In a recent interview, Naughty Dog developer Neil Druckmann made some very interesting points about AAA games and what they can do to improve.
Druckmann states that he was “blown away” by what indie games like Gone Home and Papers, Please had done with their plots–simple premises with sophisticated narratives. He believes that AAA titles should start focusing on taking bigger risks and being more creative, especially because the industry has expanded so much in the past few years.
Referring to video games criticisms, he states:
And I hope criticism of games and game narratives is becoming more sophisticated. I think before you would have had a hard time talking about tropes and how women are represented in games, or how characters of color are represented in games. But now I’m kind of excited by the discussion and the kind of criticism games are getting. I think that change is going to happen much more rapidly going forward, and people who don’t engage in that discussion, who don’t try to appeal to audiences that are coming on, are going to be left behind.
And talking about the kinds of female protagonists in video games, he said:
I feel like AAA games… we’re on this cusp of at the very least seeing strong, non-sexualized female protagonists starring in games. You’re going to see a lot more of those, and a lot more that are commercially successful. A lot of times in AAA games, people feel like they need to play it safe because there’s so many parts of a giant corporation working on a global scale to launch a title that they don’t want to take too many risks. But once you have enough evidence to say ‘Hey look, this is actually not a risk, this can succeed commercially,’ then creativity can flourish and new avenues can be pushed.
What’s your take on this?