Enough of this “fun” junk. Who even does that? Games are growing up, and it’s time to kick fun to the curb.
Ubisoft’s Jill Murray and Hugo Giard were hardly that harsh in their talk at GDC just recently, but I certainty wouldn’t blame anyone who took their words that way. Even so, most mediums mature over time, and it’s hard to argue their main point: fun is no longer the only thing to aim for.
The talk’s focus was on the development of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – Freedom Cry, and in comparing it to films like 12 Years a Slave and Leaving Las Vegas, it was made clear that Ubisoft’s Quebec team took the subject matter ultra-seriously. Slavery is a heavy topic, so it makes sense that fun would fall by the wayside, even if only a little.
The talk covers a fistful of interesting info, including how players react when they see characters punished, the process of integrating concepts like empathy and disempowerment into games, and more. Whether Freedom Cry delivers on such things is another discussion entirely, but personally, I know I played plenty of games last year that packed an emotional punch. Even GTA V made me shed a tear. The times they are a changin’.
Be sure to check out the rest of the details of the talk in IGN’s report if you like what you’re hearing, or try Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – Freedom Cry for yourself to see Ubisoft’s words in action. Games are quickly maturing – now they just need a half-decent awards show.