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Boom Blox producer impressed by "gamer" Spielberg

The legendary movie director's involvement on the forthcoming Wii title is anything but a PR stunt, says Rahimi

Steven Spielberg, aside from being one of the most successful movie directors on the planet, is definitely a serious games fan, and his involvement with EA's forthcoming Wii title Boom Blox has been far greater than a line for PR.

That's according to Amir Rahimi, senior producer on the Boom Blox project, who spoke to at a Nintendo media event in San Francisco.

"I was actually pretty surprised to find out how much of a gamer Steven Spielberg is," said Rahimi. "He - regularly, when we meet with him - makes references to games that a lot of us game developers haven't played or haven't played in years. But also recent games, like Crysis, he talks a lot about."

And despite the director's busy schedule, particularly with the release later this year of the new Indiana Jones movie, he displayed his commitment to the projects with regular office attendance.

"He came up with the original concept, but he also - when he wasn't off shooting Indiana Jones or doing other big projects out of town - I'd say he was in the office on average every week."

Depending upon his schedule, Spielberg would spend anywhere from an hour to up to three or four hours, according to Rahimi, kicking around ideas: "His passion for the industry really came through."

Rahimi also talked about the other projects that Spielberg is working with Electronic Arts on, including the game which it is hoped will stimulate deep emotional experiences, and in places move people to tears.

"We've partnered with Spielberg to develop three games that are totally new IP," he said. "Two of them are currently in production. This is technically the second of the Spielberg games, but it will be the first that hits the market.

"They're working on another one code-named 'LMNO' that, I think, is what most people would expect out of a partnership with Spielberg - the epic storyline, the action/adventure game.

"But that one takes a little longer to make, so that one will come out later," Rahimi explained.

Many of the films Spielberg has directed over the years - Jaws, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Minority Report - have, of course, been developed into videogames, albeit seemingly without much of his input.

But now that Spielberg has been intimately involved with the development of original IPs, is it possible that he will want to have a hand in games based upon his future film projects?

"He's a huge gamer and he's really interested in making games," Rahimi said. "But he hasn't talked to me personally about anything like that, so I don't know his plans."

Boom Blox - a Wii exclusive with nearly 400 single and multiplayer levels and a level editor/creator - is scheduled for a May 6 launch.

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