Adrian Chmielarz, former People Can Fly creative director and head of new studio The Astronauts, predicts that the change in gamers' attitudes could lead to next-generation of game design, and not just hardware.
"Things are aligning in a way that, by the end of this generation, people started asking, 'Hey you know what, why is Nathan Drake a mass murderer?'" he said in an interview with Eurogamer. "And they didn't ask that with the first Uncharted. They didn't ask that previously."
"Something happened and it was probably indie games and the fight of indie developers to show a different side of gaming. Some people tasted a little bit of that indie gaming, started thinking about games and then they go back to the old ways and go, 'OK there's something wrong here.'"
He names Dear Esther as a title that showed gamers a different type of play (even if he didn't enjoy it) and references the recent release of Tomb Raider, which saw writer Rhianna Pratchett trying to explain the "ludonarrative dissonance," or the way Lara Croft goes from scared young women to axe wielding stealth killer.
"The designs will change because they will have to change. We are running out of options.The old ways they no longer work," continued Chmielarz.
"If people are truly being bothered by the fact that Drake kills 400 men during the course of the game - that was the beginning - then these questions start popping up more and more, like the BioShock Infinite discussion. Suddenly everything is wrong."
"The designs will have to change, no matter what, so the next generation from that point of view is going to be also, possibly even for the very first time, the next generation of game design."
Chmielarz's new studio is currently working on The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, a "weird fiction horror" that he spoke to GamesIndustry International about in March, explaining the studio was "no longer excited by mammoth-sized games."