Thatgamecompany co-founder Jenova Chen talks about doing more with emotions.
Thatgamecompany co-founder Jenova Chen doesn’t strike you as a typical designer. He emphasizes art as much as technology and explores the emotion involved in ideas. Speaking to the [a]list daily, Chen talked about how there’s currently enough opportunity for developers to seek out new ideas for gamers.
“I like to look at business through emotion. Right now the game industry is still at a very young phase. There is a lot of space for people to go deeper on emotion. We actually went quite deep on the feeling of action and adventure. The feeling of killing someone used to be some pixel changed color, now it’s some guy’s guts are falling out. A lot of other emotions can go a lot deeper, and that will result in each genre becoming more and more sophisticated,” he said.
“Emotion can go wider. The new emotion that was not possible in the past should be possible in the future. What is the equivalent in a video game of a romantic film? A documentary? A drama? What is a family video game? There are family games, but they are mostly for the kids. What is the equivalent of a Pixar film in the video game industry, where adults and kids can have fun together? They don’t exist right now. They are all blue ocean, and they are huge markets.”
Of course, these new genres and ideas will also help attract new audiences, particularly female gamers. “Compared to the console game industry of yesterday, the difference is a bunch of people who never would have played any games are now one click away from games. Now the question is have you designed a game for them? What about the girls? I’m not trying to be sexist, but usually young females like to play things that have a lot of emotions and relationships. That probably explains why there isn’t a lot of female gamers that play console games. Candy Crush is more appealing to women because it’s social.”