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We don't need celebrity to sell games, says Bourne team

By Matt Martin

Mon 28 Apr 2008 12:00pm GMT / 8:00am EDT / 5:00am PDT

High Moon Studios won't favour movie stars over quality of finished product

High Moon Studios

Founded in 2002, High Moon Studios is an award-winning studio making action games for parent company...

High Moon Studios has said that it doesn't need celebrity endorsement to sell its forthcoming game The Bourne Conspiracy.

The game doesn't feature the likeness or voice of Matt Damon - star of the three Hollywood Bourne movies - and Meelad Sadat, director of business relations for High Moon believes that chasing star talent would only be to the detriment of the finished product.

"His interest in videogames is marginal," said Sadat of Damon. "We were in the thick of development and he made an announcement that he no longer wanted to do Bourne movies. His exact quote was 'I've ridden that horse as long as I can ride it'."

"About an hour later at High Moon Studios we decided that celebrity was not important to this game."

The stance is different to that of many developers and games publishers currently chasing Hollywood actors to add credibility to their projects.

The Bourne Conspiracy's publisher Sierra Entertainment isn't averse to paying for top voice talent. The forthcoming Ghostbusters game reunites the majority of the movie cast for acting duties, while even the next Spyro title has roped in names such as Gary Oldman and Christina Ricci.

But for High Moon, "celebrity hunting" gets in the way of making a good game when the studio is working hard to establish Bourne as a long term series.

"We're trying to build a franchise and whether we can do that depends on the success of the first game. The last thing we need is for every game to go celebrity hunting – because George Clooney is the new Bourne or Ben Affleck is the next Bourne," offered Sadat.

"The experience is that we want the player to become Bourne. We used the stunt double in the movies to do all the motion capture, we used the fight co-ordinator to make the player feel like he's Bourne on the screen. We work with Ludlum Entertainment to make it very Bourne-like, let's not slap the other stuff on there that would probably hinder development and eventually affect the success of the game."

The Bourne Conspiracy is due for release in Europe this June.

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