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Game developer Gearbox talks about `NightFire`

02-Aug-2009 • Gaming

When asked about their two upcoming movie licenced games, "Alien" and "Heat", developer Gamebox talked tp Gamespot about working on past film franchises like 007.

"At Gearbox, we have three objectives we always focus on: Creativity, happiness and money. And a lot of businesses are only thinking about the money. We're driven by those other things, and that helps us make some of these kinds of decisions to be okay with sharing the pie, so to speak, with the opportunity to get involved in these wonderful properties, these things that have inspired us. "

Q: So is that why you think so many movie-based games are crap, for lack of a better term?

A: I think the bigger problem is the time pressure that the developers are under. There are so many talented developers at a lot of these studios, but it's hard for them to get the respect that they probably deserve because they're just working on the games that they're working on. They're under the time pressures and budget pressures that kind of constrain them as a result. There's also poor quality and poor design decisions, but some of these guys--I mean, they've got the chops, they're just in the spot they're in.

But the time thing I think is the big one. We did a game to ship day-and-date with a film, a James Bond game with EA, [the PC edition of] Nightfire. The game was original, which was neat, but the movie it launched along side of was [the poorly reviewed] Die Another Day. But the game, Nightfire, was an original Bond story, which was challenging. But back then, we were fundamentally a work-for-hire. It wasn't our game. It was Eurocom's design and EA's plan, and it was kind of hard to do that. So I feel pretty bad for a lot of these developers that are involved in these games where they don't really get to drive the script, so to speak. There are things that have you say, "Man, this is bad, but if that's what they want, all right."

So the deals we're doing, like with Aliens and with the way the Heat deal was set up, we're in a seat where we're creatively invested in the result, and that affects the quality substantially.

Secondly, these films aren't launching. These are films that are came out long ago, films that are just part of our culture now. So the time pressure can be balanced around what's right for the game, not about when a movie is going to launch.

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