News: Daniel Vávra, lead designer on Mafia, laments the current gaming landscape for being publisher-driven and risk-averse, citing Dead Space 3 as an example of “turning something interesting into something nobody will like.”
I’m a big fan of the original Mafia. While easily dismissed as a Grand Theft Auto clone in its day, it was a wonderfully ambitious game centred firmly around its well-rounded protagonist, Tommy Angelo. It’s a shame that Mafia II told a far less compelling story, even while making up for its predecessor’s shortcoming in technical prowess. Daniel Vávra, lead designer on Mafia and writer for its sequel, has a bone to pick with the current state of gaming, which he believes is being held back by “big publishers and their megalomaniac games.”
“Bigger is not always better. I hate the word ‘wow moment’ and I hate games that have wow moments every two minutes, because some smartass thinks it’s cool. Dead Space 3 looks (at least so far) like a perfect example of how to turn something interesting into something nobody will like,” Vávra says to Russian gaming site GameStar.
“I hope that there will be more independent developers, which will lead to more interesting games because publishers are to blame for this situation,” he continues.
“Different people have different tastes; there is room for many genres and styles. We are not getting them right now, because publishers think that we all want Call of Duty type games. But it’s changing and when the indies from Steam, XBLA and iOS make some money and start to produce bigger games, we will see lot of fresh stuff.”
There’s a third Mafia game rumoured to be in the works, but Vávra isn’t involved with its development. He’s currently heading up Warhorse Studios where he’s working on a “realistic medieval open world RPG.”