In terms of reaching more people, you're releasing this game only on the PS3, and the audience for that is necessarily limited, because only a certain number of people have it. Do you feel that consoles are a limitation for you? I don't know how many adults who want this kind of experience have a PS3.
DC: Honestly, working on one platform is the best thing we could dream of, and it's a choice. When we signed this game, we had a choice between different publishers, some of them being only one platform and other being all. After the experience we had with Fahrenheit, where the multiplatform was kind of painful on all levels, it makes the development more complex, but you also end up with the feeling that you've taken the best of none. You had to do something on three platforms, and you couldn't really effect the time and efforts to one platform to make it the best game on this platform, because you've got three platforms to pick.
I think regarding especially the PC, the PC is generally a frustration for me, both as a developer and as a player. As a player, when I buy a game, it's quite expensive. I come back home, put the CD in, and you've got to install it. Fine - it starts to be the same with consoles these days. And then you realize that you're missing a driver. It doesn't work. It doesn't play the video, or it crashes, or it doesn't have the right version of DirectX, or it's not compatible with your video card or whatever. Whew! Well, I bought this thing, and it's supposed to work.
I don't want to fight with my computer just to make this bloody thing work. And then you need to go on the Internet, download the drivers, and you know what? The framerate is not what it's supposed to be, or you don't have the level of detail in the graphics because you don't have the right video card or you don't have the right controller because the developer wanted you to play this game with a certain controller, and you only have a keyboard and a mouse, or whatever. And in the end, the experience is not what the developer wanted, and it's not satisfying for you as a user.
And as a developer, I'm frustrated, because when I design an experience, I have framerates in mind, certain graphic rendering in mind, a certain controller in mind, and I'm frustrated if people can't play it. On Fahrenheit, the game was designed for the PlayStation 2 controller. It works okay on Xbox, but honestly, I don't think it works with a keyboard and a mouse on PC. It's really difficult and challenging to find a game that can work with any device.
On PlayStation 3 now, there's no problem. It's pretty clear. You know what the control is, you know the rendering, you know what framerates you get, and you know everything, because this is exactly what you designed. You say it's a limited audience - yeah, it's true at the moment, but by the end of the PlayStation 2, I think there are 120 million units in the world, so I don't call that a limited market. There's no reason why the PlayStation 3 can't reach these numbers.
But it's limited to the hardcore game player, really, because for any console except for maybe the Wii, it's a big, intimidating controller for people who haven't played video games before, and there is the expense, as well, for any platform.
DC: That was true, but it was true for any console. In the beginning with the PlayStation 2, it was only hardcore gamers, and now the PlayStation 2 is for kids. So you always see this illusion through the lifetime of consoles some are worried about now. And the good news now is that the PlayStation 3 is a Blu-ray player, and is probably the cheapest on the market. So yes, for hardcore gamers, it's a very expensive console, but when you think of it as a Blu-ray player, it's very cheap.
I was just thinking in terms of making a meaningful experience for adults, and any adult who has not bought video games for a long time would probably not be able to pick it up.
DC: They may buy a PlayStation 3. I think that's one of the reasons why we produce this game, is to encourage people... to show them, "Look what this console can do. If you want to enjoy it, just buy a console."
And people do have to be taught sometimes that games are something that they can enjoy, because some people think, "Games aren't for me."
DC: That's true.
It's a tough sell.
DC: It's a challenging sell, of course, to convince people who have not played, to buy a console to play this game. Maybe it's arrogant to say, but we hope to convince people that games change, and that yes, there are games where you shoot and drive and kill, but slowly, we see appearing a new generation of games where you do different things.
It seems to me the most compelling argument for that has been downloadable titles. Again, these games are interesting to me, personally, but the most accessible things that have taught people, "Yes, you can play games that aren't just shooting", are downloadable games on the PC or browser-type things. Those are getting hold of the large, older female market and the people who used to play games but think they've gotten too complicated.
DC: I agree and disagree, because these games are usually casual games. And that's fine, but these are games that are toys. It's just for when you've got that moment to kill and, "Okay, I can play this little thing on my computer. It's an easy no-brainer and doesn't require me to invest time or to think about it." That's fine.
But at the same time, I promote games that require attention and involvement that also have higher ambitions in creativity and experience, in general. And I don't think that they're exactly the same stuff, because you can choose to download games in your Internet browser, or you're going to invest time in a real interactive experience in a triple-A next-gen title. But I think we'll see more and more separation between toys...video games that are toys, and video games that have a higher view or ambition. Maybe "video game" is not the right word anymore for titles that have more ambition. There's no right word. Many people are trying to find another word.
"Video game," when you think about it, doesn't mean anything anymore. That was fine for arcade games in the old days, because they were games on video, but now what does it mean? It doesn't mean anything. And you've got in the same box all games and all their diversity. But there are so many different games and different ways.