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Why Peter Jackson Chose Ubisoft

Why Peter Jackson Chose Ubisoft


Thursday - October 27, 2005
It's no secret that King Kong is going to be a huge blockbuster when it debuts at theatres this December. It's also no secret that the accompanying game has high expectations. A big reason for this is the involvement of Peter Jackson in the game-making process. In this NY Times article (free reg. req.), the basics of the video game industry and some allusions to Hollywood and video game-dom are covered. However, if you read a little deeper you'll discover that Peter Jackson was not happy with how the Lord of the Rings games, made by Electronic Arts, turned out. And, we'd have to agree. What most fascinates us is Peter Jackson's apparent love affair with, what we consider one of the most underrated games of all time, Ubisoft's Beyond Good and Evil.

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Beyond Good and Evil was directed and designed by Michel Ancel at Ubi's Montpellier (south France) studio. Guess who is directing the King Kong game? You got it.

Mr. Ancel has a budget of $20 million to work with and a staff that ballooned from 30 to 80, all to work on this game. Peter Jackson, an avid gamer, is said to have had much input on the game, something that his manager, Ken Kamins, said was not sought from EA, "Electronic Arts was not interested in input from the filmmaker."

Although EA claims differently, it wouldn't suprise me that EA didn't seek out input. The best proof of this is that the console versions of the LotR games were definitely sub-par and wholly unoriginal.

What waits for us in Ubisoft's King Kong is yet to be discovered. However, with the director of Beyond Good and Evil teaming up with Peter Jackson, well, let's just say that we have high hopes.

Posted by Jeremy at 11:12 AM |


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