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Hollywood and games "don't speak the same language" - Tigon

Movie producer's only interest in games is financial, while developers "ignorant" of story-telling skills, says studio boss

Head of Vin Diesel's Tigon Studio, Ian Stevens, has said that Hollywood only takes games seriously when it realises the financial survival of the film-making business depends on it.

And equally, he thinks developers are ignorant to the depths of story-telling techniques employed by the best writers in Hollywood.

"There's certainly no shortage of guys that look at games and see them as toys, and meaningless bullsh*t, and now look at revenue - and for their own survival's sake have to care, and have to get involved," said Stevens of the Hollywood community.

"I think a lot of it has changed because we're making so much more money than they are."

He added that Hollywood struggles to understand the creative process of videogames, and those in the movie business who haven't picked up a controller wouldn't be able to comprehend why some games are much more engaging than others.

"Hollywood and games, over the next decade, you'll see some really interesting things happen. My curiosity is always about the execution of those things, because we don't speak the same language.

"Oftentimes people in Hollywood struggle to understand the creative decisions that we make - they don't get why something is more fun than something else, or why a character would need to be changed completely to work as a videogame character," he offered. "I think that's probably really hard to get unless you play games. I don't know there's an academic way to understand why Mario is fun, or what's fun about a raid in World of Warcraft, or why it's cool to shiv people in the neck when you're playing Dark Athena - I don't know there's an abstract way of explaining that."

While games developers continue to look up to Hollywood for its storytelling, Stevens said the games community should work harder to blend games and movies more seamlessly rather than simply trying to share ideas from two different mediums.

"The thing I've realised the most over the last couple of years, now being a lot closer to people in Hollywood and seeing some of their process, is just how little I - or anybody else around games - know about storytelling," he added. "I give a lot of people respect for their effort, and a lot of the time they can do some really good things, but there's such a depth and vocabulary involved in film-making that we're just completely ignorant of."

"Try as we might, we're not film-makers - and those are the collaborations that are the most interesting to me, to get some of those people working together to bleed and blend those lines, and get some of the expertise into a game... as opposed to an abstract sharing of ideas, which is what we do," he said.

The full interview with Ian Stevens, in which is also discusses the lack of publisher and consumer interest in the original Escape from Butcher Bay, can be read here.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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