Last December Josef Fares made the front pages of video game sites when he said "Fuck the Oscars," while on stage at The Game Awards. The Lebanese filmmaker has been leading Hazelight Studios in the development of A Way Out, a narrative co-op game that's being published under the EA Originals label.
In an interview published in the latest issue of EDGE magazine, Fares talked about his creative history. Between the upcoming A Way Out and the critically acclaimed Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, he's been shepherding games with a strong cinematic flair. However, he downplayed comparisons with the output of studios like Telltale Games and Quantic Dream
"Those games are too passive for me. I would like to have more control. One could say that you control the story, but while you’re doing it and affecting it, in a sense you’re not, you know? A Way Out is not about that. I think the comparison is fine from a cinematic perspective, but not the way you choose your story. This is a hand-tailored story all the way."
Fares emphasized the team effort that games like Brothers and A Way Out require. Saying that although Hazelight is made up of about thirty developers, creating games are more challenging than making movies.
From the perspective of the small team we are, it’s been challenging for us. I made six feature films before A Way Out and Brothers, and they’re nothing compared to making a game. It’s way harder. It’s way harder because of many things.
When you make a movie, you pretty much have a solid idea of how the product should go; you can plan it better. In a game, you can’t really plan that out, especially if you’re doing something that hasn’t really been done before.
When asked whether provoking feelings and emotions with his games was one of his goals, not unlike Quantic Dream's David Cage own touted artistic ambitions, Fares replied:
"That’s not important for me. I just want to make people feel the game. If they cry or they laugh or they smile or they get angry, it doesn’t really matter."
A Way Out is due for release on March 23th, 2018 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.