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Former Arkane boss on why he left: 'You're not making a game anymore, you're making a product'

From PCGamer: "The past two decades have been good to Raphael Colantonio. He founded Arkane in 1999, led it through Arx Fatalis and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, and then hit the big time in 2012 with Dishonored and its multiple expansions and sequels. But after the release of Prey in 2017, he packed it all in, saying he wanted to step back from the industry and "reflect on what is important" to him and his future."

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TheRealTedCruz39d ago

I saw an interview with him, and it really did sound like corporatism killed his passion for games. Arkane are one of only a small few of devs that mainly focus on the immersive sim genre. The "gameyist" genre of games; whereas major publishers over the last two decades have focused more and more on simplicity and linearity to reach the more casual audiences.

He has no interest in returning to games in the near future.

TGG_overlord39d ago

It's a very sad state of affairs if you ask me...As this kind of approach is killing off creativity and risk-taking.

toxic-inferno39d ago

They're also one of the few developers that seem to really care about the characters and story that they're spinning. Plus, the Dishonored series was one of the truly original feeling games in recent years. There was clearly so much passion that went into the world they crafted.

blackblades39d ago (Edited 39d ago )

Indies devs are the ones that cares and has the passion. The devs that moved on from big corps and went to crowd funds as well. I can also say I do find most of those games are fun while playing bigger titles just feels more like well they are enjoyable but not like indie games.

39d ago
Christopher38d ago

I get his thoughts, but none of their games saw a move towards what he's discussing as how he feels.

I wonder if what got to him was more the people he had to now work with and not the games he was making himself?

DreadfulHero38d ago

Except he's making The Weird West...

Which I'm excited for! It looks like a trippy isometric immersive sim in the Old West and I think it's going to (hopefully) be great.

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Repjaws39d ago (Edited 39d ago )

Very interesting. I've battled with this same feeling over the past few years. I've always been a Sony fan but recently I've wondered if the increasing homogenization of Sony's titles is good for the industry. It's funny that the new PlayStation studios intro looks very much akin to Marvel's that plays at the beginning of every Marvel movie. And i feel like that's very ironic since Marvel too went the route of making all of their movies basically the same. I hope people that wanted games to be more like movies are happy because they've got it. Games are now the same and it's so hard to differentiate them. The words grind up like staple pins in the back of my throat but I actually kinda like how MS is going into next gen with having a ton of diversity in their titles, from Sea of thieves to the multiple titles coming out from Obsidian. I hope Sony follows the same route and changes up their core formula of basically producing the same game.

Shaggy230439d ago

I know this wont be a popular comment, but you list all of Sony's AAA titles, and one thing stands out, they are mostly all third person action/adventure games.

Uncharted
God of War
Horizon Zero Dawn
The Last of Us
Spiderman
Ghost of Tsushima
Shadow of Colossus
Days Gone
Infamous Second Son

Don't get me wrong, they are all great games and Ive personally played most of them. But it does seem like Sony has found a style of games that they do really well and are sticking to it.

I know that they also release stellar games like GT Sport, Concrete Genie, Dreams etc. but what was the last first person shooter Sony released? what was the last arcade racing game they released? I mean since Killzone Shadow Fall and DriveClub (which were both great titles) we haven't had any exclusive shooter or arcade driving game since (that I know off).

toxic-inferno39d ago

I was thinking exactly the same a few weeks ago. At least they're not all copy-and-paste games like some publishers, but Sony does seem to have lost some of its broader appeal. 10 years ago, they were releasing games in many different genres, but its very rare a AAA Sony game is released that doesn't fit your description.

Repjaws39d ago

Yeah I agree with that. I love Sony to bits. I know I'm going to be called an Xbot but Sony got me into games and I love them for it. I will continue to support them but not out of blind loyalty but because I want them to get better. They've found a lot of success following the third person action adventure genre but I want moreo ut of their western titles. Almost all of the fun titles I've actually enjoyed have been from their Japanese partners. Death Stranding, Last guardian, Persona 5 and Bloodborne. It's good that they've found success with their formula but it's time to improve and expand their collection of games. I'm not saying abandon the third person action adventure genre completely but tackle other genres like full on RPG, immersive action sims like Dishonored or RTS games or online games like Sea of Thieves.

