Lost amid the hubbub of today's Microsoft keynote at the Game Developers Conference was news that James Cameron is working on a game for the next-generation Xbox. The news came in the form of a video montage of game, consumer electronics, and entertainment luminaries speaking about the future of entertainment and the power of Microsoft's next-generation console.
One of the said luminaries was none other than Cameron, director of Titanic, Aliens, and the first two Terminator films. At first, his remarks were broad to the extreme. "The technology is changing so rapidly. What's coming over the horizon the next couple of years is going to enable the imagery during the actual gameplay to look so much like the prerendered cinematic sections," he said. "It's going to feel like a lucid dream that you're in a movie and experiencing it and manipulating it."
But during a following segment, Cameron got much more specific. First, he told of his plans for an Enter the Matrix-like crossover game based on his next movie. "In my next film, I can only tell you what we're planning on doing, which is simultaneously developing a major motion picture and, hopefully, a major game title that coexists in the same world that shares characters." He continued, "Going into that world will actually inform those watching the film and vice versa. I don't want to say anything more than that, because I don't want to give away some of the cool stuff that we're working on."
Cameron's attempts at obfuscation have one major problem: His next directorial project is already known. While speaking to news outlets promoting his deep-sea documentary Ghosts of the Abyss, he revealed his next directorial project would be a live-action version of the popular manga Battle Angel Alita, which later became a limited-run anime series.
"We're in preproduction now on a movie called Battle Angel, which is based on a Japanese manga series of graphic novels by an artist named Yukito Kishiro, " he told Comingsoon.net in January. According to Cameron, the film will amalgamate the first three comic books, which profile a cybernetic heroine struggling to survive in a savage postapocalyptic world. "It's a father-daughter-relationship story that just has the most insane action that you can imagine," said Cameron.
Given that Cameron's comments were featured during a Microsoft presentation about the next-gen Xbox, and given the fact he specifically mentions his work on a game version of his next project, it would stand to reason that game would be a version of Battle Angel for the Xbox Next. However, Microsoft reps would neither confirm nor deny that conclusion. "I'm not going to argue with those observations, but the fact remains we have not made any announcements," was all a representative for the company would say.
If (when?) Battle Angel for the next-gen Xbox is announced, it will have the distinction of being the second game based on Battle Angel Alita. The comic was the also the basis for the 1998 Banpresto game GUNNM Martian Memory for the original PlayStation.