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From the massive popularity of his God of War franchise to the formation of his new studio Eat, Sleep, Play, which has a multi-year, multi-title deal to develop PlayStation 3 titles for Sony, outspoken developer David Jaffe has become an opinionated and influential force in the industry.
Gamasutra recently had a chance to speak to him by phone about the unusual creation of the upcoming Twisted Metal: Head-On for the PS2, as well as his thoughts on the directions the market is taking right now, and how his new development studio Eat, Sleep, Play fits into the equation.
OK, so, the first thing I want to talk about is the new Twisted Metal game. It's really interesting to see a kind of "all encompassing" title. Especially, even though you've been involved in most of the projects since the series started, it's gone through so many different developers, and evolutions. How did you get all that material together, and make that game?
DJ: Well, with the exception of 3 and 4, I've been involved with every iteration of the series except Head-On.
And my business partner, Scott Campbell, and most of the guys that we took from Incognito to start Eat, Sleep, Play, they worked on all those games as well as Head-On. So with the exception of 3 and 4, we just had all that stuff sitting around on archives and things like that.
And everything else was brand new; the documentary that we made was brand new, and the levels that we did for Twisted Metal: Black were based on existing levels, but those had a lot of brand new work done to them as well. So most of it was honestly either new work, or stuff that was sitting around that we had had, that we had been hoping to find a good opportunity to use, and this was a great way to do it.
It's interesting because the PS2 is reaching... it's certainly not ending, but it's reaching a new phase in its lifespan. And I guess it's interesting to see what could've started as a simple PSP version, or port, has taken on a new life. How do you see the PS2 right now?
DJ: You know, I still love the PS2. I mean, every week I look at the numbers and see that it's still selling a pretty healthy amount. You know, obviously the new game releases have dwindled pretty significantly -- at least the ones that are significant and substantial -- but I love it.
You know, I had a debate with a bunch
of people online a couple of days ago, where it's like, "Yeah,
new technology is exciting, and new graphics are sexy and cool, but
for me, I love the idea of an affordable gaming system with tons of
software, and just that mass accessibility."
And so for me, I love the idea that we're putting out a really consumer-friendly priced product, lots of stuff on it, a lot of people can give it a try -- people who have either never played Twisted Metal because they were too young to have played it, and they're getting maybe a hand-me-down PlayStation 2 from their brother or sister, or the hardcore fans.
To me there's something -- I don't know -- I like very much the idea that we're still entertaining people who may not have made the leap to next-gen yet.
Because as exciting
as the next-gen is, that's not everybody. You know, there's a lot of
people that, either by choice or by necessity of cost, have not been
able to make that leap yet. The fact that we're still able to put good
stuff out for them is gratifying. I really like that.