Silly gameAr39d ago

@Repjaws

I respect your opinion, but I think you, toxic inferno, and Shaggy are wrong. How is Sea of Thieves considered diverse compared to those games you mentioned? Because it's MP? Because it's a live service game? Sorry, but I think all 3 of you are wrong. How are you going to call the company that's actually releasing games from all genres the least diversive, but add a live service game and some games we hardly know anything about like they're something new and different? If anything, Sea of Thieves is a good example of what Colantonio is talking about. That's a product, not a game.

I hope Sony stays far away from games like that, and if they do decide to go that route, they go by it in a totally different way.

sinspirit39d ago

Ohh, yea. Because, conveniently MS released arcade racer Forza Horizon and FPS Halo 5, this is something important for PlayStation to have.

When was the last time MS released a 3D platformer, action RPG, horror game, story driven choice game, action adventure, or even a really good game?

You think lumping camera perspective together fools anyone into disliking what they see? It's a camera perspective. Not genre. You'd only fool fake gamers who are easily swayed, not the gamera that understand what a genre is and how great the PS line up is. I'm fine with them being fooled if they aren't passionate about gaming to know these games are nothing like each other.

toxic-inferno39d ago

I don't think any of us were saying that Microsoft or Nintendo have more diverse games. In fact, we only compared Sony ro what they were like in the past.

I wholeheartedly believe that Sony produce the best games out of the three. But there's no denying that it's been a while since they brought out a new racing game, for example.

caddytrek39d ago

What about Dreams or Gravity Rush or Detroit or Everybody Golf or Astro Bot or Until Dawn or Gran Turismo or Little Big Planet or Ratchet and Clank or MLB or Killzone or The Order or The Last Guardian or Concrete Genie....

I could go on, especially if I wanted to list published games.

This is a false narrative that keeps getting repeated.

Godmars29038d ago

Wouldn't mind seeing Wild Arms or Legend of Dragoon make a return.

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Luc2039d ago

Let's conveniently forget Dreams, tearaway, concrete gene, the last guardian, gravity rush 2 all the vr games all the amazing hausemarque games and plenty other unique games. It's been a great generation for ps.

TheRealTedCruz39d ago

To be fair, you also just listed many of their worst selling exclusives ...

Luc2039d ago

@thereal - it's the risk they are willing to take. Not every game will be a multi million seller

Repjaws39d ago (Edited 39d ago )

Okay that's just false equivalency if you ask anyone who play Playstation games they'll tell you the same thing I listed. They are best known for third person action adventure games, end of debate. If you carefully read my comment you woulda seen that I mentioned the last guardian because I genuinely enjoyed it. But it's something I want to see from their western devs. They're quickly becoming like Ubisoft where they're just releasing the same games. I just want what's best for them and to release different games. If they dont want to do that that's fine. I compared them to Marvel, Marvel doesn't want to change their formula because they sell a bunch of tickets. But I most likely won't be a part of their journey because I'm getting a bit tired of them. But that's just my opinion.

caddytrek39d ago

TheRealTedCruz]

So does that mean that the only games Microsoft released was Halo gears and Forza because those are the only games that sold well?

Christopher38d ago

***To be fair, you also just listed many of their worst selling exclusives ...***

Which is it? Is Sony to be a company with bad selling exclusives all around or are they allowed to make a diverse array of exclusives but people ignore the lower selling ones in order to make a point over market preference and not Sony support over different types of games?

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Christopher38d ago

***changes up their core formula of basically producing the same game***

Can't take anyone seriously when they allude to being third-person as being the same game.

Let alone to describe a design choice as being the same while people pick up and play those exact same games all the time from third-parties. Ghost of Tsushima is the same formula, but not Sekiro? Uncharted is the same formula, but not Gears? God of War is the same formula, but not Dragon Age? Spider-Man is the same formula, but not Batman Arkham? Days Gone is the same formula, but not Dead Rising?

anast38d ago

All live service games are products and Sea of Thieves is a live service. In fact, MS is pushing even further toward the corporatization of games more so than any other console producer.

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sourOG39d ago

That sucks immersive sims are easily my favorite games.

TheOptimist39d ago

Been playing Dishonored 2 and DoTO and they are possibly the most immersive games of the decade. Even more so than Deus Ex Human Revolution (Not to take a dih, HR is incredible for what it does).

But heck, the "Aha" moments in Dishonored just keep you guessing what will come next.

sourOG39d ago

Yup. Hopefully Arkane keeps a similar style.

W34KN35S39d ago

I mentioned this before to my friends that when companies start making games to appease the publishers then games will stop being games for the consumer and just games for the publishers, which is never good.

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