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Movies Media The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Hollywood Courting the Gaming Industry 201

beatleadam writes "In a trend that we all seem to already be hyper-aware of... 'The video game industry was once an afterthought in Hollywood, at most an ancillary source of revenue like action figures. The people passionately developing the computer-based form of entertainment were seen as dorks compared with the celebrities. Not anymore. Now that games have matured into a $11 billion business, topping movie box-office sales and siphoning television viewers, the lucrative and increasingly influential genre has attracted more star power than ever.'" We did another story about this a month ago.
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Hollywood Courting the Gaming Industry

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  • Courting? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SpaceCadetTrav ( 641261 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @04:39PM (#9188520) Homepage
    More like absorbing.
  • Sims movie (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @04:40PM (#9188541)
    What's really scary is that some huge percentage of that $11B is EA. They already have sports stars all over the place and it would be interesting to see how they incorporate Hollywood stars into games like Sims. Even more scary would be a Sims movie which if it is half as boring as the game it should make a ton of money.
  • More bad movie? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @04:41PM (#9188566)
    Do we really need more bad movies? Are there any GOOD movies based on video games?
  • Great... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anita Coney ( 648748 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @04:42PM (#9188576) Homepage
    When are we going to see Tia Carrere in Daedalus Encounter II?!

  • Re:Thank God... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Killjoy_NL ( 719667 ) <slashdot@remco.palli . n l> on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @04:46PM (#9188655)
    I loved Mark Hamill in the Wing Commander series, he did some brilliant acting in there, better than in Star Wars in my opinion (I know, it's not really a fair comparison since Mark had a lot more acting experience during the Wing Commander Series)

  • Re:Great (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sean80 ( 567340 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @04:48PM (#9188683)
    I think the parent does have some merit though. I think the reality is that often what makes a good movie doesn't necessarily make a good game. I pretty much think, for example, that the "film" versions of Doom 3 will fall flat on its face, unless it's like those "inspired by" soundtracks, that, er, have nothing to do with anything.

    Fundamentally, computer games and movies are such different mediums - games are obviously all about interaction and using your brain (somewhat), while movies are about sitting back and eating popcorn, maybe throwing an arm around a lovely lass, and so forth.

    I think what they're really doing here is utilizing name branding. Wow, that Day After Tomorrow movie was really good. Oh, there's a game named that too? Perhaps it'll be good too. By the time you figure out it sucks, there's $50 down the drain.

  • Better than movies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @04:51PM (#9188748)
    I just got "Onimusha 3" for my PS2, and the opening movie was BETTER, in sheer visible quality, directing, and storyline than anything I've seen on a movie. The 10 minute CGI movie was reminiscent of Episode 1, except it was much, much better. Hell, the game even stars Jean Reno (The Professional, Wasabi, Ronin, etc.)! As soon as storage (DVD's) get better, we absolutely will have games that are 100% interactive, but the quality will be as good as if not better than movies.
  • Re:Thank God... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @04:53PM (#9188766) Homepage
    I know what you mean. Games can have an effect. I still hate Malcolm McDowell because to me he will always be the villan in Wing Commander III (or was it IV? Probably IV).

    Those were great games.

  • Re:Sims movie (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SmackCrackandPot ( 641205 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @04:54PM (#9188780)
    EA signs exclusive contracts with sports stars, so that they can only appear in EA games.

    It would be trickier with a movie star. Would you force them to sign an exclusive deal just to allow EA to use their likeness, or would they be able to license their likeness to other publishers. Would the image only cover a particular set of clothes/hairstyle or would it cover all possibilities?
  • Re:Thank God... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Killjoy_NL ( 719667 ) <slashdot@remco.palli . n l> on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @05:01PM (#9188888)
    Exactly, the end speech Colonel Blair (Hamill) gives at the end of part IV (that's the one you mean) gave me goosebumps.

    And McDowell hanging himself in that ending just showed the real cowardice of the character he was playing.

    I think that game came as close as you could come to an interactive movie, even letting you choose what to say during talks and happenings outside (shooting aliens/enemies, choosing which wingman with whom to fly) influencing the story and the way your comrades look at you.

