Hazelight Studio created two critically acclaimed games: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and A Way Out. Both games focused on co-operative gameplay and unique stories based on bonds and friendship. I just finished A Way Out last week. It’s amazing and I’m looking forward to their next game. Josef Fares, the director, stated he will continue to work with Electronic Arts as their publisher for their next game.
Fares reached internet fame with his famous speech at the 2017 Video Game Awards show where he said: “Fuck the Oscars!” Despite EA’s reputation for ruining their studios’ games such as Mass Effect and Dead Space, Fares has only stated great experiences when working with them.
“It’s no problem. It’s super-good support. I don’t care what publisher I work with it’s going to be the same. This is how I work: I respect the economical aspect but nobody fucks with the vision – it’s very, very important. And they know it at EA now, and they’re super-supportive – super-supportive”
Don’t expect the new game soon. Fares has stated the game isn’t expected to release for two to three more year but they have begun their work. Although they have the concept down, it will be a different game than their previous works. Fares also stated that the new game will be a bigger production and longer experience than A Way Out. “It’s not triple-A big but it’s bigger than A Way Out.” Players complained that A Way Out was too short but stats showed only 50% of the player based finished the game. He clarified that the game is not a triple-A title due to the player perception that the game was similar to Uncharted.
A Way Out has sold more than one million digital units which is impressive from a small studio. Although the length of the game is short, it feels like a movie experience with a perfect length. If you’re curious how Fares and Electronic Arts have data on players playthroughs, the game has an agreement people can digitally sign to give their player data.
The Game Awards this year was a spectacular showcase of how an awards show should be for the video game industry. Great performances, focus on the actual industry, actual speakers from the video game industry and not a celebrity forced to speak from a cringe-worthy script. The best part of the show was the real passion from the speakers; especially from Indie developer, Josef Fares, who flipped off the cameras and shouted “Fuck the Oscars!” Fares is the co-founder of Swedish indie team Hazelight Studios and the writer and director of its first project, A Way Out.
His 3-minute rant went viral. Fares was suppose to announce the release date of March, the game-play and story of his cooperative game: A Way Out which gave fans interest based off earlier trailers this year.
Despite his rant, Fares added that he would probably say the same thing even if it wasn’t at the Game Awards. When asked why he was correlating it to the Academy Awards, Fares stated it was because so many people had compared The Game Awards to the Oscars. Fares has directed multiple feature length films and said his outburst was an instance of himself failing to explain. He wanted to say that The Game Awards always felt as though they were an inferior version of the Oscars or other art award shows for films and television shows.
Fares stated that “it’s time for people to understand that games are, like, a serious art.” Often, video games are treated and shown as an inferior form of art and Fares and many other video game developers and fans (myself included) that games are a unique medium. Fares previous developed game, 2013’s Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, which was praised for its heartfelt story and unique gameplay. Brothers had two different brothers that were controlled with individual analog sticks. Hazelight Studios is attempting to create an even better version of this with A Way Out. The game revolves around two different personality characters: Leo and Vincent. It can only be played cooperatively and there’s split screen only so that players can see how the other is moving or interacting with the environment and characters. You can even play it with a friend who doesn’t even own the game. (As long as one person owns a copy and they have the same game system).
A Way Out is scheduled to be released March 23, 2018, on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.