October 14, 2005

At EA, Coppola is Tired, Spielberg is Wired

by Andrew Stern · , 12:24 pm

On the heels of delaying The Godfather videogame until 2006 (a project Coppola is unhappy with and supposedly never approved), it was just announced that EA will be giving Steven Spielberg an office their Los Angeles studio, to work side-by-side with game developers to develop three yet-to-be-determined games.

Spielberg has been an avid follower of games for years. In a speech last year, he told film students they could change the face of filmmaking if only they played more video games.

Here is the full press release; read more about Spielberg’s take on the state of ludology vs. narratology from last year.

I’m a huge fan of Spielberg’s better films, and when he’s on his game, I think he’s great. But his game, as it were, is good ol’ fashioned linear storytelling. On these EA projects, I’m sure he can contribute to whatever narrative (presumably linear) is laid on top of the games, but it’s unclear what he can offer on the actual gameplay side of things. At worst, this seems more like a way to create a brand such as “Steven Spielberg presents…” to sell more games.

That said, I’m going to be optimistic about this collaboration. I’m curious what they come up with in a few years time. Let’s hope it doesn’t result in another landfill of E.T. cartridgesThe Dig indeed.

3 Responses to “At EA, Coppola is Tired, Spielberg is Wired”

  1. Ian Bogost Says:

    In my ongoing attempt to support the balance of the universe by offsetting Andrew’s very admirable optimism, I hereby declare my own mortal pessimism for this project. Bah.

  2. andrew Says:

    Maybe this interview with Neil Young will fill your glass to half full, Ian — new hire Doug Church will be executive producing, at least the first title. (Makes a bit more sense now why Doug took a job at EA…)

    On a similar note, Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, currently making the new King Kong flick, has been collaborating closely with seasoned gamemakers on the game version of Kong.

  3. Patrick Dugan Says:

    The designer behind the King Kong adaptation is none other than french autuer Michel Ansel, responsible for Beyond Good and Evil, a stylistically interesting title whose gameplay fell a bit short of the Nietzche appropriated title. The Kong game is an example of use of cinematic language which serves the interaction, rather than distract from it. Dowload the demo and see for youself: http://www.fileplanet.com/157500/150000/fileinfo/King-Kong-Demo

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