Outspoken American developer David Jaffe says differing cultural identity is the reason for Twisted Metal’s limited appeal in Europe.
Speaking to Eurogamer at E3, the co-founder of Eat Sleep Play and co-creator of the franchise said: “My layman’s sociological view of Europe is that you guys tend to respond to things that are sleeker, cleaner, more refined, a bit more humorous.”
The car combat series’ over-the-top action, dark storytelling and multiplayer focus have made it a staple PlayStation franchise in North America.
“I think Twisted Metal is rough around the edges, it’s raw, it’s like a garage band. It’s dented, it’s busted up, it’s oil and diesel fuel. And to us in America, at least to Twisted Metal fans, it wears that as a badge of honour. We like that spirit.
“In the same way WipEout was never a mega hit over here and has always been appreciated by a smaller group than in Europe. There’s a similar dynamic going on. Your WipEout is our Twisted Metal.”
Jaffe blamed heavy censorship of the series’ PS2 outing, Twisted Metal: Black, in several European countries for reducing its impact on this side of the Atlantic.
“Our last really big Twisted Metal went out everywhere except America with all the storytelling, cutscenes, characters and things that gave it a conceptual definition ripped out for censorship reasons.”
He went on to declare that the developer and publisher haven’t done a good enough job of explaining what the game is about.
“If you just look at the game on face value you either respond to the spirit and the imagination or you don’t. What you don’t see is the depth in the game. You don’t see the fighting game and the sporting spirit.
“I think especially in Europe the candy wrapper is so off-putting to certain people. You say ‘that’s not for us, there’s not enough irony, there’s not enough humour’. It’s not given the chance to unveil what’s beneath the candy wrapper.”
Jaffe is hopeful that players in Europe will give the series’ upcoming PS3 title a try. He feels more confident about Twisted Metal’s potential this time, but won’t make concessions to its heart just to win over more players.
“In terms of reaching out through the internet, reaching out through Twitter, in terms of having SCEE being much more excited about the game, yeah, of course we’re hopeful,” he said.
“What we’re not going to do is go ‘how do we cut the balls off this spirit, of this essence, just in order to say maybe we’ll get more fans. There are games that can survive that kind of neutering, but Twisted Metal isn’t one of them. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.
“I hope Europeans give us a shot. I know we’ll do better with this one than we have ever done before, but I’m not going to beg.”
Eat Sleep Play’s Twisted Metal is scheduled to arrive on PS3 this autumn.