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Warren Spector on Licensing

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the something-to-read dept.

Media 326

An anonymous reader writes about an "interview with Warren Spector about his thoughts on licensing movies for games. From the article: 'At these Hollywood meetings, the same thing has happened to me more than once, with multiple people...I describe the game I want to do. I tell them I can deliver you a triple-A title for this cost...Spector names a high figure; no one has ever yet written a check that big...They think it over. Then they say...What could you do with twice as much money?'"

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326 comments

Hollywood's next move (4, Insightful)

bigwavejas (678602) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331669)

It's no wonder Hollywood is considering alternatives, they've just experienced their worst box-office slump in 20 years. Ticket sales are down nearly 8% compared with 2004. With movie revenue quickly shrinking (due to lackluster movies, overpriced tickets and dvd's), this seems like a logical transition for Hollywood studios.

Hollywood is going through a transition and struggling to find its next niche. It's evident the gaming industry experiencing a virtual explosion (with games like WoW posting users at 3.5 mil) so I'm not surprised they're considering this move... advertisers have already jumped on the bandwagon, displaying their logo's throughout the installation process for many games.

Re:Hollywood's next move (2, Insightful)

hobbesx (259250) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331692)

Don't forget the rise of the home theater, and the terrific increase in public assholes...

Re:Hollywood's next move (3, Funny)

hobbesx (259250) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331732)

Oh God, did I just post that?! It always looks ok before the [Submit]...

/me cries...

Re:Hollywood's next move (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331804)

I think most of us got that it was a play on "Public Assets". (Or maybe I'm hearing the Battlestar Galactica remake in my head: "I got thrown in the brig for striking a superior asshole, sir.")

I wouldn't be too worried about it. The Chicago Red Eye just ran a story the other day called "The Bling Culture." They managed to dig up mid 20's people who were making $50,000/yr salaries, yet buying $2000 guici bags monthly and driving HumVees. Their point was that a LOT of people are currently living far outside their means. The problem is that they're young enough to not yet feel the effects of their spending. It's a rather hideous sitation, and it may result in disasterous economic consequences.

Re:Hollywood's next move (5, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331910)

Their point was that a LOT of people are currently living far outside their means. The problem is that they're young enough to not yet feel the effects of their spending. It's a rather hideous sitation, and it may result in disasterous economic consequences.

The US trade deficit is appalling. And what's worse it's very steadily gowing. Quite simply this is not sustainable. At some point the current account deficit is going to have to turn around and start decreasing - the question is, what could cause that. Massive reductions is budget deficits would be a good start, but that doesn't seem to be happening (for those who will quote Bush speeches about reductions: it's largely book keeping and managing to push Iraq and Afghanistan expenses off the books for a while). A shift in consumer buying habits reducing the massive demand for imported goods might help a little - but as you say, the culture just isn't headed that way. The other option is for the US Dollar to drop significantly. That may not be pretty.

The US current account deficit is running at over 6% of GDP. That is, quite simply ridiculously high. 6% of GDP is the point where economists usually start getting very worried. It's the level that places like Argentina, and Indonesia were running before things broke badly. The US can hold out longer because the the US Dollar is the defacto global currency, so people are far more inclined to hold it. Somethign better start reversing the trend in the current account soon though, because this really can't go on forever, and if it snaps the way, say, Argentina did, things will not be pretty.

Jedidiah.

Re:Hollywood's next move (2, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331964)

Indeed, any truly competent economist is very worried about the situation. But what can he or she really do or even say? Of course the obvious thing to do would be to suggest stop wasting literally hundreds of billions of dollars on various wars of aggression. But then he or she will be labelled a "terrorist sympathizer" or a "liberal".

Perhaps the problem is that American is innundated with morons. Morons don't understand economics. Morons find it easier to label people as "supporters of terror" than actually improving the situation. A strong economy is earned through hard work, investment and productivity increases. Morons are not particularly interested in such things.

Re:Hollywood's next move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13331970)

What part of "Banana republic" don't you understand? We're livin' the dream, baby! Too bad for the little people.

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332092)

Account deficits are irrelevant. What brouught down those other economies was not caused by any account deficit but by a poorly 'managed' economy.

Account deficits are a sign of financial health. Budget deficits are not. Chinese get $ and buy either US businesses, property, or debt.

But the living beyond your means thing - yeah, that's messed up on a personal level.

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331967)

I think you are correct. With home theaters as they are, people are fine with watching stuff at home, especially since they don't have to deal with the jerks in the theater answering their cell phones. I rather liked the way you put it.
During Revenge of the Sith I sat next to a stupid lady who's phone rang four times. Three times she answered it and then got up and walked out of the theater and had to walk in front of me to get out. I wanted to smack her. Phone calls are not that important that you can't hold them off two hours. And if they are, why the trash are you in the theater!?!!!

Re:Hollywood's next move (4, Insightful)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331720)

Hollywood is going through a transition and struggling to find its next niche.

Maybe they could go back to being creative...that seemed to work well. It's the boatload of sequels (often sequels of pseudo-flops) and remakes that's killing the industry. Sure, they want to guarantee a profit, but relying on sequels usually doesn't work, with few exceptions.

Re:Hollywood's next move (4, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331806)

Indeed, they're experiencing what may be a significant problem with American-style capitalism. There is no place for innovation (due to the risk of not making immediate profit) in Big Business American-style capitalism. That's clearly displayed in the vast selection of sequals and triquels Hollywood puts out today. But the unwillingness of the Big Boys of Hollywood to truly innovate (ie. produce new movies) actually decreases quality, and thus purchases. Their revenue, and thus profits, decrease.

Now, in true capitalism these businesses would either exit the market or would fold. Profits are the potential benefit of risk. Profits are not to be expected in a true capitalistic marketplace, but are the reward for those who successfully innovate and make a worthwhile contribution to the market. But that is not how American-style Big Business capitalism works. Profits are treated as a right, regardless of the products that the firms produce. It is that socialistic-corporate view of profits as a God-given right that is giving us these shitty movies year after year.

Re:Hollywood's next move (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331874)

Hollywood: We've been chugging out sequel after sequel and they're just not making very much money. We notice that you guys in the game industry are doing well. How would you like to partner with us, and we'll fund you and give you licenses for the right to make your game a sequel of one of our movies?

