As far as violent video games go, one prominent developer has had his fill.
Former Grand Theft Auto producer Jeremy Pope tells GamesIndustry International that he has made a personal decision to focus on nonviolent games in the future. Pope, who was the producer for Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City , said he always used to defend those types of games. But he thinks a little differently now.
However, he doesn't want to take anything away from Rockstar's products. As he clarified:
"I definitely want to make a point of saying that I actually love Rockstar's games and I think that it's unfortunate that their games were specifically called out and targeted by the media, because their games – and we all know this – are really masterworks."
His stance is that he now wants to create something a bit more meaningful from a narrative standpoint. He added that it's a lot easier to just ram violence down a consumer's throat, as opposed to using the interactive medium to express complex thoughts and ideas. That's the kind of effort we should admire, wouldn't you say? Said Pope:
"I do agree that we need to be pushing ourselves [as an industry]. With any storytelling medium or any medium at all, you want to have conflict because that's how you can generate interest, and oftentimes the simplest or most base way to do that is through violence that isn't necessarily tied into a deeper, more meaningful story.
I think it's often easier to do violence than it is to generate meaningful, interesting conflict through nonviolent ways. I would agree in that sense that we need to push ourselves and get away from sequels and rehashing, and taking what technology affords us and using that as a primary means to justify another rehash; in other words, we're just souping up what's already been done."
Pope also said one of the reasons the industry comes under fire is because it lacks an ambassador. He's right about that, too. Perhaps one of these days the right person will step up and properly defend video games from the countless detractors who, amazingly enough, never seem to know anything about gaming. At the same time, though, it's good to see guys like Pope shifting focus to something more meaningful. Maybe he should call up Quantic Dream to see if they need any help…