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Cancelled Project LMNO suffered from Spielberg’s lack of input, says consultant

Thursday, 3rd November 2011 16:01 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Jason Rohrer, a consultant on EA’s cancelled Project LMNO, has said the development on the game partially suffered due to limited involvement from Steven Spielberg.

Speaking with Edge during the Montreal International Games Summit, Rohrer said due to Spielberg’s limited commitment to the project, it was up to development leads Doug Church and Randy Smith to try and pursue the director’s vision with very little input from him along the way.

“It was an interesting project, it seemed like it had some potential, was doing something cool.” said Rohrer. “It was about a relationship between two characters and some aspect of that relationship they had an idea for, generally, like: ‘We want to have this other game system in here but we haven’t developed it at all, we haven’t even designed it…Jason, think of something. What would you stick in here?’.

“So, I came up with ideas that were totally not what they expected and totally interesting to them, prototyped some of them, and then I stopped hearing from them. A couple of months later I heard they were all getting laid off.”

Rohrer said Spielberg was rarely at the studio, and came in “every week or so”, and without constant leadership from the director, it ran into trouble quickly.

“It just seemed strange and ineffective, the way they would get these big groups of people together,” Rohrer said. “Even to design an important, core part of the game, they would have all these people kind of tossing [ideas around]…I was in one of those sessions.

“Low-level producers, lead creative directors and everybody else in between would be in the room, batting ideas back and forth, and it was like, where’s the cohesive creative vision, the person who says, ‘No, it’s gotta be this way’? They didn’t really have that. Even the lead creative positions – Doug Church and Randy Smith – were kind of sharing that position. Which is a strange way of doing things.

“Spielberg was of course the big creative vision behind the whole thing but he wasn’t even there. He would come in every week or so and meet with them and see what they were doing, but he wasn’t there when I was there and I never got to talk to him or see him or anything. He wasn’t being very hands-on, so it was kind of Doug and Randy trying to interpret his vision and show things to him and it kind of felt like it lacked direction. That’s what I would say. Maybe that’s why it kind of failed in the end.”

EA announced in October 2012 that the project had been cancelled but maintained that it still had a relationship with despite ceasing development.

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5 Comments

  1. The Evil Pope

    Spielberg should stick with movies. I hate these movie directors that think just because they’ve directed a movie, they can create a top class game.

    The 2 mediums are vastly different.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Phoenixblight

    Other than Del Toro what Director has gotten into video games?

    This article talks about a project closing down because Spielberg had lost interest.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. revolting

    @1 You say that like there’s a plague of them attempting to take over the industry. Apart from Spielberg’s previous involvement with Boom Blox, I’m struggling to think of another example… Guillermo del Toro’s horror thing is so far away it’s barely on the radar, and Peter Jackson’s Halo not-really-a-game thing is long abandoned, I think. I really can’t think of any others who can have offended you so thoroughly.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. rbevanx

    @The Evil Pope

    The Dig says hi by the way.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. revolting

    Man, The Dig… I totally forgot about that. Such an awesome game… superbly atmospheric. Good old pre-Phantom Menace LucasArts.

    #5 3 years ago

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