By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close

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

Azzanation said:
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. 

1) I disagree. And unlike you I found Han's death an unexpected twist, as I was quite convinced he was going make Ben switch sides. It worked pretty well for me  because I left the theater really shocked. I'm on the side if I felt the emotions creators wanted me to feel, then they did a great job. That's why I like series and games that touch my feelings, in positive or negative ways

2) Disagree too, Luke last fight scene was fucking cool and badass, and his death was peaceful and warm, I liked his last dialogue with Leia too

3) I guess every new single addition in gaming is forced unless they are optional so you have a bad argument here. Your question about why changing the main character is also weird, why change anything? Sometimes creators wants to experiment a new story or concept, sometimes they want to please another audience, sometimes they are just sick tired of making the exact same shit over and over, there are many reasons to change. If anything I find more logical to change the main character in story driven games then keep the same characters over and over, rebooting their story and creating actual parallel dimensions. 



Around the Network
coolbeans said:
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.

"Bookworm" and "cinephile" sound like appropriated insults, whereas in contrast "hardcore gamer" sounds like one thinks more highly of themselves than of others. Maybe that's what gamers need: an insult to appropriate.



Jaicee said:
coolbeans said:

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.

"Bookworm" and "cinephile" sound like appropriated insults, whereas in contrast "hardcore gamer" sounds like one thinks more highly of themselves than of others. Maybe that's what gamers need: an insult to appropriate.

For a non native speaker bookworm sounds like a disease and cinephile sounds like a psychological or social pathology 



Jaicee said:
coolbeans said:

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.

"Bookworm" and "cinephile" sound like appropriated insults, whereas in contrast "hardcore gamer" sounds like one thinks more highly of themselves than of others. Maybe that's what gamers need: an insult to appropriate.

Oh really?  I honestly never thought of either as pejorative.  I like bookworm especially b/c there's an actual history behind insects (weren't actually worms) eating and boring through book pages.  "Cinephiles" is interchangeable with "film buff" too, so that's another option.



Mnementh said:

As mentioned before, I see that Death Stranding has some creativity to it. But the point also is: Sony never would've greenlighted it, without such a name like Kojima attached to it. And that is the point: in the past they greenlighted games like Loco Roco and Patapon. That is why this quote by Jim Ryan pisses me off as it is. Because I stand by it: Sony is the least creative they have been since entering the gaming console space.

...

Microsoft of all companies is bolder than Sony. Sure, they have their safe bets with Forza and Halo. But then they have Flight simulator, which pushes technical innovation at something new than the usual "more polygons, more effects". It is also not the usual gameplay. And while Starfield and Redfall look like what you expect from the industry, MS still has games like Psychonaut, Grounded or 12 minutes.

I've responded to most of what you wrote in other posts around this thread, but just wanted to respond to the stuff quoted above briefly.

I have no formed opinion of Jim Ryan as yet. He mouths some phrases that I like, but also sometimes sounds more like a typical corporate exec to me. We'll see. All I've got to say about that subject at this time.

Anyway, as to the idea that a game like Death Stranding wouldn't have been greenlit if not for the Kojima name...mmm, possible, but I don't know. I would just say that what I see is the way Hideo Kojima was treated by Konami versus the way he's treated by Sony and the contrast is night and day.

What I see from Sony right now is them publishing games (like Death Stranding) that introduce whole new genres, games (like Returnal) that bring previously obscure genres like roguelikes and innovative story structures into the AAA gaming scene, the first AAA video game ever to center a lesbian character, sequels that radically challenge assumptions about the original title in a franchise, etc. I'm just wanting that to continue whether it makes a lot of money or not. That's all I'm really getting at here.



Around the Network
coolbeans said:
Jaicee said:

"Bookworm" and "cinephile" sound like appropriated insults, whereas in contrast "hardcore gamer" sounds like one thinks more highly of themselves than of others. Maybe that's what gamers need: an insult to appropriate.

Oh really?  I honestly never thought of either as pejorative.  I like bookworm especially b/c there's an actual history behind insects (weren't actually worms) eating and boring through book pages.  "Cinephiles" is interchangeable with "film buff" too, so that's another option.

Maybe it's just how it sounds to my ears. Is "game buff" an option? I dunno, sounds a little weird and almost male-specific, doesn't it?

