Time for another installment in our ongoing series of interviews with people we feel have something important to say about the past, present and future of game design. And this time it’s with one of our big heroes!
We can’t help but feel that the career of Takayoshi Sato so far illustrates what’s wrong with the games industry. While everyone’s talking about making artistic games, rivaling cinema, turning the medium into a mature art form, etc, Mr. Sato simply goes out and does it. With Silent Hill 1 and 2 (1999 & 2001), he has made some of the greatest contributions to the creative development of the medium that anyone has. So what does Electronic Arts do when he goes to work for them? They build a team of experts around him, reserve a nice budget, give him plenty of time and tell him to Go! Create a masterpiece!? No. They put him on some licensed IP and forget all about it. Et tu, EA!
In the mean time, Sato has left the building and is now working for a “serious games” company. We feel that this is a shame, but Mr. Sato doesn’t agree. He talks about how the commercial games industry is stagnating, how the way production is organised stiffles the creative spirit, how game after game is just a re-skinning of a stale old concept. How we need new areas to experiment and express ourselves in this medium.