David Cage: Heavy Rain/Fahrenheit’s Child Kidnapping was Too Hot and Heavy for Microsoft
As it turns out, when Quantic Dream was pitching the game to several different publishers, Microsoft wasn’t gung-ho about the game, as David Cage discussed in BAFTA’s annual games lecture (via DigitalSpy):
We had a very long talk and they loved Fahrenheit, and they really wanted to do something with us. They got scared by the fact that Heavy Rain was about kids being kidnapped, and they said, ‘This is an issue, we want to change it’. Well, we could have kidnapped cats, it would be a different experience!
For me, that was a very interesting signal. It was like, you know what, I don’t think we can work together, because you don’t understand what I’m to achieve here. They were scared of the scandal and scared of what people may write and what people may think. ‘Oh, this is a developer and the publisher making games about a child getting kidnapped’.
When you play Heavy Rain, I don’t think this is what the game is about. Microsoft is a great company; I’m not complaining or criticizing. I’m just saying that there was some resistance at the time that was not in sync with what we wanted to achieve.
We had this conversation with Sony very honestly saying, ‘Okay, there is a reason here’. But I think they understand the upside of what we were doing. This could be incredibly emotional, if done with taste and if there’s nothing shocking for the sake of shocking. There should be a strong emotional experience, but it shouldn’t be vulgar, it shouldn’t be about blood and whatever, it should be about love.
We could understand each other, and this is how Heavy Rain happened.
If Heavy Rain had instead featured cats being kidnapped and Microsoft publishing the game, what do you think an alternate title for the game should have been? Grabbed by the Kitties? Let us know in the comments below.