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James Cameron Weighs in on MMORPGs

Posted Feb 07, 2006 by Jon Wood

James Cameron Weighs in on MMORPGs

 

Syncing Hollywood and Gamers

The relationship between films and games hasn't produced memorable offerings, complains Titanic director James Cameron, who aims to change that

Hollywood has long seen the appeal of video-game licensing deals. Having a hot new computer game released in conjunction with the latest blockbuster can mean added buzz and ticket sales. And as games get more sophisticated, there are even more ways to forge movie tie-ins.

The latest gaming craze to catch the attention of Hollywood heavyweights: Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG), in which hundreds, if not thousands, of players interact in their own online gaming universe. MMOGs aren't new, but interest in them from the film industry is certainly on the rise.

Ron Howard, director of Apollo 13, has partnered with former Halo producer Alexander Seropian to develop a new science-fiction reality TV show called Xquest that will let viewers interact with contestants in an online video game.

More recently, Titanic director James Cameron, along with fellow Oscar-winning director John Landau, joined the board of Multiverse, a gaming company that launched in December. Multiverse, founded by Netscape veterans Bill Turpin and Corey Bridges, aims to let independent developers create their own MMOGs.

Cameron, who directed Aliens, Terminator, and won an Academy Award for Titanic, took a break from working on the script for his next movie to talk with BusinessWeek Online reporter Burt Helm. He discusses Multiverse, science fiction, and why he's taking the unusual step of debuting his next project as an MMOG before it's released as a film on the big screen. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow:

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