A Plague Tale: Innocence Was Inspired by The Last of Us and a Studio Ghibli Film

Focus Home Interactive was nice enough to send us to its What’s Next event in Paris, where we got to chat with Creative Director for A Plague Tale: Innocence, David Dedeine. During our discussion with him, we learned a lot about their upcoming narrative adventure game, like the team’s working conditions and how they decide on trophies. We also got to chat about main sources of inspiration the team at Asobo Studio referenced when developing A Plague Tale.

Dedeine had this to say about sources of inspiration, which came from one of Studio Ghibli’s films:

There [are] games and there are books and movies, and animations. At the very root of the experience, even before the rats, [the main focus] was the relationship between Hugo and Amicia. And we put them in a context where there is a friction with the brutality of the world.

And for this reason, one of the sources of inspiration is a technique from Graves of the Fireflies. It’s a Japanese animated movie, [like a] Ghibli [sort of film]. It’s [about] two kids just after the end of the war. The way they speak, the brutality of the adult world in front of kids even in such a terrible moment of the story was a great source of inspiration. Maybe not for the story, but for the fuel of the relationship [of the] two main characters.

And when asked about which games they drew inspiration from, they referenced a certain PlayStation exclusive title that made my ears perk up:

I would [be lying] if I did not mention The Last of Usobviously. It’s such a great game, but it’s weird to claim that we’ve done the same thing. And that’s not the case — we wanted to do something different. What I’d like to say about The Last of Us is that I like the way it has opened doors even for the publishing world. Because it’s this type of experience that — I’m not so sure we would have found a publisher like Focus to create this type of experience. If not for [The Last of Us] demonstrating that it’s possible to have a very narrative driven experience. Or at least, [with] this very strong relationship without a [necessarily] happy ending.

It’s interesting to see what other creators and artists look at for inspiration. Many times, creating video games is derivative, in that there are bits an pieces of many works combined to make a new one.

A Plague Tale: Innocence is out May 14, 2019.

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