Navigating A Crossroads: David Jaffe Talks
January 25, 2008 Page 2 of 5
Do you think that publishers are abandoning the PS2 generation too early?
DJ: Well, I think it's a chicken/egg thing. Look, I think if I was a publisher, I definitely would at least be putting some of my ammunition in the PS2. I definitely don't think I would be like, "Oh, let's spend fifteen million, or even ten million dollars on a brand new IP for the PlayStation 2," but, you know, I think that there are lot -- you know, worldwide, over a hundred million people who have that console.
And so I think there's definitely more gas in the tank, in terms of being able to make money off of it. And we'll see. We'll see how this game does; we'll see how some of the other titles coming out from Sony do. You know, there's a Ratchet game coming out, based on the PSP game, so we'll see how it does. But yeah, I'd love to see the PlayStation 2 continue, at least for a couple of years, with new releases.
What's also interesting about this project, to me, is that up until very recently, it's been hard for people to get their hands on games from prior generations, or earlier works of developers they might have discovered later on. The Wii's Virtual Console is one way to do that now, but this is a different sort of approach. What do you think about the importance of that? Does that drive it, or was it just like, "Hey, we have all this cool stuff, let's chuck it in!"?
DJ: Well, "chuck" wasn't the verb that we chose. (laughs) But I mean, it wasn't so slapdash. It was definitely that we made conscious choices about what we wanted to include, and we wanted to create a product that could sell like a substantial piece of gratitude for fans of the series. And so, we didn't just throw in stuff that we had sitting around; there was conscious thought that went into it.
But in terms of, you mean, how do I feel about other people being able to play work from earlier systems, and see it now? I think that's cool! That's great. As long as it's compelling; as long as it can still hold up. I'm like a lot of people, I buy a lot of these retro packages.
It's funny, I just reinstalled GameTap on my home PC today, and I was playing a game when you called. It's kinda like, I love going back to those old games, and I love that they're available, but I'm not one of these guys that's like... you know, I do think games have -- it's not like movies, unfortunately, where you can watch Casablanca and get caught up in it.
Kinda hard to go back
and play Battlezone, and appreciate it for anything other than
the nostalgia factor, as well as the appreciation factor of what it
brought to the table in terms of the evolution of gaming. But in terms
of being able to get engaged in a game from 5, 10, 20 years ago... I
don't know about you, but for me, I find that hard to do.
It can be. What do you think about, you know -- this isn't totally analogous, but for example, Square Enix will take a game and they'll remake it from scratch. And you find that with other developers, too, and your project is sort of like that. Do you think that's a good way to keep the old, classic titles alive, rather than just shoving them out on compilation discs or software services?
DJ: Well, the Square thing is, though, what they -- I have the Final Fantasy remake on my DS... Or, Final Fantasy, what was it...
DJ: They didn't actually change much
of the game, though. It was just a graphical upgrade, yeah?
It varies from title to title, but
do you think it's the graphics or the gameplay? You know,
that's another question, I guess. What that has to be revamped?
DJ: Well, I think it's both. I think that there's an expectation from consumers; it doesn't have to be the latest and greatest graphics, but they have to be competitive enough that they will immerse players in the world, based on what they're visually used to. But then I think the gameplay as well, you know.
I have not gone back and replayed, what is the game that they put out recently... It may be one of the Final Fantasies, I don't know, but it's like, you know, there's part of me that recently has been wanting to play, what was it, Orcs & Elves, from id, from Carmack?
I saw a review that was actually slamming it for this, they gave it
a pretty low score, and were like, "This is fine if all you want
is old school dungeon crawl with turn-based combat." And part of
me was like, "Ooh! That sounds great!" I'd love to
play Wizardry again; like really old school Wizardry.
So there's part of me that really likes that they're doing that.
But there's also part of me that thinks, after twenty minutes, that it's just not engaging enough to stay involved with. So, I don't know. If somebody said, "Remake Twisted Metal," or, "Remake God of War," you could go to the nugget of what those games are, and hopefully if you're a fan of those games, what makes those games good. But I think that you have to do a lot more than just a graphical upgrade for me to be satisfied and involved with a project like that.
Because I think that, for better or for worse, expectations of gamers -- and I don't mean in terms of production values, or explosions, or graphics, but just in terms of the meaning of the interactive experience. You know, for people who those titles would actually make a difference to, who understand the name Twisted Metal, or Final Fantasy. Not necessarily the casual games market.
But for those people, they need more, in their sort of "interactive meal", and I think I would want to definitely make sure that the game has changed, and evolved in some fundamental way before I went back and put a new coat of paint on something.
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