Game Maker: What, am I stupid?

Hollywood: We were thinking of a budget of 100 million dollars.

Game Maker: Ok, I was thinking of changing careers in the next few years or so anyways.

Game Player: Scrabble anyone?

Re:Hollywood's next move (4, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331918)

"Game Player: Scrabble anyone?"

This isn't so far from the truth. My grandson recently was given for his birthday the game that was released with the recent Star Wars movie. After initial trouble installing it (it didn't like his video drivers or something), he probably played it for about an hour before he had enough of it.

He told me about it the last time I saw him. I believe his quote was, "Gramps, this game fucking sucks." He's not one to swear much, so I knew he was truly disappointed. I suggested we play a good old game of Monopoly, and so we did. And you know what? He had fun. He improved his math skills, too.

Re:Hollywood's next move (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13332093)



I believe his quote was, "Gramps, this game fucking sucks."

Real stand up grand kid ya got there, pops. So did you do a crummy job raising your son, and this is just the by-product of it, or did that loose tramp of a daughter-in-law result in that garbaged mouth punk? And to his own grandfather? Whatever, he'll be strung out on drugs and living in an alley before too long, but you'll probably be six feet under by then. Keep buying his violent video games in the mean time, at least it makes you feel good. Me, I think the whole thing fucking sucks.

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332142)

If you'd like to encourage your grandson to become a more social gamer (he likes monopoly, so it's very possible), I'd suggest a more "hard-core" board game like Carcassonne or Settlers of Catan. I don't know how old your grandson is, but I know kids as young as 12 that enjoy both.

There's a huge slump in video gaming lately, mostly to do with the fact that new consoles are a year away (so who wants to put out a blockbuster game for the older ones?) and PC gaming's been going downhill for years. Unless you want to give him GTA:SA or Battlefield 2, there's nothing good out for the PC lately. I know that I just shrug and go back to playing Steve Jackson's Hacker or Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers, but I don't know how many people out there know that there are some incredible board games that rival anything video gaming has to offer (Puerto Rico & Tigris and Euphrates, for instance.) Board Game Geek [slashdot.org] has the full story :)

Re:Hollywood's next move (5, Insightful)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331962)

Maybe they could go back to being creative...that seemed to work well.

That and
  1. Get rid of the half hour of commercials
  2. Get some ushers to keep other people from being noisy and rude at the theatre
  3. Reduce the price of tickets
In that order. I like going to the movies, and I can afford the $9 once in a while, although I'd go more often if the price was lower. What I will not tolerate is watching actual advertising before the movie. Previews are one thing, but commercials are, for me, unacceptable. The other thing I will not tolerate is noise in the theatre. Why would I go and pay for a movie when I miss a significant part of it due to people talking or babies crying.

These three factors have changed movie going from something I will do on the spur of the moment to something that I really consider before doing. Used to be you could go see a mediocre movie and not feel guilty about it. Now, if the movie is not something I really want to see on a big screen, like Star Wars, I'll just wait two months for the DVD.

Re:Hollywood's next move (2, Interesting)

Iriel (810009) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331721)

WIth the previous dominance of movies in the entertainment industry, one has to think about the possibilities. Movies still have quite a bit of pressence when marketed properly, and I've been seeing more and more movies coming out that would have never been made in such large numbers in the past because nobody thought so many 'geeks' would watch movies based on games/comics/sci-fi. What makes me curious is the possibility of seeing a game that is one day brought to you by $foo Studios and MGM. I know it may be far fetched, but rather than die out or just become media conglomerates, I think the movie studios would rather try to form some sort of symbiosis.

Re:Hollywood's next move (2, Interesting)

LuciferBlack (905438) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331725)

Oh I'm sure that the MPAA would list P2P networks as the biggest cause. Because it most certainly can't be the fault of Dukes of Hazzard, Deuce Bigelow, etc etc....

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331735)

My opinion on the solution - start cutting costs, hire independants, and cut the ticket prices in half. Yes, it flies in the face of the "bigger is better" mentality in Hollywood, but so many industries are hitting hard times from making projects bigger than they can support, thinking that bigger budgets create bigger successes. The truth is that having a huge field of innovations allows the sucesses to bubble to the top.

Alternately, find a way to make a 200-player game of Super-Smash Brothers and give every person in the theatre a gamepad. I'd pay to play that (or any other shared-screen multiplayer game on a full theatre).

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331782)

"start cutting costs, hire independants, and cut the ticket prices in half. "

To some extent that is what was done on LoTR. Turned out to be a smash hit, mostly because no one actor was the (primadonna) centerpiece (IMHO). Too bad they didn't take your ticket price idea though :(
-nB

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331848)

It would be nice if Hollywood finally realized that almost all movies that revolve around a big-name actor end up bombing. How many horrible movies was Bruce Willis in? They were bad because they relied on his presence to make the movie a success, as opposed to coming up with a real plot, storyline, etc. Good stories make good movies, not just big-name actors combined with special effects.

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

Feminist-Mom (816033) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331763)

The interesting thing is that movies never made the transition to video games very well. Tron is a good counter example. But I think we will have the same phenomenon in the other direction. Anyone care to add counter examples to Tron ?

Re:Hollywood's next move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13331873)

The Videogame adaptation of Goldeneye was very well-received, from what I recall. Additionally, while not directly movie->videogame, some of the star wars spinoff games have turned out quite well (X-Wing/Tie Fighter, The later Jedi Knight games)

In the end, I think movie->video game works best when a game is based off the movie's universe, rather than on the plot of the movie directly.

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

cblanc (907387) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331788)

Right, and I'm glad its starting to open some eyes in the industry. You don't survive by attempting to force the 'old way' on your market, you adapt because after all it is that market that drives you; not the other way around.
Hollywood just needs to get back to making movies, not well crafted fads that have an average life cycle of a few months. I personally have not seen very many movies this year because most of them are remakes or sequels.

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

rben (542324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331792)

While more people may be playing games, I wouldn't say the industry is all that healthy. WoW has some serious problems that have many users unhappy. I expect many will leave as soon as there is a new MMORPG to play.

In the meantime, there are fewer and fewer new games that show any originality, and quality seems to be decreasing rather than increasing.

