Raymond: Games should focus on real-world issues

Raymond: Games should focus on real-world issues
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

July 16th 2012 at 10:31AM

The industry must get out of its 'smelly teen years', says the Ubisoft Toronto boss

Games should provoke discussions about subjects affecting the real world, says Jade Raymond.

Speaking in a recent interview with Develop, the Ubisoft Toronto boss said studios should be more willing to tackle controversial subjects such as the Arab Spring and class divide, and get out of their “smelly teen years”.

“The Arab Spring, class divide, internet freedoms… why aren’t there triple-A games about these topics?" said Raymond.

"We can actually use the interactive power of our medium to talk about these subjects in a way that can provoke discussion about them.”

She added however that it was understandable that big-budget blockbuster games could not focus on tackling these issues alone, given the need to appeal to a wider audience, but that ethical issues could be interwoven with the core experience.

“I am a realist – at $60m per triple-A game it’s not likely we can make a subject like this the core of a brand new IP," she said.

"Games may be stuck in this narrow genre of action shooters – but that shouldn’t mean we are stuck.

“So why not weave more meaning into existing blockbusters? Maybe GTA could make a statement about the penal system? Or maybe games like Call of Duty could make a statement about sexism?

“Maybe Splinter Cell could make a statement about the ethics of interrogation?”

Raymond said that customers could expect the Toronto studio's first game, Splinter Cell, to introduce new concepts to bring more meaning to the title.

“The first step is to add that into existing blockbusters, it’s easier to do it this way than introduce a new IP and be riskier with your content and your message," she explained.

"And in the new Splinter Cell, there is a concept at the core of the franchise that can be given more meaning.”

You can read our full interview with Jade Raymond here.