There’s been a lot of talk about the disappearance of the middle-class of games of late, with AAA titles becoming increasingly safe and less innovative. Ray Maguire, head of Sony Computer Entertainment U.K. acknowledged the issues facing current console games.
I think it’s probably true that most studios are now quicker to cancel stuff if it’s not living up to expectations in the green light process the costs are so big, said Maguire. But, actually, the technology inside today’s consoles means that we have the ability to tell stories in a better way, a much more graphic way, allowing us to get deeper into the narrative and become more creative in the way we put an experience in front of a consumer. In the case of Heavy Rain, that’s an entirely narrative-driven game when I used to work for Sega, I was introducing games like Golden Axe on the Mega Drive, narrative wasn’t even part of that conversation! But now we have the technology, we’re opening up new avenues of creativity.
When asked about funding Heavy Rain, he responded, There is a funding issue. We as a platform holder have a duty to push the boundaries, we will gamble on using technology and exploring different experiences, because someone has to. But if you’re a multiplatform publisher and selling to the marketplace that those platforms have created, then it’s purely a commercial decision.
The follow up asked if gambling on off-beat stuff was fundamental to Sony’s approach, he said, Absolutely it’s fundamental to us.