The last thing we need to add to the game industry is the same kind of myopic management that has created such horrible movies as we've seen this year.

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331837)

WoW is pretty awesome, but I see a lot of issues with the endgame. I have only gotten to lvl 24, but I know a lot of lvl 60s who are bored stiff.

Maybe WoW needs to be a movie? :)

In response:
Not all those who wander are lost
-Tolkien

-WS

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

andi75 (84413) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331795)

advertisers have already jumped on the bandwagon, displaying their logo's throughout the installation process for many games.

So, that's why it takes so long to install games these days. They can show more ads that way!

Play indie games: Gish, Oasis, Zuma, GLtron, Threadmarks, Savage, Puzzle-Pirates etc.

Re:Hollywood's next move (5, Insightful)

ChefAndCoder (902506) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331811)

The only people talking about the slump are those who are being spoon fed from the movie industry. There's a heavy vested interest on the part of the industry to act like they're in a slump and blame it on something (piracy especially).

I quote from Dave Poland:http://www.thehotbutton.com/today/hot.butto n/2005_thb/050621_tue.html/ [thehotbutton.com]

Three of the eight highest grossing domestic releases of all time were released last year in February (Passion of the Christ), May (Shrek 2) and July (Spider-Man 2). The top two films of last year release by this date has put $740 million into the till by now. This year, the top two have been good for $530 million by this date... a different of about $210 million, which by itself makes up for all but about $90 million (or about a 2% drop from last year) of the current "slump."
There is no slump.

Re:Hollywood's next move (5, Interesting)

blueadept1 (844312) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331949)

Although the site is not responding, I would still like to discuss this claim.

Does he take into account:
a) Inflation, and
b)Market Growth

Because if he does not, these may not be the highest grossing releases of all time. This misconception can also be seen in media stating that oil is 'at an all time high', while failing to realize inflation.

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

droptone (798379) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332113)

What they mean by "slump" is not that there are no successful films, but overall there are not an 'acceptible' number of sucessful films. Sure, Spider -Man/Shrek/PotC may gross huge sums, but compared with the big-budget flops....they are losing. I have no sympathy for the movie producers/companies about this problem. The last movie I went to go see in theaters was Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and that was only because one of my all-time favorite emcees, Mos Def, played a starring role. This partially because I'm a broke college student, and also because there hasn't been a movie that I felt deserved my money (even though I did see Hotel Rwanda, and House of the Flying Daggars before HHGG). Cool trailers don't do it for me, they all have those. "Reviewers" don't phase me, as their tastes don't match mine and they generally are coerced into liking crap. Instead, I wait for people I trust to see it before me and enjoy it OR wait for it on DVD (even though then the film has to fight for my money versus the comparatively wide selection of independent films in this college town).

So in short, Hollywood has enough blockbusters and too many overpriced action films that flop (because they suck and are uninventive).

Re:Hollywood's next move (5, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331812)

The Hollywood "box office slump" is highly overrated. They are, indeed, down 8% on last year. That is, they are down by about 1 bloakcbuster film, like say "The Passion of Christ" which managed to draw a lot of cash out of an otherwise non-movie going demographic. Given the remarkable year on year growth (this year is still up on 2003) with little levelling out and no dips, it makes as much sense to call 2004 anomolously successful as it does to this year unsuccessful. They are still making bucket loads of cash, more than they did in 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999 the list goes on.

I'm interested to know why people are apparently interested in pitching this year as "unsuccessful" or "performing poorly". I wonder whether that's a product of the studio and resulting media obsession with "first weekend box office takings", and hence a general media focus on immediate box office returns. I also wonder if it isn't in some part a pitch on the part of studios to queue up some more lobbied legislation while whining about the pirates destroying their profits.

Jedidiah.

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

EpsCylonB (307640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331921)

Your right of course, the studios are still making a huge amount of money. However another aspect that is worth noting is DVD sales, they are through the roof and generating more revenue than the box office.

Personally I love the cinema experience and don't think that it will die out anytime soon, but I also enjoy watching films at home (protected from those annoying people who talk in cinema's), so do at lot of other people going by DVD sales. DVD's are just one half of the home entertainment pie though, consoles are the other, so its not too saurprising to see the hollywood studios take an intrest in video games.

Re:Hollywood's next move (3, Interesting)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331988)

Your right of course, the studios are still making a huge amount of money. However another aspect that is worth noting is DVD sales, they are through the roof and generating more revenue than the box office.

Which the studios adore! Due to an anachronistic accoutnign quirk video and DVD profits for a film get booked at a flat 20% of gross income. The remaining 80% is written off as "production and marketing expenses" regardless of how much it cost to produce or market the DVD. Given that most studios now have their own in house production and marketing of DVDs, and given that these days production and marketing costs are nothing like 80% of the gross income on DVDs, that's a huge amount of money going straight to studio coffers that never has to be booked as gross income for the film, and hence need not be shared with any participants signed up for a percentage of (not just net, even gross!) profits.

That is to say DVD is an absolute goldmine for studios because, for accouting purposes, they barely make any money at all, yet they make the studio a fortune.

Watch out for the coming trend: Simultaneous theatre and DVD release so that the studio can do simultaneous marketing and save themselves even more of that "80%". A very basic DVD will be released the same time as the film. Various higher quality with added features and new deluxe editions will then be released to milk the DVD business for all it's worth.

Don't think the studios are concerned about DVDs. They love them. The only people who should be worried about DVDs are the theatre owners who insist on putting 20 minutes of ads before the movie.

Jedidiah.

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332119)

The only people who should be worried about DVDs are the theatre owners who insist on putting 20 minutes of ads before the movie.

But some DVDs are now also coming with ads. If I ever end up with a DVD with ads on it, I'll be upset. And if those ads are unskippable the first thing I will do is rip the DVD to my compy eliminate the ads and then return the DVD to the studio and demand a refund. I didn't pay money for ads; I wanted a movie.

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

RM6f9 (825298) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331942)

It's not just about growth, it's about rate of growth and fast-twitch responses to statistical noise by investors - "immediate returns" is a good phrase to look at, as very few people can see past those opening weekends. The instant gratification culture will be (rightfully) its own downfall.

