David Cage has spoken of a rare thing in his relationship with Sony: full autonomy and creative control over exactly what he and his studio deliver.
When asked at Gamescom just how much freedom Sony had afforded Quantic Dream when it came to artistic vision, Cage's answer was simple: "Total freedom," he said. "Total freedom. No constraint in anything."
"Many publishers, after the success of Heavy Rain, would have said, 'Well, you need to do Heavy Rain 2. And do what you want, but it's going to be called Heavy Rain 2.' And we never had this conversation with Sony. They just asked me, 'What's next? What do you want to do?' 'Well, I have this idea, what do you think?' 'Yeah. It looks great!'
"We talked about it, explained the concept. They never asked for me to change anything in my script. And, no, total freedom. I think this kind of project can only be made in complete freedom, because otherwise it's not the same experience at all. I'm not the kind of guy who works on command and someone tells you, 'You should write something about sci-fi, or about this, or about that.'
"I think the real value of this type of experience is that they are true and they are sincere. It's really a story that I needed to tell, and Sony gave me the opportunity to do it. Which is quite unique. It's really incredible in this industry to have the possibility to work like that."
Of course, Cage is aware that such freedom is not particularly commonplace when it comes to publisher-exclusive studios, and is thankful for his fortune.
"Very few developers are in my position, so I feel incredibly fortunate to be here, having this level of creative freedom, and at the same time having the financial means of a triple-A title. Usually, you make indie development, and you have limited resources, but you have freedom, or you work on a triple-A and you have the resources, but limited or no creative freedom. And I'm in the strange position where I have both." [Gamasutra]