Interview with HATRED’s Przemysław Szczepaniak

Recently, the most controversial video-game that was released last June 1, HATRED, got mixed reviews from certain gaming blogs and the big names like Destructoid and GameSpot states that the game was an utter fail. I played the game myself and for me, it was fun. It was a solid but repetitive isometric shooter that was certainly gave me some killing-spree time. You can read our review of HATRED here.

Now, we were able to get a hold of one person, Przemysław Szczepaniak, from the development team Destructive Creations to answer these questions:

Hi Destructive Creations, it’s really an honor to do an interview with you guys about your recently released and controversial game HATRED. Can you tell us more about your team? How long are you guys been in the video game industry?

Przemysław Szczepaniak, Business Development Manager: Hi! The pleasure is also on our side!

It really started years ago, because most of us have been working together in The Farm 51 studio in the past. One day, our founder, Jarosław Zieliński left The Farm 51 studio, and he decided to start his own company in order to make games on his own. Then he contacted some of The Farm51 members, showed the game concept and ideas for the future, and that’s how it all started.

Many people think that we are beginners in the industry, but the truth is that most of us are around the age of 30. In the means of experience, we can call ourselves veterans in the gaming industry.

Hatred feature image

Before the game HATRED, did you develop some titles?

Przemysław Szczepaniak: Previously, as members of The Farm51 we co-produced: Necrovision, Deadfall Adventures, Painkiller HD, Two Worlds. But as Destructive Creations studio, we didn’t develop any other game – only Hatred, which is our first project.

The game is actually violent and currently rated as Adults Only, what was your goal developing Hatred?

Przemysław Szczepaniak: Receiving Adults Only rating wasn’t our goal, it’s the ESRB who prematurely rated the game – they didn’t even play it.

We wanted to make a brutal and dynamic shooter. It isn’t of course designed for children. We aimed more into mature audience. M-rating would be the best, as the level of violence and gore isn’t as high as everyone expected to be, it isn’t even as high as you can find it in newest Mortal Kombat.

What can you say about game violence? There has been a lot of discussion about the game being a bad influence to children who might play the game under their parent’s sleeves. Do you have any thoughts about this?

Przemysław Szczepaniak: First of all I don’t believe that gaming leads to violence. I played a lot of violent games, even more violent than Hatred and I have a normal life, friends, girlfriend, and nothing weird has happened to me. A healthy mind will not be affected by gaming violence, as it can distinguish reality from gaming fiction. The real life problems such as poverty, rejection, bad social conditions, rising in violent environment, mental disorders, can cause violence – not games as they are a relief from reality and they can help fight off the stress and anger.

As for the children, it is rather parents responsibility to control what type of games their children have access to. We never encourage youngsters to play Hatred. Of course we know that forbidden fruit tastes better, but we cannot be responsible if someone reaches out for a game that is not designated for his age. This is why ratings are done, and until child isn’t 18 years old, only a parent takes responsibility for what he does and what he has access to.

Since the game’s actual trailer was released almost a year ago, the game uses Unreal Engine 4 according to some sources. This is also one of the first games to be released using the new engine by Unreal, have you had some challenges developing the game?

Przemysław Szczepaniak: There are always some challenges when you work with something new (engine). There were many things that we needed to find solutions for, but as you can see we managed to release the game without bigger issues. Currently we work on optimization as it became biggest thing to take care of.

Hatred Screenshot 2

What did you guys feel and had to say when Steam removed the game from their list? Did the team receive any emails why the game was removed aside from the game being genocidal at some point?

Przemysław Szczepaniak: It was a shock, as at that time Steam was a perfect solution for distribution – a biggest gaming platform with many gamers who would love to play Hatred. We had 13.000 backers and we were pulled off. There were even thoughts about censorship, even some conspiracy theories. But there was only a Steam statement that said that they are removing the game from Greenlight basing on what they saw there. Later on, we were contacted by Lord Gaben with his personal apology for what has happened. This ensured us that we can peacefully finish the game development and release it on Steam.

Was team already planning to release the game with a different digital distributor when Steam removed the game? Which distributor?

Przemysław Szczepaniak: Yes, we had a backup plan and a few ideas. Alternatively, we signed an agreement with Desura platform. But there is a problem with that currently – as you might have heard, Desura owner – Bad Juju games is a bankrupt now, so we really don’t know what will happen in the near future with Hatred version on Desura.

When Steam sent an apology email and restored the game, did they give any conditions for the game before Steam added the game back?

Przemysław Szczepaniak: No, we had a full freedom to create the game the way we like.

Can you tell us more about the unnamed murderer? Was there any backstory that made him hate all people on Earth?

Przemysław Szczepaniak: No, there is no backstory, no reason why he does that. He is just full of Hatred towards humanity. We aren’t going to explain that. We better leave this to gamers, as they can figure out their own version.

Is there plans on releasing Hatred to other platforms like PS4 and Xbox One?

Przemysław Szczepaniak: We wish it would be possible. But with AO rating it will not likely happen. I’m not sure if publishers would agree to make an exception for us. We will see a bit later, maybe we will figure something out.

Being a solid game for now (since I just recently started with the game), do you guys plan on making a sequel of this mass murder isometric shooter?

Przemysław Szczepaniak: There was an idea for Hatred 2 running around, but we don’t want to spoil much yet, as there is nothing specific done about that. We need to focus on current part of the game, polish it, and add some cool stuff to make it more enjoyable. Later on we will think what’s next. But probably next project won’t be Hatred 2, but something totally different.

Well, thank you for your time Destructive Creations, do you have any thing to say to your fans and the video-game industry?

Przemysław Szczepaniak: Thanks a lot too! We want to thank everyone who supported us and helped to make this happen! Game is out thanks to your help!

Now the game industry can see that Hatred is something that many gamers have been waiting for. It seems that we need to play games that aren’t polite, justified in the means of violence or need of a story. Sometimes it’s all about a simple fun that gives you a lot of satisfaction.

So that’s all folks! It looks like they may or may not be developing a sequel for HATRED but possibly a new game. We would like to thank Destructive Creations’ Przemysław Szczepaniak for answering the questions!