    Again: I loved that game
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @05:01PM (#9188889) Homepage Journal
    Why, having no cast at all of course. Expect more hyper realistic 3D animation to take the place of actual motion pictures. CGI will soon become THE MAIN CHARACTER instead of just the wallpaper as in Troy (battlescenes? all fake as opposed to the Kirk Douglas "Spartacus" which used 10,000 extras). Now all that Whoreywood has to do is make the CGI characters semi autonomous eg. capable of taking direction so as to give the appearance of pompous art and you will see hundreds and hundreds of cheap-o dateflicks, war movies and the like. Hell they'll probably customize them for each demographic. Imagine a "Passion" with all black actors, or a "Kill Bill" with naked chicks.
  • Tron and Krull (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mekkab ( 133181 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @05:11PM (#9189014) Homepage Journal
    This is not the first time Hollywood marketing freaks thought up this alliance. Its just that things are now getting profitable.

    Look at Tron [imdb.com]; the video game out-grossed the movie.

    Look at Krull; the video game was done before the movie!

    Remember that the in the Early 80's the video game industry was viewed as "hot" and making lots of money. Cross overs seemed inevitable.

    Then, we had the video game industry crash (thanks,ET! [snopes.com])

    Now that the video game industry is back on top and making lots of money, its cross over time again.
  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan ( 730745 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @05:13PM (#9189031)
    And just like Hollywood, The artists and coders who do the hard work, never see ANY of those millions.

    What was once an industry created by self made talent, who could profit admirably off their hard earned work... as turned into a slave machine controlled by slick suit wearing slave drivers, who under budget, under pay, and demand insane production cycles.

    Yup... its a lot like hollywood these days. The people who do all the work, see none of the pay.

    But thats a growing trend here in America.

  • Re:Oh dear god... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Total_Wimp ( 564548 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @05:15PM (#9189062)
    They problem is written right in the article. They call this stuff "content". I cringe whenever I read that word. The term is hopelessly entangled with people trying to sell you stuff you weren't looking to buy instead of you seeking out something because you want to buy it.

    Writers write, directors direct and game designers design games. If they look interesting to you, you buy them. Only assholes "generate content." and then try to convince you to buy it whether it's interesting or not.


    BTW, speaking of content, remember when internet people were busy trying to generate it? You don't hear about that much anymore do you? AOL was the biggest culprit and, not surprisingly, the biggest loser as a result.
  • I'm optimistic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stealth.c ( 724419 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @05:18PM (#9189088)
    I had always wanted the video game medium would rise to be recognized as as much of a storytelling medium as movies. Games like Freespace2, Max Payne, Half-Life, Metal Gear Solid (2), and others are very story-driven and the gaming experience becomes even more immersive with competent voice acting and good writing. (If you want to be contentious about Max Payne/MGS2 that's fine. They got way too damn trippy for me, too.)

    I certainly hope that things get to a point where stories are told well through video games on a regular basis, providing yet another great outlet for creativity. I would love to do something similar to a literary analysis of a game like Half-Life, with its stream of consciousness gameplay drawing the participant totally into the story, or of Freespace2's provision of a grunt-soldier point of view of a vast galactic war. Tension in the MGS story is heightened by the player's perpetual need not to be seen.

    What better way to immerse someone in your story than to allow them to interact in it and participate? Video games have much more potential than "movie spinoff product." I daresay that today they have more potential even than movies.

    If this sounds incredibly weird, remember I'm an English student and I kind of have a vested interest in videogames becoming a semi-literary medium :)
  • Re:Thank God... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NonSequor ( 230139 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @06:22PM (#9189898) Journal
    I think that Mark Hamill's best work has been doing voices for cartoons. His conception of the Joker was particularly brilliant.
  • by Tarantolato ( 760537 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2004 @04:31AM (#9193470) Journal
    There are some people in Hollywood that realize that movies are about to go the way of Vaudeville in the next twenty years

    Vaudeville didn't die. It just passed off the stage and onto movies and television. Especially in comedy, early movie guys like WC Fields, the Marx brothers, and the Three Stooges were all straight off Vaudeville. Early TV guys like Sid Caesar, Uncle Miltie and Jerry Lewis were all right off the Catskills circuit.

    Peoples' basic desire for short, funny, dramatic situations never changed. All that changed was the way they were delivered and some of the stylistics involved. Stage sketch -> movie short -> TV variety show -> modern sitcom.

    Similarly, TV didn't kill off movies; it changed how they were distributed.

    What you are talking about is a shift in the kind of entertainment, rather than the medium. I can't say whether it will or won't happen (I don't think it will; didn't work out for Phillps CDi) but "interactive" stories will never replace fully-scripted ones, ever.

May all your PUSHes be POPped.