An Interview with the man behind Hatred

A trailer for a game called Hatred was released and caused an outcry of it being rather grim in the wrong ways. It depicts a character loading up for a mass shooting and then, as expected, going on said mass shooting.

The game lacks the context or subtext most games or other mediums that depict ultra-violence have. There’s no comedy or satire and a huge lack of self-awareness to go alongside it.

Hatred is a game that made me feel uneasy in the stomach, with its focus on murder as the goal. With some comparing it to Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Postal, they tend to forget that those games have the context of storytelling, ridiculousness of fictional worlds and things and regarding Postal, that is a game that allows you to shoot cats out of a shotgun at or urinate and on people.

More often than not, the murders of innocents is usually penalised and only encouraged in that the player has the option to do so.

I asked the developers of the game, Destructive Creations, if I could interview them. What I got back was a request it be done over email alone, so here’s the CEO, Jarosław Zieliński.

team

Your game, Hatred, is ultra-violence without any kind of subtext or wrapper around it, do you not find that a little grim to work on?

Well, when you see that game every day and you’re creating from scratch all horrible scenes, you don’t see the whole big picture of it. You’re just noticing every, goddamn little issue that needs to be fixed. And actually working on this crazy title is pretty fun.

You make mention of it just being entertainment, or it “just being a game”. In the current environment of games, do you not see that as something that’s problematic to pass off any blame of disgust or offence people have felt?

But there is this other side – people who love the concept, support us as hell, write us such quantity of supportive e-mails that I would never expect. And we are making this game for them, not for all those disgusted or offended (by the way, I don’t get how anyone can get offended by our title). We live in free society – we can do this kind of game and we won’t force anybody to play it.

Is the team literally aiming for shock factor? Or do you think the game itself will be fun?

Both. Shock factor, as you can guess, made all the world to know our game. We are small team from Poland and we would never achieve such renown if we would be making something with common theme. Even if it would be a great game. We never expected such big fame and all our thanks are going to our haters. But yes, this game is fun, it’s some kind of “sinful pleasure”. It has quite a unique atmosphere and for us, the most important thing to do now is to make it better and better.

There’s been an understandable negative reaction to the game’s trailer, what’s the reaction you and the team have had to the negativity?

I think I explained in the previous answer. Negativity was expected, but so much of positive feedback wasn’t.

What about people you know (friends and family)? How have they taken it?

They do understand it’s all in all a business. They might not be our game’s target, but they know why we decided to go into such controversy.

Do you ever expect to get this game released onto Steam or GoG?

Yes. But we can’t be sure.

Do you believe that the controversy surrounding the game will help sell it, similar to Grand Theft Auto or Mortal Kombat?

Of course, I think I stated it  above pretty clearly. Those were also a great games and we believe we will do Hatred a nice game to play also.

This game has the potential to receive an Adult Only rating, rendering it banned from distribution by a lot of means. Would you tone things down or find another way?

Look, the game doesn’t break any laws with it’s content. There’s no racism or any kind of discrimination. I don’t see a possibility of banning it. And even if we know it will be banned in some countries, no one can forbid us to sell it digitally on our website. That’s the fact and to all people who can’t accept it I can say only: “deal with this”.

How’d it feel for Epic Games to distance themselves from you?

Another piece of news on the web and more attention to Hatred. Anyway, they don’t really had a problem with the controversy of our game, it’s just we didn’t have a kind of licence letting us to use UE4 logos. That was the problem, it was solved in very friendly manner. It was our mistake.

Are the ESRB/PEGI actually involved with the game in anyway, or was it similar to Epic and used to push for marketing reasons?

I’ve contacted ESRB before releasing trailer and followed their instructions. Those were pretty nice people to cooperate with and I don’t know why – I didn’t expect this.

There’s been apparent links to some members of the team – you included – to far right organisations. Ones with racist and bigoted mindsets. Has the social and political climate of Poland or your political stances influenced how Hatred is?

Do not believe everything you read on the web. There are some people who have their business in making us look like monsters. Our official statement about all those accusations that we are Neo-Nazis and all other stuff, will be posted on our website tomorrow. [Note: This interview was conducted on the 20th of October 2014]

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