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Director Peter Jackson Considers Developing Original Games
Director Peter Jackson Considers Developing Original Games
January 19, 2010 | By Chris Remo

January 19, 2010 | By Chris Remo
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    22 comments
More: Console/PC



Peter Jackson is considering creative ideas that he might develop as original games, not films, the director revealed in a recent media interview.

Jackson, who recently completed the The Lovely Bones and is best known for directing the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, told Ain't It Cool News he is "enjoying these games more than I am enjoying films at the moment," particularly as games are increasingly "using a lot of the film techniques now, especially the cinematic areas."

His immediate game development projects are comprised of unspecified levels of involvement with game tie-ins to the upcoming Tintin -- to be published by Ubisoft -- and a game -- likely to be published by Warner Bros. -- based on The Hobbit films, which he is producing (but not directing).

Jackson specifically said that "I am kind of involved with a Tintin game and obviously the beginning of The Hobbit game." He also implied there will be game adaptations of "all of the other scripts we are working on at the moment."

But Jackson stated his intention to work on projects that are conceived first as games, not movies. "I think some of the ideas I've got, I'd rather do them as a standalone game," he said, "because that world is getting more and more interesting."

Previously, Jackson was known to be involved with Wingnut Interactive, a studio co-founded with Microsoft. It was established in 2007 to work on the episodic Halo: Chronicles, which Jackson himself confirmed last July had been canceled. The state of that studio is not known.


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Comments


Wolf Wozniak
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Holy crap.

He's lost so much weight.

Mark Tran
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Wow, this is exciting. So there are respected, proven, movie people out there who are beginning to see games as a viable outlet for creativity now, as opposed to just another way to advertise a movie franchise. That's great news.

Yoshihiko Wada
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Let's see whether a movie director can go right in the game industry.

Dan Merrill
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Given my experience with Peter Jackson's King Kong (the game, which Jackson was personally involved in), I have some faith in Jackson as a game designer.

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John Mawhorter
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He probably doesn't know how to design games, but he may be good at coming up with story concepts...

Soeren Lund
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That depends if he thinks in experiences or images. To successfully create games you need to think about the user experience as a grand total of the interaction, images, sound and narrative. Of course you need to align yourself with great technical crafts people but a good director knows (and does) that. There is a reason why there are directors of photography etc. in movies. It would be great if more "visionary" people would enter the games industry. We have great craftspeople but few visionaries... At least in my opinion.

Chuan Lim
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What would be even better if some of these guys with money on the periphery could back independent game creators and help their projects get the next level of development + exposure to build on some unique ideas. This was happening alot in the 90s with independent films like El Mariachi supported by Tarantino, Easy Rider backed by Burt Schneider of the "Monkees", or Robert Evans green-lighting stuff by Scorsese et al which was at the time considered quite risky [ but now canon ] ..



So yeah, visionaries with pockets coming to the party could be amazing way to bridge the divide between AAA game production and the wellspring of creativity happening at the grassroots level. I know people like George Miller has a bunch of people working for him who are super keen on both th' film + game sides. Suppose anyone coming up through the ranks has enough of a cultural engagement with games to see the opportunities and recognise it as our generation's medium ..





-- Chuan

Sion Williams
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I think the biggest challenge for him will be the interactive element, granted he may tell a good story but unless its fun to play he might as well stick to film.

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Jérémie Noguer
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Andre : Did you forget that some time ago, in this very galaxy, LucasArts created some of the best games ever ?

Taure Anthony
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@ Jeremie good look out on the LucasArts mention



you're exactly right!

Tim Carter
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Yep, we need visionaries. Game people have a lot to learn from film people.

Chad Metrick
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I'm on the fence about this, because even though I think he could have great success and come out with some awesome games, like Spielberg and Lucas have in the past, I partially agree with Andre, in that I think the game industry needs its own visionaries, not borrowed Hollywood ones. Otherwise, the mainstream media will only focus on these projects because of their big-name Hollywood visionaries while still not taking games, as a whole, seriously.

Mark Harris
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Those with a vision for experiences and a knack for storytelling are always welcome, I would say. I don't care if they come from movies, games, novels, comics, whatever. If you have the ability to guide the development of exceptional gaming experiences then I'm behind you 100%.

Tim Carter
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@Chad Metrick: If individual game designers won't stand up for themselves - and make their names known - others are forced to show them how it's done.

hanno hinkelbein
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the reason why things stagnate is because it is like in every industry: once someone comes up with a big seller that's what everyone is going for. this only lasts until the next big idea comes up.



games still hold a huge potential because the technology is still developing at a very fast pace. i think especially story driven games will be a big thing in the future, so i would very much welcome people like peter jackson taking a shot at games.

David Delanty
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King Kong the game was, in my opinion, phenomenally better than King Kong the movie.



Not really a fair comparison, seeing as the movie...well...



The game was still really awesome. And if the man wants to take a break from movies and take a tumble into the video games industry, I'd be very interested to see what he can do. With gaming, he knows what he's doing.



And dayumm Wolf Wozniak, ain't that the truth! He can finally trim that 'fat guy beard' because he's certainly got a neck to show off, now.

John Mawhorter
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The designers' position in games and the director's position in film are completely different. Auteur theory in the 50s and 60s held that the director was the true creative force behind a film (though this marginalizes the great editors, scriptwriters, producers, cameramen, lighting/set designers) and this translated into the star director system we have today. Designers have no such critical champion, not to mention little critical theory backing them up, despite the acknowledged fact that they have the creative control. It is also, if you'll notice, designers plural, not THE DIRECTOR and EVERYBODY ELSE. While some Japanese studios have a game director position and most studios have a lead designer position, the emphasis in most studios on collaboration makes any one person's contribution to the creative design element hard to specify. So unless the industry decides to really entrust authorial/auteur vision to a single person rather than multiple people we aren't going to see gaming visionaries light up the industry in the same way we see movie directors take challenging creative decisions and produce great films. Maybe Miyamoto has "final cut" or total control, but I doubt many other designers do.

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Josh Foreman
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Lund: "That depends if he thinks in experiences or images."



I think this is profound and true. And with Jackson, I lean towards the experiences side. He's obviously good at leveraging other people's skills towards a coherent vision. And he actually enjoys games, so he's probably not just going to be blowing through the office every couple months and stamping his name on the box as has been the case with other big movie directors.

Danny Pampel
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@Dave Smith



I hear you man, I hear you.


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