Nov 02nd 2017

PlayStation defends controversial violence in trailers

PlayStation ran into some controversy for a couple of their trailers revealed at the Paris Games Week. They had a lot of new trailers revealed, and two in particular seemed to resonate with people causing an outcry from critics. This prompted a response from Jim Ryan the president of Sony Interactive Europe and president of Global Sales and Marketing for Sony Interactive Entertainment.

The two trailers people are upset about were for The Last of Us Part 2 and Detroit Become Human. These trailers can be found below, but they are very violent. In fact, this was the big concern by critics, that Sony was using extreme violence to sell video games similar to the controversial game, Hatred. Not only was there a large amount of violence, but it was also aimed towards women and a child.

In an interview with The Telegraph Jim Ryan explained why they showed these games. To start he explained that they didn’t only show two trailers. They showed a bunch of games that were for a variety of different audiences. As for the ones in question he said, “The Last of Us obviously is a game made by adults to be played by adults. I should never prejudge this but it will probably be rated ‘18’, I think it’s fair to say. And there’s that market for those people who like that sort of game. Adults who like that sort of game.”

In regards to the lack of context in The Last of Us Part 2 specifically, Jim Ryan commented that they were trying to show different qualities from different games they would be offering. Just that it is hard to boil down a game’s experience that is tens of hours long into a clip that is just a few minutes. When asked about if he thought the trailer was the right thing for Naughty Dog to show, he stated, “I do. Yeah, I do.” As for why the tone was so dark, it most likely reflects how the game itself will go. This is because according to Neil Druckmann, the creative director on the Last of us 2, “If the theme of the first game was about the love between these two characters…then this story is the counter to that. It’s about hate.”

As for Detroit Become Human, it shows child abuse, and hints at some pretty dark subjects. Though Jim Ryan seemed to want to keep pretty tight lipped about these, because “I’m certainly not going to start spoiling…narrative is everything in that story.” After all, with how he seemed to not want to acknowledge that the girl in the video was the man’s daughter, it seemed like that may be a key point to the story.

Violence in video games is a touchy subject for a lot of people. A lot of times it is done simply for shock factor, again like in Hatred, but to go to the opposite end and completely ignore it isn’t good either. The same goes for subjects like child abuse and domestic violence. They’re tough subjects and certainly not for everyone, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be addressed. Games are for everyone, but not every game has to be for everyone. Then again, that’s just my opinion. Feel free to share yours with me on Twitter explaining how I couldn’t be more wrong, or maybe you agree with me. Either way you can reach me best by tagging @spencerhavens.