More "Movies" Planned

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Advertising in Video Games | Hollywood & Video Games | Retail-Products

Movies_2While Activision has canceled the console versions of "The Movies," the Hollywood movie studio simulator that allows anyone to run a studio and direct films, a spokesperson from Lionhead Studios has confirmed that the show must go on. "The Movies" is still in development for PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube. "As far as we're concerned, the project is far from dead," said the spokesperson.

Activision will soon be announcing the first expansion pack to "The Movies" PC game. The critically acclaimed game, which garnered an 85.1 percent aggregregate score on GameRankings.com, was not a blockbuster seller. That said, there's plenty of time to continue to build the community around the game.

The game received a lot of Hollywood and mainstream publicity at the recent Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, courtesy of the launch of the "Chrysler in The Movies: Virtual Film Competition." With the chance to win a Chrysler Crossfire, entrants can create short two to three-minute long films using "The Movies" and the virtual Pacifica, Crossfire, Chrysler 300 and PT Cruiser vehicles that have been included in the game. The contest runs through April 20 and will culminate at E3 in May in LA, where a celebrity panel will judge the top 10 films at a virtual Film premiere.

This is a brilliant example of product-placement integration, as well as a good incentive for consumers to give "The Movies" a spin. Like "The Sims," this game can offer a deep experience for big Hollywood fans, or a more casual virtual film-making experience.

On the console front, this game would really shine on Xbox, where Xbox Live could host virtual film festivals and other events. This will be one of the strengths of the PC game, which will follow in the footsteps of "The Sims" by keeping an active community busy with new events. I also think this franchise could flourish on next generation consoles, which have always-on broadband connectivity.

While it's disappointing to hear that Activision has bailed on this game, it's good to see that this truly original concept will be heading to consoles eventually. If we've learned anything from the recent sales slump, it's that gamers don't want more sequels. Original games like "The Movies" are what this industry needs more of.

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