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Scott Miller Promises No Uwe Boll

Games Radar must be delighted.

It’s all go with Radar Group. After the site’s aborted launch and the reveal of Prey 2, followed by Scott Miller’s interview with IGN, Radar is now up and running, and already blogging.

While he repeats the word “storyverse”, although this time doubling the sinister nature with a “TM”, there’s some material in there that doesn’t repeat the recent interview. For instance, proudly declaring who won’t be directing any of their game-based movies.

“Depth [Entertainment – their “cross-media partner” responsible for the production of movies] will provide Radar with a deep talent pool for our projects, as well as be a good potential source for new concepts that can then be further developed into both game concepts and linear concepts. The Radar/Depth connection is likely the best yet conceived between the games industry and Hollywood, with both sides being equal partners with equal footing. Everyone knows Hollywood and the game industry have been oil and water in the past. Depth will prove – and is already proving – that the proper collaboration can be highly beneficial. We promise that Uwe Boll will never direct one of our movies!”

It’s a peculiar and interesting set-up at Radar. Clearly their plan to work with smaller developers, providing them with the ability to develop original game ideas and to maintain co-ownership of their game, is very exciting. The second half of the attack, developing these “cross-media” um, initiatives, seems a little at odds with Radar’s most oft repeated statement: “Radar creates only original properties – no licenses.”

Isn’t this just licensing in reverse? It’s clearly common sense to create a company that can re-use strong gaming worlds (or… “storyverses”, nrrgghh) in other media to increase profits from the significant investments they’ll be making, but it’s interesting that they’re so insistent that developers have been using licenses as a “crutch”, while merrily reversing the flow. Will we soon see a Hollywood company set up that’s designed to encourage unknown screenwriters who promise to never rely on the crutch of videogames for their ideas?

As for how gamers will react, Miller is aware that many won’t pay much attention to their efforts, but will hopefully enjoy the results.

“While many won’t care, those who do likely realise that the long-term pay-off is an industry more populated by independent developers who can call their own creative shots, like Epic, Id, Remedy, Valve and Gearbox. That can only be a good thing.”

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John Walker

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