He Said it, Not Me

In video games on January 27, 2011 at 7:18 am

In September I wrote a piece discussing Stephen Kings’ opinion of Hollywood horror movies and how that related to horror games. The point was simple: Horror games are not scary anymore because horror games are big budget product that require big money revenue.

This week, Gamasutra interviewed creative director of Dead Space 2, Wright Bagwell and he had this to say:

We found that when doing market research on Dead Space, when we look at other survival horror games, stuff from Japan like Fatal Frameand the like, there’s a really, really rabid fanbase for those games, but they actually don’t sell very well at all.

Of course, we’d like to make games that sell a lot. Everybody does. It was pretty hard to convince people to give us the money to make a game when you’re talking about sales in the hundreds of thousands, you know.

I’ve always said that you can’t argue with the “no money” argument. If a developers vision requires a sizable budget and said developer needs sizable profit to justify the budget then you gotta do what you gotta do. In the case of Dead Space 2, Bagwell admits they toned down the horror and went for what Stefan Lovgren describes as “American horror [that has] increasingly come to resemble action movies.” I’m not saying this was the case with Dead Space 2 but, if it was – I get it.

Damn if this other quote from Bagwell didn’t sting, though:

And what we found is that there were a lot of people who told us first-hand – I can tell you that I probably have at least five friends who played the game and came back to me and said – ‘Aw, man, Dead Space 1 was really good. I loved it. I was playing it last night. It’s totally cool, but I can’t play anymore because it felt like I was going to have a heart attack.

Why in George Romero’s name is that a bad thing!? That is called good horror!

Dead Space 2 drops this week. I was a huge fan of the first game and I’ve stated earlier in the year that it was a game to look out for. The reviews have been great so far. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.


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