The CEO of Quantic Dream has said that the studio never had a proper discussion with Sony in regards to developing a sequel to Heavy Rain.
Despite the success of the PlayStation 3-exclusive thriller, David Cage revealed that his studio was never under pressure to churn out a follow-up – instead, Sony was happy to give Cage complete freedom with his next project.
"Many publishers, after the success of Heavy Rain, would have said, ‘Well, you need to do Heavy Rain 2. And do what you want, but it’s going to be called Heavy Rain 2’” Cage told Gamasutra. "We never had this conversation with Sony. They just asked me, ‘What’s next? What do you want to do?’ ‘Well, I have this idea, what do you think?’ ‘Yeah. It looks great!’
"We talked about it, explained the concept. They never asked for me to change anything in my script. And, no, total freedom. I think this kind of project can only be made in complete freedom, because otherwise it’s not the same experience at all. I’m not the kind of guy who works on command and someone tells you, ‘You should write something about sci-fi, or about this, or about that.’"
"I think the real value of this type of experience is that they are true and they are sincere," declared Cage. "It’s really a story that I needed to tell, and Sony gave me the opportunity to do it. Which is quite unique. It’s really incredible in this industry to have the possibility to work like that."
Cage observed he is fortunate to be in the rare position of being able to make big-budget titles while possessing plenty of creative freedom. He also said that his job as a developer is to provide experiences that are surprising to consumers, as opposed to simply delivering what the mass market expects.
"The thing is that, if you just give people what they expect, I think you’re not doing your job as a creative person. You’re just a marketing guy," he said. "Your job as a creative person is to give people what they don’t expect — or what they expect, without knowing that this is what they want. But your goal as a creative person is to surprise people all the time, and give them something different."
"So, when you look at the market at the moment, you can see more of the same, fair enough, and a few people trying different things. I mean, recently, there’s been Journey, for example, which was a very huge surprise. It was a very unexpected game in many ways, not entering into any genre, really, but it was very new, very creative, very original, and very successful. There are the guys working on The Walking Dead, right now, which is a different approach to narrative storytelling, and is also interesting in a way."
Cage’s next project will be Beyond: Two Souls, a PS3-exclusive title that focuses on the theme of what happens after death, and stars Ellen Page as main protagonist Jodie Holmes. The game is due out some time in 2013.