Spielberg makes videogames to keep his family happy

Oscar-winning film director Steven Spielberg was so frustrated that no videogames catered for all of his seven children that he did what a entertainment maestro might do- made his own game.

"Boom Blox" was the first in a multi-franchise deal between Spielberg and videogame publisher Electronic Arts and has sold close to one million copies globally since it was released for Nintendo's Wii last May.



On May 19, EA releases Spielberg's second game, "Boom Blox Bash Party."



Spielberg, who said he plays just about every game that comes out, is a big fan of Nintendo's Wii console and its motion-sensor controls that involved physical interactivity.



"It's been very, very good for a parent like me who wants our kids not to be couch potatoes, but to get up and move their bodies around more," said Spielberg, who worked closely with the team at EA's Los Angeles studio on both the games.



Spielberg said "Boom Blox" originated from the idea of using the Wii controller to knock something down, like the traditional family toy of building blocks.



In the newest game up to four players face a range of challenges of up to 400 levels in locations as diverse as outer space and deep under the sea where they can create their own user-generated content and share this with others online.



"You can become a creator at home," said Spielberg. "You can become a participant and you can become an activist. It's a really wonderful way to empower players to share their ideas with the world and give us better ideas for our own future of the next iteration beyond "Bash Party.""



With Spielberg's creative support, EA is set to continue with this family-friendly game franchise even though the original "Boom Blox" received some backlash from the gaming press when it launched, especially when initial sales for the title were slow.

There's been some criticism of "Boom Blox's" relatively weak sales performance compared to triple-A enthusiast titles like "Gears of War 2" and "Grand Theft Auto IV," but that is an apples to oranges comparison," said Billy Pidgeon, market research analyst at Game Changer Research.



"Many games for the Wii have broad mass market potential and have a slower and longer sales curve than do enthusiast titles."



As for Spielberg, he says he's learning more with every new game. The filmmaker actually once owned his own game studio.



"The smartest and dumbest thing I ever did was to sell my company to EA," said Spielberg. "Medal of Honor" was almost done and we made the decision to sell Dreamworks Interactive to Electronic Arts and had we not sold, we would have been able to stay in business just based on the success of "Medal of Honor."



"But it was very smart also for us to sell to a company that was better equipped and better managed to be able to take "Medal of Honor" into the international market and really make a commercial success out of it. "



Spielberg said there aren't many similarities between creating in Hollywood and in the games space.



"The technology involved at every level to create a videogame is only similar to the technology involved that created the dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park,"" he said.



"There is no production, like I'm very accustomed to. There's no hiring of actors or building sets...the minutia of technology takes over."



He said perhaps that is one reason why videogames have not translated to the big screen, although Hollywood continues to try with new films like Disney Pictures' "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time."



"So far, there hasn't been a major success in the videogame industry based on a motion picture, nor has there been a very successful motion picture based on a videogame," said Spielberg.



"There's not been convergence, thus far. There will be. When it happens it will be dynamite."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer - 2nd & 3rd Line

    £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The IT Support Engineer is needed to ass...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior / Mid Software Developer

    £22000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Service Desk Manager

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity to join a p...

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic and Motion Designer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Do you get a buzz from thinking up new ideas a...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones