Devolver Digital Co-Founder Urges Game Studios to make Better Drugs

Devolver Digital Co-Founder Urges Game Studios to make Better Drugs

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pocru by pocru on Nov 05, 2019 @ 02:44 AM (Staff Bios)
Devolver Digital is a publisher known for seeking out the more unusual, outlandish studios and games to add to it’s library, even if “unusual and outlandish” usually means just another pixilated top-down hyper-violent slugfest with bright colors and a aesthetic somewhere between the 90’s and retro-pop sci-fi. But if you thought their games were the only off-kilter thing about them, then apparently you’re wrong: because their metaphors are pretty whack as well.

I say this because Devolver Digital co-founder Mike Wilson recently spoke at the Reboot Developer Red conference, and while there, he said that games were basically drugs and developers have a responsibility to make sure their games are the right kind of drugs.

It makes more sense when he says it:

"We're where people are turning in their most vulnerable moments; when they're feeling their lowest, or they're feeling like a piece of crap, or life isn't working out as it should, because we live in this winners and losers society that is based on all kinds of things that are almost impossible to achieve for young people now…

Whether you think these are drugs—and by the way, I'm not against drugs at all—but if we're going to be drug dealers, let's offer people psychedelics. Let's offer people something that's going to help them expand and grow. Let's not offer them crack-cocaine. Let's not offer them meth. Let's not literally mine for addicts."

I think drugs may have been involved in the thought process behind that analogy, but it works shockingly well. As more and more games work to put loot boxes and other gambling mechanics in their games, which are designed to milk all the cash out of people who have addictive personalities, less and less are actually trying to broaden our horizons. It’s an apt way to phrase things, if a little unorthodox.

And if “apt, if a little unorthodox” didn’t perfectly encapsulate Devolver Digital, I don’t know what would.


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