Yet another endeavor in the video game space by a prominent figure from Hollywood has resulted in nothing, thus showing once again that not everyone is suited to work in the world of video games. Keen followers of the video game industry may remember a while back ago prominent Hollywood film producer Jerry Bruckheimer announced that he was venturing into the video game arena.
Having produced some of the most memorable action movies ever created such as The Rock, Bad Boys, and the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Bruckheimer’s arrival in the games biz seemed as if it would be a match made in heaven; yet here we are with news that the mega producer is officially exiting the video game industry.
Gamespot has reported that Jerry Bruckheimer Games is “no longer a functioning entity”, which is simply a nice way of saying the studio has officially died without much of a whimper. Formally announced towards the beginning of this console generation, Bruckheimer Games was a mostly silent entity as the only word that ever snuck out of the studio was that three core projects were in development. Exactly what those projects were based upon is anyone’s guess, but now we won’t know for sure unless someone opts to leak something.
Likely not as big of a surprise as learning a longtime development studio has shuttered due to economic strain, it’s nonetheless disappointing to see that Bruckheimer Games literally went nowhere during the span of its short lifecycle. Say what you will about Bruckheimer’s films or even his TV efforts, such as the C.S.I. shows, but the man has always had a knack for knowing what people want and giving that to them in an entertaining way. Those instincts alone would’ve made for some interesting games, yet it seems like Bruckheimer decided to bail out on his efforts and continue with what he knows best: film and TV.
Bruckheimer’s exit from the video game industry is merely the latest in a long line of failed attempts by prominent Hollywood figures to break into the ever growing video game space. While we may all be familiar with bad games based upon movies such as Battleship or Iron Man, several key directors have already attempted to make games that had no ties to existing properties yet they still failed to actually release anything.
Electronic Arts alone has likely wasted a considerable amount of time and money in the past decade by attempting to bring games produced/created by Steven Spielberg and Zack Synder (300, Man of Steel). Spielberg’s efforts have been documented in the past as his only released title was Boom Blox while the sci-fi adventure title LMNO languished due to an ever changing concept - a thing which resulted in all his projects being cancelled. Snyder’s deal with EA, which was signed in 2008 as part of a three game deal, merely faded away into obscurity as nothing ever surfaced out of the partnership.
The last remaining director/pivotal Hollywood figure to make a stand in the games biz is Gore Verbinski, a man who oddly enough is one of Jerry Bruckheimer’s closest collaborators. Best known as the director of the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Verbinski announced his own video game label dubbed Blind Wink Productions in 2011. Unlike some of his peers, Verbinski’s first video game project, Matter, was unveiled at E3 2012.
Since then we haven’t seen much of Matter, yet word has it that the Chicago based Iron Galaxy Studios is working on the title and that it could’ve made the leap to the next-gen Xbox. With Verbinski’s name still having cache amongst film-goers and those in the entertainment biz, I wouldn’t be too surprise if Matter surfaces again either at Microsoft’s next-gen unveiling in April or later on at E3.
Even though their creativity may be unrivaled in the world of cinema, it’s clear that even the most talented people aren’t exactly cut out for the video game industry. We may not have lost anything great in the closure of Bruckheimer Studios as I doubt a potential cancellation of a game based upon The Lone Ranger movie won’t break any of our hearts, yet it’s intriguing that literally nothing came out of Bruckheimer’s endeavor – save for disappointment and wasted money.