Jade Raymond recommends we give our “teenage medium a kick in the balls”
In the meantime, however, Raymond’s all for some overdue maturing.
“It’s time for our industry to grow up,” she told Eurogamer.
“Why is it that so many topics that are dealt with in other media are off limits or taboo in video games? Why can’t we deal with the things that matter? I can think of so many examples of topics that could be interesting, issues that could be addressed in games or that could be integrated into existing big IP if we don’t want to make them the centre of the experience. It’s our responsibility; doubly so for people like me who can make a difference, or push for something getting funded.”
Although she admits that, as a Generation Xer and a parent, she’s probably not the industry’s primary target market anymore, Raymond added that perhaps the real primary target market isn’t quite what the industry thinks it is either.
“We tend to think young people just want explosions. But I don’t think it’s true. Perhaps even less so than when we were children. I believe we are underestimating our audience by creating the same experience over and over again. We think that this is what they like but I think we are deeply mistaken,” she said.
“More and more people come to me at Ubisoft and say, ‘I love games. I came into this industry with so many ideas. But I can’t continue to make shooters over and over again. I’m not even in line with the messages.’ I have that meeting a lot these days. Yeah, it’s time to give our teenage medium a kick in the balls.”
Suggesting that themes like sexism, religion, and social problems could be integrated into blockbuster releases, she pointed out that “I don’t know when we decided as an industry that in order to sell five million copies of a game you have to make a Michael Bay film. There are other options.”
Indeed. I’m guessing Ubisoft Toronto’s next big title, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Retribution won’t be exploring any of those other options, though.