Rockstar’s Houser: “Movies made from games are awful”

Wednesday, 6 April 2011 00:56 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Rockstar Games’ Dan Houser has said any films based on the developer’s properties would have to be produced in-house or in close collaboration, because they generally turn out as total rubbish.

“No one has done it very successfully yet. Virtually all movies made from games are awful, while many games made from movies are also pretty horrible,” he vice president of creative told Hollywood Reporter.

“This will change, but with an ever more discerning audience, the goals of taking something from film-to-games or game-to-film have to be more than financial.

“If you feel the property has something about it that is universal or could work in another medium, and it is not simply about making easy money, then that is something worthwhile. Too often, however, the aim appears to be to cash-in on the success of a particular game, book, pop singer, website, etc., and that usually produces mediocre results.”

Rockstar’s publishing arm has brushed against this phenomenon before, with the 2008 adaptation of Max Payne going down like a lead balloon with critics. Lesson learned: you won’t see any Rockstar films in the near future.

“We have explored a lot of movie deals, but we have just chosen not to make a movie,” Houser said.

“… If we were to attempt to make a movie, we would like to make it ourselves, or at least work in collaboration with the best talent, so at least if it is bad, we can know we failed on our own terms. … We may make movies one day, with the right property and the right partnership, but we have not found the time to do that yet.”

Rockstar has movies on the mind at the moment, with Team Bondi’s LA Noire setting a precedent as the first video game accepted into a major film festival.

Nevetheless, Houser isn’t ready to champion games as an emerging artform.

“We try very hard to avoid the debate as to whether games are art, as it tends to attract people with too much time on their hands,” he said.

Thanks, Industry Gamers.

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