Grand Theft Adaptation

Grand Theft Adaptation
Licensing: Live With It

Allen Varney | 16 Aug 2005 12:02
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Of course, Spector acknowledges not every property can make a good game - though in many cases this is simply because the hardware isn't there yet. "Suppose you were running a film company in 1925 [the silent era]. Irving Berlin writes a terrific Broadway musical. Making a movie of that show would be a terrible idea, because what makes it great isn't the 'boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl' story - it's Irving Berlin's music! That's where we are in the game industry." He means current game tech hasn't yet matured even to the talking-picture stage. "For every project, we have to invent the camera all over again. And then we have to invent lighting and sound and all the characters ..."

Spector thinks a lot in film terms, which is one reason the Hollywood executives like him. Another reason may possibly be his current openness to a licensing deal. He's not saying anything about that right now. Yet as he wrote to Greg Costikyan, "A game concept occasionally crosses over to the other side of the media divide, but [...] it's far more common for content to travel the other way. With costs and schedules and risks going up, I think we're stuck in that world for the foreseeable future, so we have to make the most of it."

Allen Varney is a freelance writer and game designer based in Austin, Texas. His published work includes six books, three board games, and nearly two dozen role-playing game supplements.

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