This week, the video game industry received a new infusion of boomer energy with announcing a new one Indiana Jones game. In the meantime, there is this a James Bond game in developmentand Ubisoft announced that it works in an open world star Wars game– the first of the possible streams of new games to take place in the distant galaxy, long after EA’s exclusive deal with Lucasfilm ended in 2023. Big publishers hoping Hollywood will present their next hit could be smart business or just plain new fashion. In both cases, it feels like an ominous sign of creative transmission just months after the next console cycle.
While Hollywood is in a hurry to buy video game movie rights, the gaming industry now seems poised to lean more and more towards established Hollywood franchises. These are not the market interactions I was looking for. Both mediums (and their respective corporate rulers) have a lot to learn and contribute to each other, but spending years and hundreds of millions exchanging the same old (mostly white) stories sucks. Hollywood is already getting full, eating its own tail, creating endless sequels and restarts –Independence Day: Revival, Jurassic World, Ghostbusters. Ctransferring it to games seems even more exhausting.
“Some great studios make licensed games,” Game Awards host Jeff Keeley said wrote on Twitter yesterday. “What is your dream studio / franchise collaboration that you hope to see one day?”
Your favorite developer’s fantasy of making a game in your favorite genre based on your favorite piece of existing fiction, such as if Square Enix makes an open-world RPG based on Frank Herbert Dune, is nothing new. Increasingly, these fantasies are becoming a reality as the cost of making big balloons for budget games that leave the audienceshers to look for safer bets. The success of Black Knight movies led to Arkham a trilogy recently followed by Insomniac Spider Man and Miles Morales and even Crystal Dynamics ” Marvel’s Avengers: the popular studio behind Tomb Raider restart by working on a rhythm based on the favorites of all Marvel characters.
This is not a bad thing, nor is it a guaranteed success, as evidenced by Square Enix’s frustration The Avengers. Some great games have come out of this process on the field, but it can also be a recipe for imaginary heat death. Hitman manufacturer IO Interactive is moving from its unique agent 47 to this one to strike with a James Bond license. Wolfenstein the developer of Machine Games will revive Nazi colonists and colonialists if Indiana Jones. In the meantime, decades have passed since these stories felt creatively fresh and relevant.
Disney pulls Lucasfilm’s video game legacy from the Sarlacc pit with Lucasfilm Games, a sign that the mega media corporation probably has its sights to flood the market with new licensed games in the same way it does movies and TV shows. All this, of course, is based on the existing canon and all this is owned by a company whose net worth is more than the GDP of most countries.
EA has a lot of nonsense about its 10-year deal to be an exclusive publisher star Wars games only for release until 2019 a total of three. Now it seems that the wish of the monkey’s paw has been fulfilled and we are about to get much more.
“We’re looking to work with best-in-class teams that can make great games across our IP,” Lucasfilm Games Vice President Douglas Reilly said yesterday. Reilly, in particular, said he expects games “in a wide range of platforms, genres and experiences”, with many “professionals” at Lucasfilm Games to help developers shape the creative vision of the adaptations. Ubisoft’s open world game is just the beginning, in other words. For comparison, during the investor from last December Call Disney has announced nearly a dozen new Star Wars movies and TV shows.
And, of course, there are some star Wars games EA continues to work on. An EA spokesman said Cat yesterday that the terms of his exclusive deal with Lucasfilm have not changed and remain in effect until 2023. According to a source familiar with the deal, only EA can publish star Wars games before 2023, after which the partnership with Lucasfilm will continue, but will no longer be exclusive. That means Ubisoft star Wars the game will be released in early 2023 at the earliest.
Csome of these games can be great. Jedi Star Wars: The Order Has Fell in 2019 and 2020 Star Wars: Squadrons were a lot of fun, but I don’t know that we need a dozen more big budget games trying to play in this space. I would also like to see Respawn or EA Motive do something original, Ubisoft also on this issue. Despite the challenging name, Phoenix: The immortals are rising it was pretty cool, even though I liked a lot of previous Ubisoft and Nintendo games The breath of wildlife.
It’s easy to imagine how studios can combine the genres and mechanics of games with already established and beloved fictional worlds. It is much more difficult to make sense of all the ideas and projects that will not see the light of day because of this media consolidation.
“None,” former Naughty Dog developer and The Last of Us director Bruce Streley wrote with a friendly wink in response to Keighley’s thought experiment. “We need all this talent and money focused on creating new content, new IP and innovation in the AAA Geoff space.”
Publishing blockbuster games has never been a bastion of risk-taking and creativity, but it can become even more stagnant if it becomes further monopolized by the existing entertainment monoculture. So, no, I wouldn’t want to see BioWare do another star Wars RPG and I’m far from happy with the prospect of Machine Games trying to knot, trying to rehabilitate tomb attacker Indiana Jones in something less disgusting culturally. It would be great, as always, to see video games try to do something new. After all, where else will the future Hollywood blockbusters be I come from?