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Interviews

Demis Hassabis, part 1

In part one of our two-part interview, the ex-Bullfrog and Elixir genius peers back into history and discusses his eventful videogame past

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If I had to do it again, I'd still make Republic, but concentrate on two of those three areas, perhaps even one, and that would have been enough, rather than spread ourselves a bit thin. Because the company was quite small I only had one or two people on each of those areas - when you think of today's development team sizes, that was asking too much.

I'm proud of what we achieved, given the trials and tribulations along the way, producing an original and entertaining game. I was hoping it would be even more ambitious than it actually turned out to be, as we actually had to tone down some of that ambition towards the end. The idea of the game was to make you feel like you were a revolutionary such as Che Guevara, to make you feel you were taking part in a revolution, and I guess we didn't get far enough down the line to convey that idea fully.

Did you ever consider doing a sequel to Republic?

Demis Hassabis: I would've loved to - there's a lot of mileage in the topics of the game. I still believe that games can be more than they usually are. While there's definitely a place for games where you shoot people, if we want games to be taken seriously like novels or films, as a cultural medium, then we need games that are about more mature subjects. However, they still obviously have to work as games, and that's the challenge - how can you make something that's deep and meaningful and also fun to play?

Check back soon for the second and concluding part of our interview with Demis Hassabis.

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