things. People play new IPs and with new characters all the time, I don't get why the concern to play a different character in the same franchise. Like, I understand Lara Croft is the face of Tomb Rider since the beginning, but why exactly would be so hurtful to play another character? I just wonder 

1) No one is unset or disappointed that the characters were killed off. It was how they were killed off, very little effort was put into the characters to justify there deaths. Example: Solo would have been smarter than to walk up to his son who was trained as a Sith. I expected these characters to die, however i walked out very disappointed and a lack of respect to the lore.

2) Luke was seen as a coward in the entire trilogy and i thought the Hologram trick was the best part of the movie, however it was just a Jedi trick and he dies on a rock afterwards.. while Han walked right up to a fully armed Sith, enough said. Lara was unfortunate however her death wouldn't have been any better. The new movies did not do justice to these characters at all. 

3) The issue isn't about new characters being implemented, its how they are forced in. You even said it yourself, Tomb Raider is about Lara Croft, imagine the next Tomb Raider game starring a Black woman just for the sake of having a black woman in the game? Sure ill still play it but the question is why? Halo learnt this with Halo 5, when they tried to force their audience to like Locke and no one gave a shit about him. 

If these companies want to throw in new characters than they need to do it right, instead what we have been seeing is companies grabbing the old characters and throwing them in the bin with very little effort. You cant just throw Superman in the bin and replace him. 



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I really don't know where the OP is coming from.  None of the big 3 are actually doing hardly anything that is innovative on the software side.  If I had to pick one though it would be Nintendo because of Ring Fit Adventure.  Ring Fit Adventure is actually perpetuating a different kind of paradigm.  That makes it innovative.  Every cinematic game (especially if they are third person shooters) is doubling down on a very established paradigm.  There is nothing innovative about these types of games.

The NES was the most innovative console, because it created or changed the most types of paradigms.  Super Mario Bros revived the console market.  That is a new paradigm.  The Legend of Zelda was a new type of game that lead to the demise of arcades.  That is a new paradigm.  Duck Hunt created a whole genre of light gun games.  That is a new paradigm.  Gyromite...was not innovative though.  It looked like it was doing the most radically different thing of all, but people really didn't want to play it and the R.O.B. type of game died off pretty quickly.  You could call Gyromite "attempted innovation", but it wasn't successful innovation because it didn't create a new paradigm or change an existing one.

What innovative games have come out in the past few years?  Not many.  Ring Fit Adventure is the clearest candidate.  After that, I guess I'd say Animal Crossing, because there are so many more people playing Life Sim games than ever before.  We also have a lot of modern day equivalents of Gyromite like LABO and the various VR games.  These are not really innovative so much as attempts at innovation.  (Trying and failing is better than not trying though.)  Cinematic games are not innovative in the slightest though.  The real point of these games is to show off how powerful modern hardware is.  They are the epitome of the status quo.



Leynos said:

The term "hardcore gamer" is cringe and needs to be dropped from the vocabulary of people. I hate the term in general but found it laughable at the general use of it since the 7th gen usually means the exact opposite. Imagine someone goes to a movie and comes out saying "I saw Avengers so I'm a hardcore movie fan!"


Hardcore gamer belongs in the same trash bin as ___ Killer (remmeber terms like "Halo Killer" ?) and Casual gamer.

That's fair.  Although it's linguistically silly, I think it's fair to delineate casual/dedicated like it's done in other mediums.  "Bookworm" & "Cinephile" are useful and don't sound like they were concocted in a Mountain Dew corporate meeting.



IcaroRibeiro said:
Azzanation said:

I look at TLOU2 the same way i look at The Last Jedi and the Rise of Skywalker. The new SW trilogy movies aren't innovative or risky in anyway and the direction it took with legacy characters and story plot took a massive nose dive compared to what the audience would have preferred or liked. I am a huge SW fan and i am quite vocal on the approach the new movies took. Its nice to add new characters weather they are male or female but to just slaughter old favorites just to push a motive is far from acceptable in my books, this is something i hated with the new SW films. They killed off majority of the old characters and pushed in the new characters without justifying the causes or at least showcasing the audience they actually cared about them. Example: They made Luke Skywalker a coward and it took a TV series to re-justify his character.

I hear the same arguments with Joel, many TLOU fans liked him, he was a badass, yet was killed off so quickly and carelessly which was one of the major factors in the criticism by the public. Its not because Abby is a female, because the other main character Ellie is also a female that is a fan favorite, its the point of killing Joel and now we have to like the new character without a choice. The same thing happen with Halo 5, when everyone was forced to play Agent Locke instead of the chief, it wasn't because Locke was black, it was the fact that gamers wanted to play their hero and Locke hasn't done enough to earn his place just yet. 

It really comes down to good timing. I agree some of the criticism based on TLOU2, SW and Halo 5 is quite ridicules however that's just fanboys using the negativity to their own egos, however we cannot let that blind us on the real issues with these games and movies.

The older characters actors wee pretty old. Killing them was the right thing to do, as they were also old in narrative context. Harrison Ford was specifically direct on his demand to only play Han Solo again if it was the last time. 

