Developer Removes QTEs From Thief After Fan Feedback

Square Enix is taking the Thief series to new places, as their latest announcement revealed that they will drop Quick Time Events (QTE) from their game. In a blog post on the developer Eidos Montreal’s site, their Lead Level Designer Daniel Windfeld Schmidt answered some community questions with this detail inside.

The choice to remove QTE, which were noted during an E3 demo, was made after fan feedback, which was mostly negative of the game design. In the post, Schmidt noted:

We’re not implementing [QTE]. To begin with, there were few instances of QTEs in the game; in fact there was only one in that whole hour-long E3 demo. However, given the strong reactions it evoked in the press and the community, it was an easy decision to do away with them entirely. So we’re not doing it. No quick time.

This looks like a victory for a design element that often has gamers apprehensive of its integration in a game. Quick Time Events have players follow a series of prompts that flash on the screen. It’s a simple combination of going through the motions and usually provides only limited player interaction, while a cinematic unfolds in the background.

In early days, the Dreamcast game Shenmue made heavy use of this system, which was later popularized for mainstream gaming culture by the highly popular God of War. Recently, the Xbox One title Ryse: Son of Rome transitioned from a Kinect title to an action game where QTEs were ever-present and not even all that consequential to the game’s results.

The Thief reboot is in a tough spot to meet fan expectations of an old series that is favored for its use of stealth mechanisms over action sequences. Removing the QTE sections looks like a definite nod towards fans that Square Enix is in tune with demands.

Thief will release by the end of February of 2014 for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC and the next generation consoles, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.