Elon Musk is many things — SpaceX CEO, Tesla head honcho, PayPal magnate — but he’s also a gamer. In a recently highlighted video interview with Y Combinator president Sam Altman, Musk shared a few thoughts about what good games are out nowadays, and he expressed his belief that games just don’t tell stories the way the used to.
The clip, which was taken from a longer interview between Altman and Musk from September, is just a lighthearted bit of gab, and kicks off with Altman asking for a game recommendation. Musk, without missing a beat, endorses Overwatch, and it’s not the first time he’s sung the game’s praises. He goes on to say that his kids play a ton of Blizzard’s Hearthstone before asking if Altman has played the new Deus Ex game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
“It’s okay,” Musk says, waving his hand a little. Altman praises 2013’s The Last of Us, saying that the storytelling was especially great. That gets the two Silicon Valley titans on the subject of storytelling in video games.
“Honestly, I think that’s really neglected. That’s the criticism I have about the latest Deus Ex, which is that the storytelling is kind of lame,” Musk says. “Whereas the prior Deus Ex and the original Deus Ex — the storytelling was amazing.”
“As games have become more like the replacement for the NFL, I think the storytelling just gets generally neglected,” Altman chimes in, making a lot of assumptions in the process.
“In some of the oldest games, the graphics and sound were terrible so they had to rely on storytelling,” Musk says.
“Yeah the old Mario games had incredible story,” Altman responds, which is weird since the narrative flourishes of the old Mario games started and ended with “your princess is in another castle.” Really, it sounds like what Altman and Musk are actually complaining about is sequels. Listen for yourself below.