As learned gamers, we usually scoff at movie licensed games, calling them the not-so-cheap way out for developers looking to cash in. But during a roundtable at GCDC today in Leipzig, Germany (Europe), Stormfront Studios’ Don Daglow presented two tumultuous experiences with licensing movies: Lord of the Rings and TRON.
Obviously LOTR was in many ways a dream proposition…[but]when we started the project, everyone was saying, Peter Jackson??
[Producers]brought up to EA 16 minutes of the movie…After they saw that…everything had changed.
Lord of the Rings wasn’t a multi-billion franchise yet; it wasn’t a sure thing for publishers to bet on. But the problems with the licence ended there. As for TRON…
25 years ago, the original movie Tron was pitched to us. We go up to BV studios…they had this promo why we should pay the rights for Tron. “Tron is going to revolutionise the way movies are made”
And Daglow’s team was sold. Money, resources, whatever the team needed was theirs.
9 months later when the movie came out. The script wasn’t very good. They ran out of time. It wasn’t supposed to be black and white. Ultimately our team broke our hearts trying to build those games. We had no support. We were ignored. That can and still does happen today.
Not one moment of special effects was added to the film over those 9 months. Why? Daglow responds: because BV already had their pay cheque virtually guaranteed—meaning they’d innovated enough.
And you thought movie licences made things easy! Ha!