Master Chief is the real Mr. Incredible

by Nitin M

Further to my earlier post on the convergence of entertainment, I just came across an interesting article by renowned gaming columnist, Geoff Keighley.

According to Geoff’s Entertainment Weekly magazine column, on 9th November 2004, Microsoft’s Halo 2 for the Xbox raked in more than US$ 80 million in pre-order sales. These are US$ 80 million worth of copies of the game that were confirmed purchases by Xbox owners and Halo fans.

This more than any motion picture in history has earned in a single day.

If you are reading this and you are not thinking “Video Games = Future of Entertainment Business”, then you are off your rockers. Now, I am not saying that every video game has this potential, just that it takes just one such game to highlight the potential of the industry.

Arguably, the leader in the industry in entertainment convergence has to be software market leader Electronic Arts. It was only a few years ago that EA embarked on moving their major creative talent to where the major creative talent are. Huh? What?

I’m referring to EA’s moving of its major studios to Los Angeles at a spanking new facility, bringing their gaming talent close to the Mecca of entertainment – Hollywood. Not being satisfied with merely moving the team to LA, they went about hiring Hollywood scriptwriters, music composers, special effects experts and what have you to work on creating more believable, movie-like games.

As an example, lets go back a few years to the launch of James Bond Everything or Nothing. The script for the game was written by Bruce Feirstein, the same person who co-wrote the screenplay for Goldeneye the movie. If you don’t believe me, check up his page on IMDB.

If that wasn’t good enough, they went out and hired Pierce Brosnan, Willem Dafoe, Shannon Elizabeth, Richard Kiel, Mya, John Cleese and Judi Dench. The music was composed by Sean Callery of La Femme Nikita fame. Casting for the game was taken care of by April Webster who has been credited for Mission: Impossible III and TV shows like Lost and Alias. As if that wasn’t enough they went out and hired, in true Hollywood fashion, supermodel Heidi Klum, to play Bond girl.

Now if that is not Hollywood production value, then what is.

The point I am harping on about is convergence, convergence, convergence.