Re:Hollywood's next move (1)

kenneth_martens (320269) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331856)


It's no wonder Hollywood is considering alternatives, they've just experienced their worst box-office slump in 20 years. Ticket sales are down nearly 8% compared with 2004.
A mere 8% downturn in ticket sales doesn't mean the industry is in a slump. Sure it sucks for the companies that operate the cinemas, but for the film industry as a whole, ticket sales are now only a part of the equation. DVD rentals and sales are now a big part of the industry--so much so that we're routinely seeing DVD releases within six months of the theater release date.

The downturn in ticket sales does not indicate that movie studios are suddenly in dire need of new revenue streams. They've already got their new revenue stream: DVDs.

However, you're right about one thing: Hollywood studios aren't going to pass up what might be a lucrative new market in licensed video game. It's not because the studios are "struggling" and in dire need of money to keep from collapsing, though. Hollywood is doing fine. It's just good business sense to investigate any licensing deals that look like easy money.

Re:Hollywood's next move (2, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331880)

It's no wonder Hollywood is considering alternatives, they've just experienced their worst box-office slump in 20 years. Ticket sales are down nearly 8% compared with 2004. With movie revenue quickly shrinking (due to lackluster movies, overpriced tickets and dvd's), this seems like a logical transition for Hollywood studios.

There is no slump!

This so called "slump" is just political marketing on the part of the big studios. There is no slump as far as they are concerned. In fact, their theaterical revenues went UP 10% from $797M to $870M for the first 3 quarters of the year.
REF: http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/US205MPA.htm [edwardjayepstein.com]

The real hit has been to indie and otherwise non-MPAA films, they are the ones that have been losing out at the box office. You can find more details in the pair of articles here: http://slate.msn.com/id/2123286/ [msn.com]

Re:Hollywood's next move (2, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332077)

Hollywood is crap. Seriously, how many good movies do they actually produce? I mean, say that you're uncle Scrooge with one hundred million dollars to waste on a movie, HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY FAIL?

Some movies are really great and innovative, but most stuff is just random crap that you see too often. I remember the good old days when computer graphics enhancement was new to people. I actually enjoyed the some 4-10 minutes of animations. Nowadays they put either near 0 % computer animations or next to 100 and they make the effects so surreal that it's, well, unrealistic.

When Independence Day was released, well, that movie was something new. They copied the alien attack movies with a crapload of super-sized alien ships and basically kicked the living crap out of people. I remember that the effects didn't look unrealistic at all, because they didn't use them way too much. Compare that to Star Wars I and II, where they basically put so much of that crap, it just loses its sense.

It also feels like most movie studios spy on each other like crazy. A dinosaur movie is often followed by another one or more, and same goes with every Pixar movie like a Bug's Life and the one that looked just like it, but with other insects. Or how about the sudden appearance of all the sharks?

And while I'm at it, why didn't they make Terminator 3 good? They had to use all the nonsense bumbo jumbo crap effects in every scene they could find and basically killed the whole feeling. The computer graphics made the robots feel like they were totally indestructable. At least in the old movies, they had flaws, but Arnold was like a big chunk of metal who could penetrate 50 restrooms with the tip of his finger..

Re:Hollywood's next move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13332083)

It's no wonder Hollywood is considering alternatives, they've just experienced their worst box-office slump in 20 years. Ticket sales are down nearly 8% compared with 2004.

Insightful?? Um, no. This guy pulled these figures out of his ass. Why don't you try these figures which show 2005 as being right about where it should be considering the year is just a little over half over and the Holidays aren't here yet. 2004 also had the most movies ever.

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/ [boxofficemojo.com]

What is a "triple A" title? (2, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331698)

What exactly is a "triple A" title? Is that marketing speak for all those shitty movie-themed games released at the same time as movies? The ones that places like GameSpot and GameFAQs overhype just because they're being paid to provide such hype?

Re:What is a "triple A" title? (2, Funny)

Enzo the Baker (822444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331728)

I think it has something to do with Vin Diesel.

Re:What is a "triple A" title? (1)

lowe0 (136140) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331901)

Whose 1 licensed game, oddly enough, was better than the movie. I hope his own studio (Tigon, I think) continues to make games based on his movies - Riddick was a fun game with its own story, rather than a tired rehash of the movie.

Re:What is a "triple A" title? (2, Insightful)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331755)

I'm curious about this too. I've been seeing the "triple A" buzzword come around recently, and it scares me. I assume it refers to the budget and hype level of a title. This means that the industry has totally given up on considering games based on their quality, just on the amount of labour poured into the game and it's promotion.

Re:What is a "triple A" title? (3, Insightful)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331816)

In my experience with my previous employer (I work in the games industry), triple-A means virtually nothing in practice. It's a goal, an aim, and a bunch of marketing drivel designed to make something sound better than it is. What they failed to realise was that while it may be possible to polish a turd, all you end up with is a shiny turd. But I digress...

Real triple-A titles are those which achieve critical and commercial success. So, things like Deus Ex, Half-Life, Mario 64, Zelda (not that I like it personally), Goldeneye, GTA3, etc.

Indeed! Goldeneye is a perfect example. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331898)

Indeed. A game like Goldeneye is truly a masterpiece. It drew from the best of both the gaming and movie worlds. You get the rock-solid story of the 007 movie, and combine it with the fantastically original and playable Goldeneye gaming engine.

Re:What is a "triple A" title? (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331976)

Real triple-A titles are those which achieve critical and commercial success. So, things like Deus Ex, Half-Life, Mario 64, Zelda (not that I like it personally), Goldeneye, GTA3, etc.

This is off the topic, but I'm curious. You mention liking Mario 64, but not (I assume Ocarina of Time) Zelda.

I've wondered, in a way, how anyone can not like Zelda. I mean I'm sure it's possible, but when I get to the specifics of it, it doesn't fit into my brain, I guess.

Would you mind explaining what it is about it that doesn't agree with you? I'm not intending to ask this in an argumentative way, just out of curosity, my own theories of game design might benefit from an answer.

