Despite being a huge form of entertainment in line with films and television, when it comes to actors there’s little bleed over between the video games medium and Hollywood. That is changing a little perhaps, most notably with the likes of Keanu Reeves being a major character in Cyberpunk 2077 and Death Stranding being filled with various big name talent.
Because of that, it can often be seen in a cynical light whenever a major publisher reaches out to Hollywood level talent for a game, a (not-so) cheap ploy to garner attention. And, to be honest, it can work, too. When it was revealed that Reeves would be in Cyberpunk there were as many, if not more, articles written about that than anything else relating to the game. But David Cage sees it differently, saying going after that kind of talent has warrants to a game’s value beyond marketing.
In speaking with OnlySP, the Head of Quantic Dream actually said he felt getting Hollywood talent can be a negative in a way precisely because people look at it in that cynical way. He also says those who are seasoned actors can help bring a new level of emotion to a role that maybe someone who hasn’t had that experience can’t.
“We never considered actors with big names as an asset in themselves for our games. Actually, we sometimes felt it was even the opposite: having famous actors could be a handicap for a title because some press and gamers will think that they are just marketing assets.
We will certainly continue to work with Hollywood talents in the future because they significantly help us to create emotional experiences and believable characters.”
The studio dabbled a bit in that with Beyond: Two Souls when Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe provided likeness, motion capture and voices to that game. As things like motion capturing and scanning becoming more common and advanced there probably is something to be said for the value of being able to act out a scene that wasn’t to be had years ago in video games.