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Film Studios Getting Back in the Game

9 Oct, 2003 By: David Ward

Despite having already been burned once by bringing game development in-house, Hollywood studios may soon be looking at acquiring some of the leading console and PC publishers to better integrate film and game content and marketing.

Keith Boesky, former executive at Eidos Interactive and now head of the video game division of the talent agency International Creative Management, suggested film studios are intrigued by the $400 million that games such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City have brought in worldwide. “At some point the studios are going to absorb the game companies and do that themselves,” he told attendees at the Digital Hollywood conference in Los Angeles last month.

Much of the panel on “Hollywood and Games” was devoted to the success of movie-based games such as Enter the Matrix and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. David Perry, founder of the now-Atari subsidiary Shiny Entertainment, which made the Matrix game, noted the participation of the Wachowski brothers in that game was an example of the “move toward collaboration” between Hollywood and the game industry.

Perry said that level of collaboration doesn't necessarily have to add to the cost of game development, adding that much of the content for the Matrix game was shot before or after the scenes in the movie were shot. He also suggested studios are beginning to appreciate the money game publishers are willing to put behind the marketing of movie-licensed games. “If they're spending $40 million and we spend another $10 million, the studios are very happy about that,” he said.

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