Re:What is a "triple A" title? (1)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332138)

I can't speak for the GP, but I did not like Zelda 64 due to the interface and graphics. The blurry textures really bothered me, giving me a migraine after about 30 minutes, and the auto-jumping in the control scheme pulled me right out of the game. If I control the character, I should control EVERY movment. I felt it made the game artificial-feeling. It seemed like the designers were saying "We think you can solve the puzzles, but we don't think you can handle jumping from one ledge to the other." To be honest, I preferred Shadow Man for a similar type of experience, but more immersive. The dark and disturbing tone is not the reason, the control over the character and the possibilities for environmental interaction were just better. FYI - I played the Dreamcast version, the N64 version had the same issues with blurry graphics as Zelda, which was a 64 hallmark, and the draw distance was too short to see what was going on.

Re:What is a "triple A" title? (1)

bohemian72 (898284) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331971)

Other than road side service, what "triple A" makes me think of is the highest tier of minor league baseball before the majors. So maybe he means "second rate?"

Same ol Same ol (1)

Zediker (885207) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331701)

yea, non interactive media just isnt that fun anymore. Sure you get a few good movies/shows, but the rest is just turid crap.

Re:Same ol Same ol (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331734)

But that's the same with everything. There is just a lot of shit out there, regardless of the item in question. You have a gem like Ruby on Rails, but you have far more utter crap like ASP, ColdFusion, and PHP. It's the same with movies and TV shows. For every good show or movie there are tens of shittier shows/movies.

Re:Same ol Same ol (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331787)

The term you're looking for is Sturgeon's Law. "90% of Science Fiction... of everything, really... is crap".

The problem is that Sturgeon's Law only defines how much is crap, not how good the remaining 10% is. The problem with movies is that the remaining 10% has become "watchable" instead of "spectacular". I blame bigger budgets - these mega-budget movies constrain geniuses. The geniuses can't break out in an increasingly expensive and ignored indie market, and even if they do, they remain constrained by the managers watching the money. Only the old geniuses (like Tim Burton) get to play with ideas and create things that are truly cool.

Re:Same ol Same ol (1)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331859)

The problem with movies is that the remaining 10% has become "watchable" instead of "spectacular". I blame bigger budgets - these mega-budget movies constrain geniuses.

You can't blame ALL of this on the studios. People who watch movies experience diminishing returns at being "wowed" for each new movie they see, meaning studios have to raise the bar somehow. It's humanly impossible to maintain an upward trend indefinetly. Yet, that appears to be exactly what people expect.

I'm not saying it's a viewer's fault, just that movie studios have been painted into a corner by desensitzing. Even snipping out the special effects and I'd hazard a majority of the "mediocre" movies we've seen this year would have a huge impact on audiences 50 years ago.

Re:Same ol Same ol (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331862)

I would hardly call Tim Burton a cinematic genius. Look at the tripe he has directed recently: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I would hardly call that innovative. Besides the fact that it is based on a book that is decades old, and already cinematically done decades ago as well, it just isn't creative in any way. All he did was look next door to Michael Jackson's boy ranch for inspiration. Hell, he even used the persona and image of Michael Jackson for the character of Willy Wonka! Sorry, but anyone who uses Michael Jackson as a source of inspiration isn't a "genius".

Re:Same ol Same ol (1)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332016)

It's (loosely) based on the book Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. That book was cinematically done before, yes. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the story of Charlie (the kid from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate factory) after he inherited the factory from Willie. It's a continuation of the story line. It hasn't been done before. I wouldn't go around calling things 'tripe' if you haven't even bothered to see it or even read more than a review or two.

Re:Same ol Same ol (1)

Zediker (885207) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331950)

yes, exactly! While most of TV/Cinema has been garbage, the ammount of Great media has steadily declined. Budgets definatly have alot to do with why good shows die. A classic example would be how Farscape was essentially replaced by the utter filth that was Tremors: The Series due to budget problems. Why they didnt just hose tremors and keep farscape, i will never know. Because of the amount of utter crap on TV now adays, I just cant get myself to watch any of the networks stations anymore, its just too painful and litteraly mind numbing to watch. I dont care if they have shows like Lost (which i have never seen due to the above reason) I wont watch the alphabet networks because 99% of the time, they are utter flaming dog@*&#.

What do I watch? I usually end up watching the premium channels (showtime/hbo), History channels (history or international history), Sci-fi, Cartoon Network (Adult Swim is awsome, most unique programming in years), and Comedy Central (The Daily Show).

History channel usualy has a 8:1 Good vs. crap rating, with only a 3:1 good vs. relentless WWII rating.

Showtime/HBO movies 4:1 ok vs crap, and a original shows 10:1 good vs crap.

Sci-Fi, not doing as well recently, slipping to a 1:4 good vs crap.

Cartoon Netork is more of a nostalgic network, you either like it or you dont, but adult swim rates for its shows 3:1 hillarious vs F'n hillarious and for anime about a 3:1 cool vs WTF!?

Comedy Central unfortunatly is about the same as sci-fi at a 1:4 good vs crap.

At least, thats my opinion, yours of course will vary.

90% of everything is crap (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331892)

There's always a lot of crap movies, we just remember to notably good (or bad) ones in retrospect.

Look at the movies that were out the same year as Casablanca [imdb.com] (And that's just the ones beginning with "C"!)

twice as much money? (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331714)

So you plan a great game, ask for the money. Get it twice then release yet another awful platformer (or side scrolling beat 'em up)..

How the hell does that work?

Re:twice as much money? (1)

fireduck (197000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331823)

it doesn't. no one's ever given him the money. you find this out on page 3 or thereabouts. he's never done a liscensed game, despite the fact that he's the biggest cheerleader of liscensing.

What happened to html? (0, Offtopic)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331716)

Man, I hope web pages like these are not the future, or my broadband costs are going to rocket.

Does anyone write 25kb html pages any more?

Re:What happened to html? (3, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331756)

It has one of those compelling interfaces [penny-arcade.com] , too. I spent half a minute trying to figure out how to read the article.

Triple-A Title (4, Funny)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331726)

I've played that Triple-A game before. It's boring as hell.

You drive around all day, helping stranded motorists. Talk about repetition.

Re:Triple-A Title (1)

jgoemat (565882) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331860)

I thought that was the baseball game where you could play all the AAA teams like the Bertendorf Mudthumpers...

