Spec Ops: The Line writer Walt Williams has suggested that violent video games are creatively "too easy", and that he'd like to see more developers push the boat out and take risks.
“We’re in an industry full of very intelligent, knowledgeable, and progressive people. It’s getting harder and harder for us to play these games and to look at them critically and say, ‘This is OK, this makes sense,’ especially as we get older,” he told crowds at GDC.
“I would like to see less violent games out there. Not because they’re bad or wrong, but because I think creatively they’re too easy.”
Williams' talk apparently focused on "contextualizing violence through narrative" (as reported by Gamespot), obviously using the narrative-rich Spec Ops: The Line to support some of his points. That said, even he expressed surprise at that game's success.
“Honestly, the game was very much an experiment. One that, to this point, I’m kind of really surprised that it ever made it to the shelves,” he said.
Discussing where writing might turn for these types of games in the future, Williams stated that creating more "hopeful" characters ight be a good start.
“How can you make another shooter that leaves your characters arguably alive? I think we need to get to a point where we can move back to maybe trying to write characters that are a bit more hopeful. I think that might be a good first step,” he said.