Microsoft turned down Heavy Rain because it was “too controversial”

Those who are fortunate enough to have played Heavy Rain might, like myself, struggle to grasp exactly what Microsoft thought was “Too controversial.” Was it the naked shower scene, the moment when Madison Paige strips to acquire info from a sleazy nightclub owner or perhaps the sex scene?

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Microsoft clearly had no problem with the sex scene

In fact it was none of these things. Now, maybe this is because we have become too desensitised by films, or perhaps we are so liberal that we are, arguably, too tolerant and understanding, that I fail to understand this concept. Microsoft feared Heavy Rain was too controversial because children were kidnapped by a serial killer. Don’t get me wrong, on the face of it that does sound bad. However, Heavy Rain isn’t essentially about child abduction, although that is the one plot element that ties our four chief characters together, but despite that, the story is told delicately and tastefully throughout.

Quantic Dream’s creative and ambitious CEO discussed the meeting with Microsoft at this year’s BAFTA annual games lecture;

We had a very long talk and they loved Fahrenheit, and they really wanted to do something with us,” said Cage,  “They got scared by the fact that Heavy Rain was about kids being kidnapped, and they said, ‘This is an issue, we want to change it’. Well, we could have kidnapped cats, it would be a different experience!

Whilst kittens being abducted by a serial killer might have tugged on the heartstrings of certain individuals, I think the decision for the team to stick to their guns was the correct one. This forced David Cage and Quantic Dream to find a new home with Sony;

For me, that was a very interesting signal. It was like, you know what, I don’t think we can work together, because you don’t understand what I’m to achieve here……..We had this conversation with Sony very honestly saying, ‘Okay, there is a reason here’. But I think they understand the upside of what we were doing.”

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Ethan receives another clue as to why Microsoft canned Heavy Rain

Though this wasn’t necessarily that detrimental to Microsoft, Sony certainly gained. Heavy Rain met critical and commercial success and even sold out in various countries shortly after launch. All of this would appear to have cemented Quantic Dreams relationship with Sony – as their up coming title, Beyond: Two Souls, is out on October the 11th and is exclusive to the PS3. Whether this title proves “too controversial” only time will tell but the themes of Beyond: Two Souls could certainly be challenging for audiences.

The plot revolves around Jodie (played by Ellen Page) and a invisible entity, which grows up alongside Ellen Page’s character. We get to witness the 15 year struggle and inner turmoil Jodie has to bare in living with this entity. She becomes a science experiment and appears to be wanted by the military. David Cage has also suggested that Beyond will deal with death and what happens after, although he hasn’t commented any further than that.

Intriguing to say the least, but I’m sure you’ll agree this game, like Heavy Rain, will be an emotional and compelling action drama. Twinstick Gaming hope to bring you a report later in the month on the actual gameplay as we should be getting hands on with a demo version very shortly.

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