Both Han and Luke had nice ending arcs for me, I don't see exactly what make people mad about them, and I'm also a Star Wars fan. I'm just sad Leia was the only one who couldn't get a more satisfying end, as Carrie passed away before most of the movie was filmed 

I also think people get too invested on fictional arcs and characters and starts do get too stressed out with small things. People play new IPs and with new characters all the time, I don't get why the concern to play a different character in the same franchise. Like, I understand Lara Croft is the face of Tomb Rider since the beginning, but why exactly would be so hurtful to play another character? I just wonder 

Spoiler for the TLOU2

Now, that would be a nice social experiment. They should kill off Lara Croft in the next game and replace her with a guy; and to make things even more interesting, they should have us play with the guy that kills her.

People who advocate for "taking risks" in entertainment don't seem to realize that most risky ideas are considered "risky" precisely because they are dumb ideas. Like, sometimes these artists need someone to tell them: "Sweetheart, there is a reason why this has never been done before; it's because it is a crap idea."



AngryLittleAlchemist said:

That The Last of Us 2's biggest controversies were of """forced diversity""" (which is at best a value that the developers have always represented in the series, in the foreground since "Left Behind", and in the background since the original game) and a protagonist swap that people didn't like (something that was done in popular games back in 2001 and 2004) shows how little innovation or risk was actually taken by the game.

If anything, these controversies showcase how stupid a portion of the original fanbase was. Which isn't too particularly surprising with how much people put a thumb up their ass over a fairly barebones - if well executed - story. 

And yea, I guess that casting as wide a net as possible only to alienate a portion later on with a sequel is somewhat "risky", but only in the sense that the original was so safe to begin with. 

Yeah, most of the time I see expressions like "forced diversity", I'm inclined to roll my eyes because the reality of what's been done most of the time is deliberate, un-life-like lack of diversity. It's also just annoying to always be politicized as belonging to a "diversity demographic" as opposed to being part of nature's default demographic or something.

The Last of Us Part II is a game with no clear heroes or villains, that doesn't have a happy ending, that revolves around themes like guilt and trauma and hate and how even an understandable obsession with justice (criminal justice or social justice) can morph into precisely those things, that waters down nothing and forces you, for real reasons, to do lots of things you as the player probably don't want to. It would be controversial even in a world without bigotry. But then you make that same title also the first AAA video game in history to narratively center a lesbian character, add in a character like Abby who many people here at first confused for a man, have her...

Spoiler!
...personally kill the lead character from the previous game...


...and force you to play as her for about 40% of the game to get a glimpse of the world through her eyes, add in a trans character with a more than incidental role, and keep the tension of the storyline flowing the way it's supposed to by NOT going the open world route like most modern 3D adventures do, and viola, you have the formula for the most controversial video game ever released: one that's absolutely beloved by many of us and utterly despised to a distressing level of fanaticism by most everyone else, with few mixed opinions in-between. Game with the largest volume of negative "user" reviews ever posted to Metacritic by a mile, and also the largest volume of player's choice awards by a mile. If it's not that the game is too diverse for some, it's that it's too depressing, too honest, too violent, too sexual (), too relevant (games are just supposed to be fun!), and on and on the list goes forever. That the game plays it safe ain't usually among those many complaints that I see. Opponents of this game seem to overwhelmingly feel that the problem with TLOU2 is that it's not TLOU1 because they're not used to sequels being made for an actual reason beyond the desire to cash in some more on the first game's success. If only instead this were a modern, generic open-world adventure with Joel reprising the lead and characters like Abby and Lev and other newbs totally omitted. Let's be real: that's the frame of mind.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 27 June 2021

chakkra said:
IcaroRibeiro said:

The older characters actors wee pretty old. Killing them was the right thing to do, as they were also old in narrative context. Harrison Ford was specifically direct on his demand to only play Han Solo again if it was the last time. 

Both Han and Luke had nice ending arcs for me, I don't see exactly what make people mad about them, and I'm also a Star Wars fan. I'm just sad Leia was the only one who couldn't get a more satisfying end, as Carrie passed away before most of the movie was filmed 

I also think people get too invested on fictional arcs and characters and starts do get too stressed out with small things. People play new IPs and with new characters all the time, I don't get why the concern to play a different character in the same franchise. Like, I understand Lara Croft is the face of Tomb Rider since the beginning, but why exactly would be so hurtful to play another character? I just wonder 

Spoiler for the TLOU2

Now, that would be a nice social experiment. They should kill off Lara Croft in the next game and replace her with a guy; and to make things even more interesting, they should have us play with the guy that kills her.

People who advocate for "taking risks" in entertainment don't seem to realize that most risky ideas are considered "risky" precisely because they are dumb ideas. Like, sometimes these artists need someone to tell them: "Sweetheart, there is a reason why this has never been done before; it's because it is a crap idea."

Well, I found it an awesome idea and I am greatful someone have the guts to make it work :p

The experience of playing with a supposed villain to see their point of view was a nice exercise, I personally even liked Abby story more than Ellie's (but I like Ellie's gameplay a little more because it's easier to stealth)

People take things that have no real issue attached to it too seriously. When evaluating something is right or wrong thing I just ask two things:

- Is it hurting anybody?

- Does this go against my morals? 

If answer is no for both question, I really don't see the problem, at least in conceptual level. Just do it, I'm curious to see the outcome