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The creative director and writer of Days Gone has said that players should buy games at full price if they like them, instead of waiting for them to go on sale or be given away as part of services like PlayStation Plus.
John Garvin was speaking to game designer David Jaffe on Jaffe’s YouTube show, where he was asked if he’d heard anything about any “meaningful uptick of engagement” with Days Gone since the game was added to the PlayStation Plus Collection on PS5.
“I do have an opinion on something that your audience may find of interest, and it might piss some of them off,” Garvin replied. “If you love a game, buy it at fucking full price. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen gamers say ‘yeah, I got that on sale, I got it through PS Plus, whatever’.”
“But how do you know you love a game until you’ve played it?” Jaffe responded.
“I’m just saying, you don’t, but don’t complain if a game doesn’t get a sequel if it wasn’t supported at launch,” Garvin replied. “It’s like, God of War got whatever number millions of sales at launch and, you know, Days Gone didn’t. [I’m] just speaking for me personally as a developer, I don’t work for Sony, I don’t know what the numbers are.
“I can tell you that when we were doing [Syphon Filter] Dark Mirror [on PSP], we got so fucked on Dark Mirror because piracy was a thing and Sony wasn’t really caught up on what piracy was doing to sales.
“And we would show them torrents, a torrent site had 200,000 copies of Dark Mirror being downloaded. If I remember it right, the numbers could be wrong, but regardless, I was pissed about it then, I was like ‘this is money out of my pocket’.
“So I think the uptick in engagement with the game is not as important as, did you buy the game at full price? Because if you did, then that’s supporting the developers directly.”
Elsewhere in the four-hour interview, Garvin confirms that his departure from Bend Studio was based on his personality, rather than anything to do with the performance of Days Gone or any potential sequel talks.
After being asked directly by Jaffe if he was fired, Garvin replied: “It was a hard, long development, six years, and I worked six years of crunch. And here’s the thing, I love working crunch. […] I love what I do so it’s not that big a deal, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for me. So the last two years I’ve actually been away from the studio have actually been a blessing. I have been able to get up and do what I want, I’ve written three books, and it’s just a different thing.
“When you’re in development it’s a non-stop pressure with milestones, profitability and people management […] and to be honest, at the end of the day, what it really comes down to is, we had a few heated arguments over the last year or so, and I would end up yelling and saying something like “just give me a package so I can get the fuck out of here”, some shit like that.
“And when it was just Chris [Reese] and I in a very small studio, that kind of heatedness was fine, but by the time you get to a 100-person studio you can’t have one of the directors losing their temper, you know. And I’m not a great people person anyway, and it’s not like they didn’t try, I was put through training a couple of times, like ‘hey, here’s how you go out to lunch with people more, and be a better director’, and dude, I just kinda sucked at all that.”
Later in the interview, Jaffe seeked to clarify this by asking: “Me reading between the lines would suggest that you were fired from Bend because you were a disruptive personality, and that worked with a smaller team and a medium-sized team, but as the budgets and the stakes got higher and the number of people that had to work on the team got bigger, that personality – at least according to that company – was no longer the right fit, would you agree with that?”
“Definitely,” Garvin replied.
Days Gone 2’s game director Jeff Ross also appeared on Jaffe’s show earlier in the month, where he confirmed that he was at one point working on a Days Gone 2 pitch but, due to an NDA with his former employer, couldn’t confirm if it had been cancelled.
This came just days after a Bloomberg report suggested that PlayStation had rejected plans for a sequel to Days Gone.