David Jaffe, Eat Sleep Play co-founder, has sparked controversy at the 2012 DICE summit, suggesting that video games and storylines shouldn’t mix.
Speaking to publishers, Jaffe explained the pitfalls of falling in love with an idea without a real means to transfer it to a game.
“You guys need to get a bullsh*t filter and you need to get that before you waste any more money,” said Jaffe. “It’s real easy to bamboozle you. It’s really easy to sit in a pitch and talk about ‘I want the realism and grittiness of Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy and I want to put it on a space ship and make you feel like Tarantino and speak to the human condition’. And you walk out of the meeting and you give them the green light because you can see that in your head.
“But you can’t see the game in your head, you can see the trailer to a movie that doesn’t actually exist,” Jaffe added. “You better start learning gameplay language. It’s not to be mean spirited, I would never do that, but you can actually sit with developer and say ‘it’s cool that you want to do that but tell me how.’ If you come in with an awareness of that, if you’re an executive that can suss that out, that’s great. You don’t want to have a developer romance you with the promise of something more than it will ever be and it ends up not being that.”
Jaffe wasn’t finished yet, and some more kind words for developers, claiming that a video game has always been the worst method of telling a story.
“A lot of these people will say ‘I have something to say, I have a story to tell.’ If you’ve really got something inside of you that’s so powerful, like a story you’ve got to share or a philosophy about man’s place in the universe, why in the f**k would you choose the medium that has historically, continually been the worst medium to express philosophy, story and narrative?” said Jaffe. “Why wouldn’t you write a book, why wouldn’t you make a movie? It’s like being one of the world’s best chefs and instead of working in the world’s best restaurants, you ply your trade in McDonalds.”