I mean really just calling ourselves gamers should be fine, I think. I think you'll find that in surveys on the subject, so-called casual gamers just don't identify with the term gamer at all. They just don't think of themselves that way, just like casual moviegoers probably don't go around calling themselves moviegoers or "casual athletes" who aren't professionals or league-joining dedicated hobbyists but maybe just play the occasional game of ball to be social or for the exercise don't really call ourselves athletes. "Casual gamer" is just a term we impose on other people who don't view themselves as gamers just because they play a game or two on occasion.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 27 June 2021

JWeinCom said:

1. You're entitled to your opinion (I really liked Octopath) but a lot of the stuff you're saying is more about the overall quality than whether or not it was a risky venture.

2. I disagree.

3. Because the conversation wasn't about representation, it's about risk. I believe your argument was that making a game with a female lead is risky because most of the best selling games are males and male led games tend to sell better and therefore having a female lead is not the surest path to success. Likewise, most games do not feature sprite based graphics and those that do tend to sell less than games that don't, so following the same logic, choosing to do so would similarly be brave or risky.

Basically, for pretty much every game, you can come up with 4-5 ways that it doesn't follow the most successful industry trends. I chose to use Octopath as an example for consistency's sake, but for most games I could probably come up with 5 things it does that don't follow the most successful trends.

4. The thing that's most relevant to whether or not the project is risky are the things that would have a pronounced effect on its sales, and that would be mostly what is visible to prospective buyers. The thing that is most prominent in the game's marketing is the timeloop mechanic (which sort of implies multiple playtrhoughs will be required to get the full picture). I'll just grant for the sake of argument that the story is on the whole very unique and creative and excellently done. I still don't know why it would logically follow that the game was especially risky and brave for Sony to publish. 

5. I thought the point of the list was to demonstrate how Returnal was a sign that Sony is particularly brave, risky, and gives devs creative freedom? If your only point in mentioning the price is that Sony overpriced the game, then ok, but I feel like that's kind of off topic.

As far as Nintendo goes, I don't think I ever suggested that you dislike them. But I don't agree that Nintendo is overall less brave or risk averse than Sony, or that you've demonstrated that to be the case.

What I want is what I've asked for. Some intelligible way to determine to determine when games are risky or brave. Doesn't necessarily have to be objective (would be nice though), but it would have to be something more than what's given. What we have here are three examples of very different games that are considered risky and somewhat contradictory reasons. Basically I get that you're arguing that developers/publishers should make more games that are like the three you mention, but I can't figure out what that is.

If you can't really explain what makes games brave/free/risky and are just basing it on gut feeling, then fine. You're entitled to your opinion, but there's just no further conversation to be had. Based on my personal feelings, I think Nintendo is the braver/riskier developer. Is there a way to determine who's opinion is better supported or is it just my feelings vs yours?

K, finally down to the last message I wanted to respond to.

I'm looking to wrap up my part in this conversation since it doesn't really seem to be going anywhere. I'm not going to waste my time with another itemized response that's just going to be dismissed anyway. I just wanted to say that heart is what I value in a game the most. Like I want people to make games that they want to play, not games that are made primarily to sell. Production for use, not production for exchange. If a game conveys that feeling to me, I can appreciate it whether or not it achieves everything it sets out to and regardless of whether I agree or not with any thematic message it may contain. It's the method that made this medium decades ago before there were all these focus groups and development costs shot through the roof. I don't know how to gauge that objectively, it's just a feeling that I get and look for signs for. Asking me to quantify that in a strictly objective way is impossible. Just doing what I can.



Jaicee said:
JWeinCom said:

1. You're entitled to your opinion (I really liked Octopath) but a lot of the stuff you're saying is more about the overall quality than whether or not it was a risky venture.

2. I disagree.

3. Because the conversation wasn't about representation, it's about risk. I believe your argument was that making a game with a female lead is risky because most of the best selling games are males and male led games tend to sell better and therefore having a female lead is not the surest path to success. Likewise, most games do not feature sprite based graphics and those that do tend to sell less than games that don't, so following the same logic, choosing to do so would similarly be brave or risky.

Basically, for pretty much every game, you can come up with 4-5 ways that it doesn't follow the most successful industry trends. I chose to use Octopath as an example for consistency's sake, but for most games I could probably come up with 5 things it does that don't follow the most successful trends.

