First up was Gearbox's forthcoming shooter based on James Cameron's 1986 sci-fi classic Aliens. Development for the project is apparently well under way. "We're working really hard on that right now," said Pitchford. Sega is publishing the game in conjunction with 20th Century Fox, which owns the film rights.
The executive also revealed some tidbits about the plot of the Aliens game, which is due on "next-gen platforms" in 2009. "Our game's about becoming a Colonial Marine, and looking at it from the Colonial Marines' perspective," explained Pitchford. The Colonial Marines battled the acid-blooded xenomorphs in Aliens, and were a template for the troopers who fight alongside the Master Chief in the Halo games.
Pitchford also revealed there was a limited amount of collaboration going on between Gearbox and Obsidian Entertainment (Neverwinter Nights II), which is making an Aliens-based role-playing game. "There's people on our production team that share things with them," he said, before explaining the two titles were "going in totally different directions."
Pitchford also revealed that he hooked up with a famed film director to kick around ideas for a game adaptation of the 1995 crime epic Heat. "I've had some meetings with Michael Mann," said Pitchford. "[And] I think there's some room for interactive entertainment to deal with the challenges between cops and robbers."
Unfortunately, the developer also had some discouraging news about the Heat game, which was revealed at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo. "We haven't actually started on this project yet," he admitted, "But it's something I'm impassioned by and it's something that we've talked about a lot with the filmmakers and they're interested in doing too."