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.