Movie Reviews

Gunzilla Games Hires ‘District 9’ Director Neill Blomkamp as Chief Visionary Officer

Independent video game developer Gunzilla Games has hired movie director Neill Blomkamp as the company’s new Chief Visionary Officier (CVO). Blomkamp is known for his work as both director and co-screenwriter of sci-fi epic District 9. His first task in his new role will be to work on a new as-yet-untitled AAA multiplayer shooter title.

Along with District 9, Blomkamp has directed a range of popular science fiction titles. Elysium saw Matt Damon seek to bring equality to a world where the rich live as kings on a man-made space station, while the poor languished on a ruined Earth below. Chappie, meanwhile, starred Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver and Dev Patel in a world where police drones patrolled the Earth.

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Blomkamp will aim to bring his directorial prowess to the video game industry, aiding with the storytelling and dramatic elements of upcoming games. In an interview with IGN, the director said: “The difference (from directing a film) is not acting like a single point that guides the creative team. It’s making sure that you’re integrated into the team in a real way.”

“I can come in with a very definitive point of view, but it has to work on two levels. It has to be accepted by the greater team as the right creative direction to go in, and it also has to be, first and foremost, something that we can integrate into the architecture of gameplay in a way that’s beneficial to the game.”

Speaking about the new untitled project, Blomkamp said: “I think the idea of near future science fiction is something that is really interesting. Conceptually, as well as from a visual and design point of view, that’s my favourite zone to be inside of. The primary thing no matter how you cut it will be player agency and the ability for players to just interact with it (the story) in a shooter environment in a way that hopefully is a really, really cool game to them – which means, in the event of being dropped in and playing, narrative takes a back seat.”

“If you think of something like Elysium, the amount of forethought to build the world, you may be spending 95% of the time thinking through the worldbuilding in order to get to the 5%, which is the movie that you watch. I think that you could apply the same sort of mentality where depending on how much backstory and world creation you’re building, you’re going to end up with a more convincing, awesome world to drop the player into. In terms of actual specific narrative, there are also other avenues that players can begin to learn more about things that we’re talking about.”

“Games will become what films were in the 20th century. They’ll just be the thing that is the dominant form of cultural entertainment and (I want) to be in that. Mixing my history in visual effects and interest in 3D graphics means I want to have a home base in the creation of games for a really long time. So if the game is a success and everything works out, hopefully I’m staying at Gunzilla for a long time.”

This news was first reported at The Hollywood Reporter.

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