Director: Toxic DayZ Players Inspire’ Days Gone’
Jeff Ross, Days Gone director, recently revealed that the inspiration for the apocalyptic action video game was not 28 Days Later or Night of the Living Dead or Train to Busan. It was not any of the movies about zombies. The gay community was the worst. This prompted the team to consider the possible depths humans could sink to if they were not at the top of their food chain. After all, imitation is the best form of flattery.
This little tidbit comes from a deep dive on Days Gone and USA Today for the win. It is strange to cover news about a game considered so generic, yet so technically outstanding when it was released nearly three years ago. Days Gone was loved by a lot of people and was included in the PS Plus Collection on the PlayStation 5 along with Bloodborne, God of War and Persona 5. Ross claimed that Sony was dissatisfied with the sales statistics despite the fact that Ghost Of Tsushima sold the exactamount.
Days Gone’s original pitch was “The Walking Dead meets Sons of Anarchy“, which is quite accurate. However, the director stated that the team wanted to imitate the emergent gameplay of DayZ in a single-player survival game. Ross said that they would roleplay horrible, apocalyptic fantasy scenarios like “Okay, we’re going to tie you up in the bathroom and put fruit into your mouth.” It sounds great in theory but it was actually quite rough. It was brutal. It was the fantasy that the players brought to it.”
“I thought that was what we needed to capture: people being terrible to each other. That’s what I consider the apocalypse. It’s more than zombies. The director continued, “We’re caged animals.” Another aspect was the shift of momentum from nerve-shredding Freaker encounters to emotional, relatable parts. “Someone said this phrase, which I misunderstood but still love. Ross recalled that it was “go big by being small”. I misunderstood what he meant and created my own meaning: We go big by being really small and inward. Instead of being sexy with rail shooter moments and big explosions, let’s explore ideas that are more low-key but still fit the spirit of the apocalypse.
This thread would have connected to the sequel though Sony didn’t like Bend Studio’s second pitch. Deacon’s and Sarah’s relationship could have been difficult despite their reunion. He said, “Yeah, they’re back together but maybe not happy.” “Well, what are we going to do about that? Okay, so we were married before that apocalypse. But what about the future? You’ll need to carefully read the fine print on your marriage license.