Interviewed 2013. Culturally, the Japanese seem to prefer third person games as they can distance themselves from the character. Overall different cultures and people prefer different camera perspectives.
I think the, the, the avatar that you’re given as a player, uh, really, really dramatically effects, uh, two things. It affects the game play experience and it affects the, the, the sort of, uh, dramatic perspective that you have on the game. And, uh, uh, you know, I’ll give you a weird example, but it was when we’re really -- uh, I mean, I’d always thought about this for a long time, but it really rang home and sort of proved out a theory that I had which was we were doing a demo of Halo III, uh, for the Japanese press. We’d done U.S. press and our demo was, uh, you know, you, you, uh, you fight through a jungle and you, uh, you have to grab, uh, a machine gunter and shoot this, this phantom. And, and, uh, of course, when you grab a machine gunter in Halo it goes into third person. And the, we don’t sell a lot of Halo in Japan. We really hardcore following there, but they, they don’t like first person games basically. And I knew this and my theory was that they like stories. They’re about a character. Even in the way that they name games, you’ll see legend of this and secret of that. And it’s about, you know, it’s sh-, it’s distancing perspective. And, um, that’s because they enjoy the narrative and they enjoy hearing about this person’s experience, right? Not necessarily living it themselves at least as video games are concerned. And, uh, and I think that when we did that demo and switched to third person on the chain gun, they literally gasped. It was like it’s not -- didn’t [unintelligible] and there’s plenty of other games. But it was a Halo experience that they were interested in and a universe that they wanted to like, but they just didn’t want to play it in first person. They wanted to play in third person. And so, I knew that, that at least part of that thinking was, was accurate. Um, but I think there’s, there’s simpler things, right? Y-, if you’re in a first person shooter, uh, you’re just taking away obstacles to your view of the world, right? And, and it’s not just necessarily about simulating being there, which is a huge part of it. If you’re in the, the eyes of the player, you’re going to feel more like you are that character than if, if you were in a third person view. Um, but it also just removes obstacles. Now, I can see more. That means, I can, you know, climb easier or shoot things faster or board this vehicle more efficiently because there’s nothing in my way including a big, giant dude, right? With, with jeans and muscles like which is what your third person character looks like. And, uh, and so, I think there’s a, there’s a layers and layers and layers of reasons why, uh, perspective really matters in video games from the, again, the sterile I can just see more of the game all the way to this sort of deeply philosophical I do not want to be this person. I want to observe this person. And I think all of those matter and they all feed into it. And, uh, yeah, and, you know, driving games are funny because, uh, uh, some people love playing, uh, in the really distant perspective. So, they see the rear of their car which is, uh, kind of a God’s eye view of what’s going on. And some people just want to get rid of everything, uh, so that there’s no intrusions into their field of view and they can just enjoy this experience of speed where they’re literally on the bumper of the, the car. And then you’ve got people who like to see the hood of the car and maybe even a little bit of the inside of the cockpit. Um, all in, all in the, the surface of different experiences some people want a real simulation of what it’s like to really drive. Some people want to shoo all that nonsense and just get to the experience of going fast. And some people want to gaze lovingly at the cars that they enjoy. And [unintelligible] totally different, but they’re all playing the same game and they’re all given that tool within the games. So, I think that it’d be, uh -- I think it’s foolish to pin out on w-, any one thing because I think it’s lots of different audiences with lots of different reasons.