4. The thing that's most relevant to whether or not the project is risky are the things that would have a pronounced effect on its sales, and that would be mostly what is visible to prospective buyers. The thing that is most prominent in the game's marketing is the timeloop mechanic (which sort of implies multiple playtrhoughs will be required to get the full picture). I'll just grant for the sake of argument that the story is on the whole very unique and creative and excellently done. I still don't know why it would logically follow that the game was especially risky and brave for Sony to publish. 

5. I thought the point of the list was to demonstrate how Returnal was a sign that Sony is particularly brave, risky, and gives devs creative freedom? If your only point in mentioning the price is that Sony overpriced the game, then ok, but I feel like that's kind of off topic.

As far as Nintendo goes, I don't think I ever suggested that you dislike them. But I don't agree that Nintendo is overall less brave or risk averse than Sony, or that you've demonstrated that to be the case.

What I want is what I've asked for. Some intelligible way to determine to determine when games are risky or brave. Doesn't necessarily have to be objective (would be nice though), but it would have to be something more than what's given. What we have here are three examples of very different games that are considered risky and somewhat contradictory reasons. Basically I get that you're arguing that developers/publishers should make more games that are like the three you mention, but I can't figure out what that is.

If you can't really explain what makes games brave/free/risky and are just basing it on gut feeling, then fine. You're entitled to your opinion, but there's just no further conversation to be had. Based on my personal feelings, I think Nintendo is the braver/riskier developer. Is there a way to determine who's opinion is better supported or is it just my feelings vs yours?

K, finally down to the last message I wanted to respond to.

I'm looking to wrap up my part in this conversation since it doesn't really seem to be going anywhere. I'm not going to waste my time with another itemized response that's just going to be dismissed anyway. I just wanted to say that heart is what I value in a game the most. Like I want people to make games that they want to play, not games that are made primarily to sell. Production for use, not production for exchange. If a game conveys that feeling to me, I can appreciate it whether or not it achieves everything it sets out to and regardless of whether I agree or not with any thematic message it may contain. It's the method that made this medium decades ago before there were all these focus groups and development costs shot through the roof. I don't know how to gauge that objectively, it's just a feeling that I get and look for signs for. Asking me to quantify that in a strictly objective way is impossible. Just doing what I can.

I have not asked you to quantify anything. Nor have I asked for anything objective. I asked for something intelligible. Because if what you're talking about is unintelligible, then by definition it cannot be discussed. All I really know is that you're advocating that companies should make game that have some sort of undefined quality and that Sony tends to make games with this undefined quality. Ok I guess.

Last edited by JWeinCom - on 27 June 2021

So I guess you're saying that generally, the more risks you take, the less likely it is to be as much of a commercial success as if you played it safe with entries in familiar franchises and formulas?

And do you want the big companies to essentially make more AAA 'inde games' (creative, original, etc) with high budgets?

It makes sense that familiarity tends to be the safest bests most of the time. But aside from looking at how much they sell compared to other games, repeating new entries in a franchise is also very important to get more eyes on the franchise and have it grow to where it could have been a long time ago.

Final Fantasy VII, Persona 5, Nier: Automata, Yakuza 0, Dragon Quest 11, Monster Hunter World, etc.

There are a lot of these games where one particular entry in the series does a much better job at attracting a wider audience than usual for whatever reason.
And then you have those newcomers try out older games in the series, and probably more often than not realize that this was something they would have liked all along, but didn't know it at the time.

I'd like to think that game developers tend to compromise between cash-cow safe bets, and projects that are expected to make less money.
And the former can fund the latter, so for that and many other reasons, we tend to see those much more often.

I remember Shuhei Yoshida said something about how they never expected The Last Guardian to sell a lot, but they made it because they knew the fans wanted it. I imagine those kind of passion projects are easier to pitch to the CEO's, or justify to investors when you have some safe bet games alongside them.



IcaroRibeiro said:

I don't know if I have anything else to add on your thread. I think it's common sense humans don't like challenges and innovation, they like familiarity and routine.

This is absolutely true, but it makes you wonder why people purchased so many games during the 8,16 and 32 bit era. Most of those games were either the first of their kind or damn near close, and people ate them (innovative and new styles of games) up in ways that they don't now. It kinda makes you wonder. Did society change? Did the gaming industry change? Was it a little of both? 

Whatever the reason, I wish we could go back to the way it was before. Back then, everything (including the consoles themselves) felt so groundbreaking, fresh and exciting.