Re:Triple-A Title (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13331933)

The hot coffee mod really made it worth while though. It allowed me to stay awake while searching for the discounted lodging. The downside is I had to pull over every 30 minutes and risk death in the perilous disease-filled-gas-station-bathroom-from-hell. Overall it added a lot to the game though.

Article text (-1, Redundant)

Cmdr Coon (908032) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331729)

LICENSING: LIVE WITH IT

Warren Spector says we can thrive through adaptation

by Allen Varney


"The biggest names in Hollywood want to get into games," says Warren Spector. "Movies aren't showing double-digit annual growth any more, the way the game industry does. People in Hollywood say, 'Okay, four out of five games lose money, just like movies - but if I get a hit like Halo or Grand Theft Auto I can make, what, a hundred million, 200 million? And making a game costs way less than making a movie? Wow!' So I've been meeting with lots of people - they're flying me around first class - it's just nuts."

Hollywood is interested in Warren Spector. When he's not running his new Junction Point Studios in Austin, Texas, the designer/producer is meeting with SoCal industry bigwigs who can write nine-figure checks. The execs know how to talk with him; Spector has a master's degree in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas - Austin, where he wrote his thesis on Warner Brothers cartoons and taught courses on film production. "I know just enough to be dangerous."

But more to the point, he has what they want. With 16 years of experience producing computer games, first for Origin (Ultima VI: The False Prophet, Ultima VII Part 2: Serpent Isle, Ultima Underworld 1 and 2, System Shock, and many more), then Looking Glass Technologies and ION Storm Austin (Deus Ex, Thief: Deadly Shadows), Spector offers what the studios prize: a track record.

Next part.... (-1, Redundant)

Cmdr Coon (908032) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331758)

"At these Hollywood meetings, the same thing has happened to me more than once, with multiple people," he says. "I describe the game I want to do. I tell them, 'I can deliver you a triple-A title for this cost.'" Spector names a high figure; no one has ever yet written a check that big. "They think it over. Then they say, 'What could you do with twice as much money?'

"I think the big media players may be here to stay this time. The Hollywood establishment mostly isn't setting up game publishing and development arms the way they have in the past; they seem more interested in partnering with people in the game business, using our expertise instead of assuming theirs translates over. It isn't just movie studios looking to get into games, it's the media conglomerates that own the movie studios. Also, the major agencies - CAA, ICM, and others - are moving into the game space, bringing their clout and packaging prowess. There's a more integrated approach to things that makes me think this time it's for real. It might even succeed."

So we'll continue to see publishers licensing movies and TV for adaptation as games. Is this syndrome, as some argue, strangling the industry? Does it mean the death of creative game design?

Not to Spector. More than perhaps anyone in the game business, Warren Spector sees licensing as an opportunity.

Betting Safe
If you write much about the electronic game industry, you can save time by defining certain phrases as macros in your word processor: "risk-averse publishers," "spiraling development costs," "studios caught in the middle," and more. The terms pepper every discussion of the benighted state of electronic gaming. Production costs rise faster than sales, so it grows ever more expensive for newcomers to enter the market. Out of thousands of games released every year, major retailers stock fewer than 200. A game may have a shelf life measured in weeks, and the top 20 titles capture the bulk of the profits. Most of the rest fail disastrously.

In this environment, the few remaining game publishers seek the known, the reliable. They seek licenses, which bring pre-sold audiences. They want developers to work on licensed games, not new concepts. "The irony," observes Spector (among many others!), "is that The Sims wasn't a licensed property, Grand Theft Auto wasn't licensed, Diablo... The big hits are the original properties. But licenses are the safe bets."

Some find this situation abominable. Not Spector. At the March 2003 Game Developers Conference in San Jose, CA, in his design keynote speech "Sequels & Adaptations: Design Innovation in a Risk-Averse World," Spector took a pragmatic approach. Without addressing whether it was desirable to make licensed games, he argued that if developers can secure nothing but licensed projects, they should embrace the job and challenge themselves. Citing advantages a license gives, such as free marketing, fan buy-in, and "cool sandboxes to play in," Spector advised developers to "find ways to innovate within [the] boundaries of player expectation and publisher need. Games are not driven by fiction, character or context. Games are driven by gameplay."

Spector's GDC keynote received strongly mixed reviews: "Half the audience reviled me for weeks after," he says. "Half the audience hailed me as a hero. I figure that constituted a total success. I believe every word I said up on that stage, and [I] hoped to hell my beliefs would get people hopping mad and thinking."

He got Greg Costikyan, anyway. A longtime industry gadfly and proponent of alternative ways to make and sell games - and Spector's old prep-school buddy at the Horace Mann School in New York City - Costikyan posted a lengthy rebuttal on his blog. "[There's] nothing wrong with sequels and licensed products - in moderation. The problem [...] is that they're beginning to overwhelm original work. Here we are, like Balboa, shocked with wild surmise as we face a vast unknown Pacific of enormous creative possibility - and all we can do is licensed drivel?"

Blogless himself, Spector responded on Costikyan's home turf: "I hold up my own career as an example of the ability to do original work in someone else's sandbox." He observed that, apart from System Shock and Deus Ex, "every computer/videogame I've worked on has been a sequel or derivative. On every one of them, I had to negotiate to find my own creative space and on every one of them, I feel I succeeded."

Spector said, "I firmly believe that, if developer and licensor (and publisher) get on the same page about what people expect - a dialogue that clearly has to be driven primarily by the licensor, I admit - you can still do creative work in someone else's universe."

Ironically, when he wrote this, Spector had never done an actual licensed computer game.

Two years later, he still hasn't. But he might.

Open to Possibilities
Two years on, licensing dominates gaming even more heavily. At the Free Play independent games conference in Melbourne last month, Costikyan addressed developers in a rabble-rousing keynote speech called "Death to the Games Industry (Long Live Games)": "We've explored only a tiny portion of the possible in games. [There are] doubtless dozens of commercially feasible styles not yet discovered. Innovative novels [are] published every year, and that's a medium 300 years old." But unless the industry changes "we're all going to be doing nothing but making nicer road textures and better-lit car models for games with the same gameplay as Pole Position for all eternity."

At Junction Point Studios, Spector is hiring his team for an unannounced fantasy game. It's his own concept, not licensed. But he'd definitely consider a license; in fact, he looks downright wistful. Still, all he says aloud is, "Sure, I'm interested. The right license gives you a good shot at reaching an audience that already wants - and may already have paid for something like - what you're trying to give them."

