‘Nobody fucks with the vision’
Josef Fares, the writer and director behind A Way Out, has stated that the next title from developer Hazelight Studios will be published by EA. Speaking with Eurogamer and VentureBeat at Gameslab last week, Fares showcased his penchant for curse words and excitement for his projects while explaining that EA is now completely behind Fares’ ideas. After the success of A Way Out, I guess anyone would give the man freedom to create.
“Yeah, we’re with EA,” Fares states. “It’s no problem. It’s super-good support. I don’t care what publisher I work with it’s going to be the same. This is how I work: I respect the economical aspect but nobody fucks with the vision – it’s very, very important. And they know it at EA now, and they’re super-supportive – super-supportive.”
As for when we can expect to see this new title, the game isn’t currently in production. Hazelight is in the pre-production phase, but Fares is hopeful the team will be going full steam ahead in the next month. After that, it sounds like the process will take a couple of years to complete. Fares mentions that whatever the title ends up being, it will be bigger than A Way Out.
As Fares puts it, “It’s not triple-A big but it’s bigger than A Way Out.” He emphasizes that the game isn’t a triple-A title, because he doesn’t want to give anyone the wrong idea. Some people expected A Way Out to be comparable to Uncharted and Fares wants to squash that thought now before hype gets rolling.
Fares was surprised to hear that around 50% of players finished A Way Out. While that number sounds small, it is actually pretty big for the games industry. Fares, of course, had something to say about that. “It’s crazy we [the industry] think its a high number! Would James Cameron be happy if 50 percent [of the audience] went out from Avatar? No, it’s not OK.”
As for what this means about the length of Hazelight’s next project, Fares claims it will be a longer title than A Way Out. This is more due to whatever angle he wishes to tackle because he had some thoughts to share about replayability and developer focus. “Developers should focus on making the best game. It shouldn’t be a tick box thing. That goes for everybody – for the players, for the reviewers. Why are we talking about replayability when nobody is really even finishing the games?”