Former GTA dev vowed never to work on a violent game again

Ian Birnbaum

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An emerging theme in the games industry is developers engaging the idea that games may be disproportionately violent or too derivative. Deus Ex creator Warren Spector spoke out about the latter recently , launching off the reveal trailer for the new Wolfenstein: A New Order . Joining the conversation now is Jeremy Pope, a veteran of Rockstar Games and former production manager for Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City, and Max Payne. In an interview with GamesIndustry International , Pope explains why he will never work on a violent game again.

“I would always kind of defend the games we were making and I was pretty proud of being involved,” he said, “but then when I would visit my grandmother in highly religious Alabama and have to explain what I do for a living, I didn't feel so great about explaining to them that I was a part of 'that game' they've been hearing about."

Pope says his decision to avoid violent games is about working on projects he can "feel a bit better about," but doesn't disparage Rockstar's accomplishments.

"I definitely want to make a point of saying that I actually love Rockstar's games," he said.

In the wide-ranging interview, Pope discusses the perception of games in the mainstream news media and how gaming is so often used as a convenient scapegoat for political topics like gun violence.

“We had the same problem 10 years ago and it still persists today,” Pope says about the NRA blaming games for high-profile gun violence. “We don't really have a great ambassador, if you will… And then you see the NRA has one guy who goes up on a podium and gives a talk, and whether you agree with it or not there is a clear single voice and something to react to.”

Check out the full interview here .

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