Is this just the musing of a startup boss looking for more funding? Possibly. And why not? Unlike many developers, Spector can pretty much make the game he wants. Over the years, working with many designers at Origin, Looking Glass, and ION Storm, Spector has chosen a gameplay style - defined it, really - that is (as he said at the GDC) not driven by fiction, character or context. His games are affected no more by a license, or lack of it, than by the color of their CD's jewel case.

After he designed and produced Deus Ex in 2000, gaming magazines and web sites started calling Spector "legendary." He rolls his eyes at the term, but he does cop to a different and perhaps more important label: "I'm a brand."

A Warren Spector-brand game is a story-driven roleplaying game in a highly interactive setting with a large solution space. His "immersive sims" are not about deducing the designer's defined solutions to puzzles, but about creating rich environments where each player can try different tactics to achieve a defined goal. Every player charts a unique path through the game, and situations are carefully balanced to reward different play styles equally. It's all about "sharing authorship of the gameplay experience with our collaborators - our players."

This sort of approach works as well in a borrowed world as in an original. "A cool universe or a marketable character [are] almost irrelevant to the gameplay experience I think players want and deserve."

Of course, Spector acknowledges not every property can make a good game - though in many cases this is simply because the hardware isn't there yet. "Suppose you were running a film company in 1925 [the silent era]. Irving Berlin writes a terrific Broadway musical. Making a movie of that show would be a terrible idea, because what makes it great isn't the 'boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl' story - it's Irving Berlin's music! That's where we are in the game industry." He means current game tech hasn't yet matured even to the talking-picture stage. "For every project, we have to invent the camera all over again. And then we have to invent lighting and sound and all the characters ..."

Spector thinks a lot in film terms, which is one reason the Hollywood executives like him. Another reason may possibly be his current openness to a licensing deal. He's not saying anything about that right now. Yet as he wrote to Greg Costikyan, "A game concept occasionally crosses over to the other side of the media divide, but [...] it's far more common for content to travel the other way. With costs and schedules and risks going up, I think we're stuck in that world for the foreseeable future, so we have to make the most of it."

Re:Next part.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13331797)

You know, Cmdr. Coon is karma-whoring here, but given the horrible format the original article is in, I thank him for reposting it.

Re:Article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13331783)

I assume you missed the "next" button at the bottom right?

Re:Article text (0)

Cmdr Coon (908032) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331867)

Yep, missed it :-/

What could you do with twice as much money? (1)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331731)

Finance my own game later. #ifdef the sex scenes in the game. Rape the industry for all it's worth. Buy Paul Allens "old" yacht.

aren't you forgetting something? (1)

huded (874134) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332075)

like an endif, maybe?
hope you don't forget to drop anchor before you go to sleep aboard his old yacht, matey.

Let me get this straight.... (5, Interesting)

DoctaWatson (38667) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331773)

Spector is sitting here telling us that Hollywood is bending over backwards to give him lucrative big budget liscensed projects. He's telling developers not to shy away from them and that they provide "cool sandboxes to play in" and that they working within the boundaries of a liscense is a rewarding experience. And yet...

Warren Spector has never once made a liscensed game.

Re:Let me get this straight.... (1)

ultramk (470198) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331879)

Warren Spector has never once made a liscensed game.

You mean he hasn't shipped one. No telling how many are in the wings.

m-

OT: remedial website design (3, Informative)

clem (5683) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331776)

Good Lord, that article made my eyes hurt. Obviously the article's content mattered less than ensuring the cool background graphics were aligned with a specific font size. The result is that one can't punch up the font size without the text overlapping.

Attention web designers of Slashdot: one of you probably knows the individuals who developed this site. If you do, it is now your professional and moral obligation to smack some sense into them. That is all.

Re:OT: remedial website design (4, Interesting)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331895)

Yikes, that's pretty bad. That site is what happens when a print media company starts publishing online and has no clue about the web, so they take the same form and layout that worked for print and make their website just like it. Hmm, much like the RIAA and MPAA refusal to adapt to a new media, how fitting.

Re:OT: remedial website design (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332036)

Obviously the article's content mattered less than ensuring the cool background graphics were

      This is usually the case in the gaming industry anyway. Graphics and eye candy are WAY more important than trivial details like actual content or functionality. The article is merely trying to be true to form.

No matter how interesting this interview might be, (1)

c0l0 (826165) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331778)

I'm not gonna read it, because the layout of the page it's on causes pain to my eyes. My screen resolution is not 800x600, so why should I stick with this ultratiny iframe-ish piece of crap?
 
If there's enough screen-real-estate to use, use it, ffs!

Re:No matter how interesting this interview might (1)

hapwned (816398) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331809)

There's a PDF download. That should allow you and your enormous amounts of screen-real-estate to roam free.

The real problem (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331789)

FTA: [Greg Kostikyan says] "[There's] nothing wrong with sequels and licensed products - in moderation. The problem [...] is that they're beginning to overwhelm original work. Here we are, like Balboa, shocked with wild surmise as we face a vast unknown Pacific of enormous creative possibility - and all we can do is licensed drivel?"

The movie industry is try to overcome a lack of diversity in content with a diversity of delivery mechanisms.

Although, this could be a step towards immersive interactive movies.

Hahaha (1)

hexalite (904492) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331790)

"The biggest names in Hollywood want to get into games"

Halo 3, starring Brad Pitt.

Re:Hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13331838)


If I was busy fucking Angelena Jolie all day I'd ever take the time to make another movie again. My day would consist of:

a. Wake up
b. Fucking Angelena Jolie
c. Break for a quick lunch
d. Fucking Angelena Jolie
e. Play some Guild Wars, snacks
f. Fucking Angelena Jolie
g. Sleep

Re:Hahaha (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331997)

A game called "Tomb Raider", starring Angelina Jolie. Oh, wait...

Ow wow (1)

cliveholloway (132299) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331794)

My first powerpoint article. Or was I the only one sat there, hung over, wondering why my scroll wheen was broken?

