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Chen: "A headshot with a sniper rifle is not relevant to real life"

Jenova Chen explains why games just aren't good enough for adults

Thatgamecompany's Jenova Chen has criticised the current crop of games, arguing that immature and lacking in relevance.

"My biggest complaint for computer games so far is they are not good enough for adults," he told Gamasutra.

"For adults to enjoy something, they need to have intellectual stimulation, something that's related to real life. Playing poker teaches you how to deceive people, and that's relevant to real life. A headshot with a sniper rifle is not relevant to real life. Games have to be relevant intellectually."

His thoughts echoed those of David Cage, who said in a recent interview that the industry was too focused on violence, and satisfying kids and teenagers.

Chen also shared his frustrations at the pricing of AAA titles.

"Right now, games are so expensive; they're $60. If they don't let you kill over a thousand people, the game is going to be dead within two hours. Then they have a problem justifying 60 dollar prices," he continued.

"I think Journey is more artistic because of the rawness of the game."

Chen recently spoke to GamesIndustry International about Thatgamecompany's plans for the future, and revealed it was still in negotiations.

"We're talking to various people, but even though we have various game ideas, if we don't get the money, nothing's going to happen. So right now it's deal negotiation time."

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Latest comments (3)

Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus4 years ago
Different strokes for different folks. Sometimes, I want to be intellectually stimulated (Journey!). Sometimes, I want to live out my dashed athletic dreams (NBA 2K12! Pro Evolution Soccer!). Sometimes, I just want to devolve and allow my inner, simplistic urges to take over (80% of what's popular in 2012!).
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Julian Cram Producer 4 years ago
@Christopher Bowen:
But it's the disproportionate amount of games that appeal to "simplistic urges" which people like Chen, Cage, Blow and others are complaining about.

For every Journey, there are 100s of fighting or shooting games which appeal to the lowest common denominator. When only 5 or 6 a year do well, why do developers and publishers persist in creating and funding them?
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 4 years ago
For the same reason people are still producing MMORPGs? They think that their game will be the next WoW killer (or, in the case of FPSs, CoD killer).
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