Levine: Games Aren't Hollywood's JV Squad

by Jeff Cork on Oct 06, 2010 at 04:29 AM

Finding parallels between the games and film industries is easy, though not always accurate. "Games are still in the silent-film era," is a defense often made by people who defend the current state of game storytelling. High-profile directors like Stephen Spielberg are courted by publishers, who assume that their talents in filmmaking will magically translate to the very different skillset of game design. Irrational Games' Ken Levine knows about the connection between film and games all too well, and he has a few things to say on the subject.

In an interview with Develop, Levine says the game industry needs to stop being starstruck, and that Hollywood needs to see the games industry as more than just a B-squad of aspiring filmmakers.

“I think there’s a sense in the entertainment fields that videogames are seen as the junior varsity,” Levine said. “There’s this feeling of ‘oh one day you can come up to our league’. And of course film directors can jump through the game industry’s open doors. Guillermo del Toro – who by the way is an amazing film director – recently signed a deal with THQ to make videogames. And I’m thinking…he’s never made a videogame."

“Maybe he’s got a genius for it. But games are really, really hard to make well. In our industry there’s too many people star-struck of the movie world, jumping into deals with some big movie director just because they’re big film directors.”