Speaking to GamesIndustry, 2K Games boss Christoph Hartmann is under the impression that before the games industry can really innovate, photorealism is needed in games.
Hartmann told GamesIndustry, “Recreating a Mission Impossible experience in gaming is easy; recreating emotions in Brokeback Mountain is going to be tough, or at least very sensitive in this country … it will be very hard to create very deep emotions like sadness or love, things that drive the movies.
“Until games are photorealistic, it’ll be very hard to open up to new genres. We can really only focus on action and shooter titles; those are suitable for consoles now.
“To dramatically change the industry to where we can insert a whole range of emotions, I feel it will only happen when we reach the point that games are photorealistic; then we will have reached an endpoint and that might be the final console.”
These comments might make a little more sense if they weren’t coming from the head of 2K, a publisher who’re one of the main envelope pushers of genre in AAA gaming.
Take Spec Ops: The Line, 2K Games’ latest release for instance, whilst it appears to be a bang-bang shooty game full of brown on the surface, it achieves the remarkable feat of subverting an entire genre of punishing the player for taking so much grotesque pleasure in slaughter.
Other 2K titles like Bioshock, or Borderlands also go without saying and as far as we’re concerned, photorealism would be be detrimental for both titles, each with its own distinct visual identity. In fact, the only 2K title which even attempts to achieve photorealism is its NBA series.
Arguably the games of this generation which have striven for ‘realism’ are often the ones which fall short and those which have focused on the browns and greys of ‘reality’ are often the least creative.
You can read Hartmann’s full interview here on GamesIndustry