Lorne Lanning and his studio Oddworld Inhabitants is set to make an ambitious return to interactive entertainment with Citizen Siege, a new original property developed from conception as a CG animated movie and videogame.
The movie will be produced by John H. Williams, responsible for the Shrek series, and directed by Lanning himself, while the game is currently being seen by a number of big-name publishers.
"Citizen Siege was conceived as a game and film from the very beginning," revealed Lanning, speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz
"Some publishers have seen the game and the response has been fabulous," said Lanning. "But we want to see more of what the potential synergy between the two properties is before we take specific directions on how the game's going to be done."
Lanning believes that recent developments in computer graphics and the response from the gaming community have opened the door to titles that can push the boundaries of movies and gaming.
"The quality of computer graphics has gone way up while the cost has become a lot cheaper, and audiences tastes are changing, largely influenced by the games industry," said Lanning.
"We've watched the movies in the Warhammer games and we're thinking 'where's that motion picture?' It's not out there yet because CG animated films are all in 'plush toy' reality - unless a company blows tons of money like Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within did."
Lanning hopes the project will help merge the two mediums further, as both the game and film of Citizen Siege develop alongside one another.
"Oddworld has had the chance to create original property that was designed as a film and as a game experience simultaneously. So the two influence one another as they grow. This is an idea that's being talked about by media companies, but for the most part isn't really happening yet."
"We saw that we were uniquely positioned to capture that. But it was a big risk and we had to willing to take that risk and afford ourselves the time to really go for it," he added.
In April 2005, Lanning confirmed a move away from videogames after the release of Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath for Xbox, as his company moved offices and refocused its intentions on the TV and film industries.
The full interview with Lorne Lanning, where he discusses Citizen Siege in greater detail, as well as his thoughts on movie directors entering the games market, will be published on GamesIndustry.biz later this week.