MR. PARK: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
You definitely can’t accuse your games of not having a perspective. My next question, you’re co-president of a company, and your last game, “The Last of Us Part II,” was created with the knowledge that it will be quite divisive, and it may anger some of your audience, which it did. As a studio executive and creator, how do you balance managing and running a profit-driven media business with what appears to be your own very strong convictions to stick to artistic choices that challenge people’s perceptions? Was there a fear of that doing what you did would dilute your audience, or was it clarifying?
MR. DRUCKMANN: Yeah. That's a good question, and it's something that I wrestle with quite often.
I will say it’s, like, look, as--I forget the exact quote from William Goldman, but it’s like the idea is like, you know, no one knows what’s going to be successful or what’s going to sell or not sell or what critics will be drawn to or will it find an audience. You just don’t know. If we knew, if there was a formula to it, everyone would be doing that. Nothing would ever bomb or fail or any of that. So it’s like there’s no, like, a decision, you could say, okay, that’s the best business decision, and this is the--like--and you could just kind of forget the artistic integrity of it all.
What I have found over the years--and this is where I have to give credit not only to the leadership at Naughty Dog that came before me but even PlayStation--is that people do their best work when they’re passionate about what it is that they’re making. If that wasn’t the case, I’d be working on “Crash Bandicoot 17” right now, but instead, Naughty Dog--and this was when it was run by Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin--very smartly understood that they were getting tired of working on “Crash.” And even though “Crash” was extremely successful for them, they moved on and did “Jak & Daxter,” and then “Jak & Daxter” became a success. And even though it was extremely successful for Naughty Dog, we moved on and did “Uncharted,” which was a big risk for us. We were known for like a--more kind of like childlike, whimsical kind of storytelling and game play, and we went to this kind of cinematic, narrative-driven, you know, “Pulp Action” adventure romp. We moved away from hand-keyed animation to motion capture, and there were some animators that quit over that. But the studio just felt like that was the direction we needed to take. That’s how we needed to evolve, and we did work we were extremely passionate about. And then, you know, I think that vision was realized not so much with the first game, which when it came out did not set the world on fire but with “Uncharted 2.”
And then that was extremely successful for us, and we decided to take a risk, like let’s do our first M-rated game. And that risk led to “The Last of Us,” that when I was working on that game and I’ve--you know, I’ve mentioned this in interviews before--I did not think it was going to be that successful. I thought some of it was too subtle and nuanced, and it’s just--I just didn’t think it would work as well. But it did. Again, I think a big part of it is because we were working on something that the entire studio was really passionate about.
So then when you think about, okay, the sequel for “The Last of Us,” you know, I think the safe thing to do would have been to do another Joel and Ellie Adventure, something that becomes--like, you try to turn the first game into a formula and try to recapture that feeling again. But I think that would have failed our process.
What I tried to replicate with the sequel was like the--what’s the process that made it successful? It’s like, you know, that’s taking certain risks. That’s putting things out there that is not going to resonate with everyone but might lead to interesting conversations, and, you know, we made something that the team really believed in and I’m extremely proud of. And it was extremely successful, you know. Despite what other people that didn’t like it would want it to be, it was successful. And to me, it reached a level of success that what I always strive for which is not maximum profits. It’s enough to be able to do it again.
As an artist, you know, you just--you want to reach a certain amount of audience. You want it to stick with them so they’re thinking about it past the point of finishing it--it’s not just a frivolous thing--and then you’re successful enough as a business to be able to grow, hire more people, and do it again.
And that’s the position we’re in right now.
是故，接下來做《最後生還者》Part 2時，最穩妥的作法便是將Part 1公式化，讓喬爾和艾莉的冒險再來一次，可是如此一來就有違工作室的過去。
往昔致使頑皮狗成功的歷程，是背負風險，或許所有人無法共鳴之，但能引起積極的論述。他們作出了整個團隊真正想要表達的東西，他為此萬分自豪。《最後生還者》Part 2也極其成功；儘管不希望Part 2成功的人不想看到這種狀況。遊戲不但達到了某種程度的成功標準：足夠下一作的開發。