Bioshock creator Ken Levine believes that when people bought his fps titles, it was because they wanted to shoot things.
“One of the reasons there’s been a lot of violence in video games is because it’s relatively easy to simulate,” said Levine.
“Generally, there’s an easily perceivable market for it. I think the reaction to the violence is more an expression of people building confidence in the industry’s ability to express itself in more diverse fashions.”
Levine’s Bioshock, itself a fairly violent game, has sold over 6 million copies – a feat that would not have been accomplished without the in-game brutality. Levine said he would not know how to make a non-violent version of the game, and it “would have been odd” to play.
“I assumed people were coming for the shooting when we made [BioShock] originally. I think now we have a little more confidence, especially when you don’t have to appeal to 8 or 10 million people if you can just digitally distribute things like you can now,” he said, adding that this could lead to more “niche” titles that appealed to smaller audiences.
“I think that’s what you’re seeing in games now is we realise we can experiment more because we don’t have to hit such a broad common denominator.”
What would Bioshock be without violence, and would you play such a game? Let us know in the comments and forum.