July 27, 2007 - Early this morning, David Jaffe announced that he would be leaving Sony Computer Entertainment and starting up a new games studio entitled Eat Sleep Play. Focused on smaller titles like those you'd find for download on the PlayStation Network, Jaffe's new venture is very much in line with his last project, Calling All Cars.
Calling All Cars should be indicative of what to expect from Eat Sleep Play.
David was kind enough to take time out of perusing the booths at this year's Comic-Con to answer a number of our questions about his studio, his ties to Sony, their first project and more. Have a read.
IGN: How long have you and Scott Campbell been talking about starting your own studio?
David Jaffe: We've been kicking the idea around for over a year. We got real serious about it about eight months ago.
IGN: Why did you want to start your own development house rather than just develop them internally at Sony?
Jaffe: We want to be in spaces Sony is in, as well as in some spaces Sony is not. If you are talking console and handheld, we hope Sony will have us as partners for a long, long time. We are honored they have chosen to work with us on this first batch of titles. But there are some areas of the gaming world that we're excited to explore that Sony has yet to get involved with. So that's a core reason; we don't want to be left out of that space!
IGN: Why the focus on smaller, downloadable games than the bigger projects that have garnered you so much praise in the past?
Jaffe: Smaller games are what I love to play these days. I still like the larger titles, but as I get older and get busy with raising kids, there just is not the time to play the epics. So as in writing, where they say: 'write what you know' , I guess the gaming equivalent would be: 'make what you play'. And for many of us at Eat Sleep Play, smaller games are what w have time for these days. Sometimes the games we make will be smaller hardcore titles; other times we'll go for the casual market. But each time up to bat, our goal is to bring the same level of polish, imagination, and passion to every game we make. And that's the same philosophy we applied to the epics we've made in the past.
IGN: Will you be creating 3D titles, or are 2D games a possibility as well?
Jaffe: Everything is open. 3D at times, other times 2D. Hell, I'm not even sure what D we're working in for this first game we're doing for Sony. So yeah, it's all up in the air and depends on what the game design calls for.
IGN: You have a number of games that you began work on that were either put on the back-burner or cancelled altogether. Is there a chance that some of these titles may be resurrected now?
Jaffe: Sure but nothing planned right now. Sony owns the rights to all the things we designed when we worked for Sony. So if we're feeling like dusting off the old ideas and Sony is up for it, we could totally do that. That said, no plans for going down that road right now.
One of the company's first projects is to bring Twisted Metal: Head-On to the PS3.
IGN: Do you retain the rights to Calling All Cars, or do those rights belong to Sony?
Jaffe: I don't retain the rights cause I never had them. All the games I've done are owned by Sony. I kind of hoped they would give me the God of War rights as a going away gift but, no such luck. Hell, I was even asking for small stuff. Nothing big. I told them I'd be cool if they gave me the rights to something tiny; like the rights to make God of War steak knives. But did I get it? Hell no. I got nothing. Man, I coulda sold out of those things!
IGN: We know that you have a deal for three Sony-exclusive titles, but does that mean you can only work with Sony, or are you free to work on other platforms for other games?
Jaffe: We are exclusive with Sony for console and handheld. And we hope to be exclusive with Sony in those spaces for many years to come. We have great friends within the halls of Sony and look forward to continuing a partnership that has lasted over 13 years.