As fans of Rockstar Games it’s hard not to see that there is a specific genre that the developer/publisher avoids. Sure, they don’t tend to deliver the same types of games, but typically they do stick to a certain perspective.
In fact, Rockstar themselves have come out to say that they are intentionally avoiding the first person shooter genre because it too closely reflects what their competition is doing.
Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 — the two hottest titles of the fall — are certainly taking full advantage of that sub-genre, and, as such, Rockstar Games was to keep away from those types of games as much as possible.
Rockstar’s Creative VP Dan Houser shared a little more about that point:
"We're deliberately avoiding that right now, it's in our DNA to avoid doing what other companies are doing…You have to have originality in your games; you have to have some kind of interesting message. You could say that the goalpoint of Rockstar is to have the players really feel what we're trying to do."
While there’s no denying that Rockstar Games developmental efforts all carry a similar through line, they are all pretty unique. Some may take players to the Old West, while others put them into the role of LAPD detective working case-to-case, but typically there’s a similar Rockstar touch applied.
In Rockstar’s mind, Max Payne 3 is the closest they will ever get to a FPS, which is not that close at all. Players might be wielding a variety of guns in titles like Grand Theft Auto 5 or the next LA Noire, but never will that viewpoint be in first person.
That isn’t to say that Rockstar hasn’t made some titles that focus on specific topics like underground street racing or the life of a bully at private school, they just typically include a certain perspective on action and movement that gamers can recognize, and look forward to.
Perhaps, though, taking the perspective to first person could eliminate the inherent visual inconsistencies that exist with Rockstar’s sandbox titles. Typically, the run and jump animations and collision detection fall by the way side, in favor of a densely populated and stunningly recreated world. In first person perspective those little stutters and collisions could be ironed out/rendered moot, and make for less control frustration.
Of course, it’s tough to never say never, especially when a developer continually treads very similar, yet extremely compelling, water. After a certain point one has to expect that Rockstar will want to break out of their shell and deliver something completely unique, and maybe that will be a first person shooter.
Do you think that we will ever see Rockstar Games deliver a first person shooter? How would you like to see the developer approached the genre?