Q. What could you do with twice as much money? (5, Funny)

AnotherEscobar (852831) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331799)

A. Twice as many hookers and twice as much blow

Re:Q. What could you do with twice as much money? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331987)

A. Twice as many hookers and twice as much blow

      I am suddenly reminded of the obese african american nurse in Mel Brooks' "Life Stinks!".

"CAPACITY! WE HAVE REACHED CAPACITY!"

Spector? (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331802)

isnt that guy on trial for shooting a B-movie actress in the head while getting a BJ?

Re:Spector? (2, Informative)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331841)

" isnt that guy on trial for shooting a B-movie actress in the head while getting a BJ?"

You're thinking of Phil Spector.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Spector [wikipedia.org]

Just read Escapist already! (1)

DevolvingSpud (774770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331813)

This is like the 5th article from Escapist that Slashdot has linked to since the magazine started its publication. So far, just about every article is of interest to the Slashdot gaming crowd. So, just read the magazine already! It's free and stuff!

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/ [escapistmagazine.com]

Great opportunities ahead, BUT... (2, Insightful)

teutonic_leech (596265) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331834)

... looks like the movie studios are falling into the same trap like the dotcomers in the late 90s: drop more money into it and it'll be bigger/better/shinier/etc... I've run software development projects before and the lessons I've learned is that there is a certain 'sweet spot' - no matter WHAT you do - may it be developing a J2EE app, a PS2 game, an Indie movie, or a TV show (I've been on both sides of the spectrum): if you throw too much money at it people tend to become too complacent and whatever you build will be bloated and will have no soul. Maybe too many opinions and/or opportunities when there's too much money available. I really think that human beings are at their best when they're under pressure AND when they're inspired at the same time. It's a strange phenomenon and I could probably write a long posting about that but I'm sure most of you know what I mean. Come on - what was that killer P2P app you were working on in your dorm? ;-) The stuff you're doing now might be corporate crap compared with that - I'm personally guilty of the very same. Anyway, these studios probably COULD help make great games and bring in capabilities that would enhance the experience, but they should only throw in as much money as is necessary. I know many of you will start bitching about how Hollywood is all evil and that they only produce crap - well, there were always periods where good movies came out and periods (like today) when only crap was released. Most of the time it were outsiders that forced Hollywood to release good stuff - experiments that paid off. If you leave it up to those money grabbing suits you get the usual canned recepy crap that we've had to endure this summer. Hey, maybe the game industry is going to wind up buying the entertainment industry - it happened with AOL/TW ;-)

Deus Ex ... movie? (1)

VGR (467274) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331845)

Did anyone else catch the bit in the rust-colored box about a movie producer who has the "film rights to Deus Ex"?

I just hope Denton doesn't spend all his time in the movie hacking bank terminals.

Re:Deus Ex ... movie? (1)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332101)

I can't even begin to imagine the amount of backlash and bad press that a Deus Ex movie would generate. Given the fact that that JC eventually helps people who would be portrayed for half the movie as terrorists (including blowing up the Statue of Liberty), fighting against the UN and the US government. Further, they would either have to end the movie with a) Denton blowing up Area 51 (oh noes! Terrorism!), b) conspiring with a secret organization to control the world, or c) essentially taking over the world. I can't imagine any of those endings not pissing a lot of people off for "glorifying" what they percieve as evil.

Of course if they understood the actual plotline it wouldn't be an issue, but I don't count on mainstream Americans to think rationally about things anymore. That being said, I still think it would be funny as hell seeing all the over-reactions.

Another lovely Escapist article *Gag* (1)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331884)

Again I have been tricked into reading a terrible Escapist article! This will be the last time I swear.

Now why didn't Warren Spector just write the damn thing? Close to 75% of it is just quotes directly from him.

Ffor fun go and count how many times the author uses the words "said" and, "says".

Why is this terrible rag still getting /. posts anyway?

Re:Another lovely Escapist article *Gag* (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331940)

Dude you're not supposed to read the articles. Sheesh! No wonder you're having a hard time.

Re:Another lovely Escapist article *Gag* (1)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332028)

Fr05t (69968)

I believe is was around the 100000s people stopped RTFA.

Neat (2, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331913)

They think it over. Then they say...What could you do with twice as much money?

      Let me get this straight, this is the same Hollywood who the MPAA claim are losing thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars a year from piracy, right? Yeah, they sound really strapped for cash alright...poor bastards.

Good, let the bastards do it (2, Insightful)

defile (1059) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331969)

Maybe after Hollywood's sustained saturation bombing campaign of ``Meet the Fockers: The Game'' and ``Deuce Bigolo in Thailand Happy Ending'', game publishers will be begging for independent game developers to take them back, along with this thing they call "original ideas".

Confusing (1, Flamebait)

biodeo (741781) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331974)

Why do people still listen to this guy?

This is the guy who ruined Deus Ex, his own franchise. Why on earth should we want to hear what he has to say about what to do with other franchises?

Don't do it - it's a trap! (2, Interesting)

RichDice (7079) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332038)

Spector names a high figure; no one has ever yet written a check that big...They think it over. Then they say...What could you do with twice as much money?'"
In this situation, your natural feeling is to think that you're on top of the world and that everything is going to be hunkie-dorie from here on it. So you lead back in your chair, think about it, and 45 seconds later you give them an honest and reasonable answer. (After all, they're being reasonable, nice guys who just gave you a warm fuzzy, right?)

So then they give you 60% of the original amount of money discussed (after all, noone had ever cut a cheque that big before), and they hold you to delivering on the "2x as big a budget" pie-in-the-sky dreaming version. This, after all is how the state of the art is advanced -- stretch goals.

Cheers,
Richard

Please god, I beg you... (3, Informative)

Ath (643782) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332055)

Do not allow such design styles in websites to become popular. Please! I'll do anything! PLEASE!

The problem with licensed games (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332088)

I'd be happy if the biggest problem with licensed games was lack of innovation. The major problem is that most of them suck. If the industry is finally getting away from the "we don't need to make it good, we got a license" mentality, that is a good thing.

We are beginning to see real quality in license-based games (the Riddick game comes to mind), but most of them still clearly have that "rushed to make the movie release date" feel. If the game is to be a product on its own, and not just a marketing gimmick for the movie, then it should be just fine if the game comes out along with the movie DVD, or even the release to cable.
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