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Monday, October 24, 2005

Directors and videogames

Does Peter Jackson know something other directors don't?

That's the central question of Laura Holson's piece in this morning's NY Times, `"King Kong" Blurs Line Between Films and Games.'

She writes:

    Video games are among the fastest-growing, most-profitable businesses in the entertainment world. In the United States, domestic sales of video games and consoles generated $10 billion in revenue last year, compared with movie ticket sales of $9.4 billion. But with the exception of a few well-known directors - like George Lucas, who created a series of Star Wars video games, and Andy and Larry Wachowski, who wrote and directed "The Matrix" movies and helped create Matrix games - few in Hollywood have been able to successfully operate in both worlds.

Jackson apparently was frustrated by his relationship with Electronic Arts for the `Lord of the Rings' games, she reports. They didn't seem to want his involvement. So with `Kong,' he's working with Ubisoft, a French company.

Jackson is one of the few directors who wants to get more involved in videogames in order to "keep control over [his] franchises while sharing in enormous video game profits," Holson writes.

The `Kong' game will be out in November. It was budgeted at more than $20 million. And, most importantly, Jackson gets a percentage of the profits.

(The brilliant illustration at right is by Nana Rausch.)