Dana Jan, director of the Playstation 4 exclusive “The Order: 1886,” was very clear on why his game would be running in 30 frames per second rather than 60. Those reasons are very problematic, and it’s not because of the 30 versus 60 fps debate.
Speaking with Kotaku, Jan said of the decision: “We’re going for this filmic look, so one thing that we knew immediately was films run at 24 fps. We’re gonna run at 30 because 24 fps does not feel good to play. So there’s one concession in terms of making it aesthetically pleasing, because it just has to feel good to play.”
24 fps is film. Film is not 25, 26 or even 30 fps. No movie currently out in theaters is playing in 30 fps. Every movie in the AFI’s Top 100 movies list is in 24 fps. The Wizard of Oz from 1939? 24 fps. Raging Bull? ET? Apocalypse Now? The Godfather? Citizen Kane? Star Wars? Rocky? Pulp Fiction? All 24 fps. Your favorite movie is in 24 fps.
So, what’s in 30 fps? TV shows, like your local news, “Survivor,” “Jeopardy” and “The Big Bang Theory.” Really, any non HD television shows. Watch a few minutes of Bridesmaids and then Friends. Your eyes can tell which one is a TV show and which is a movie. That very clear distinction is the difference of 6 frames. Jan doesn’t believe that distinction exists.
Jan again: “The escapism you get from a cinematic film image is just totally different than what you get from television framing.”
There is no debate here. If this isn’t a PR excuse for releasing a 30 fps game, then Dana Jan might need to read some books on filmmaking. He’s basing his game’s entire aesthetic on it, after all.