The film and game industries have a lot in common: huge investments, huge risks, and huge potential profits. When things go awry, however, the film industry can always recoup in the home video market. Games, on the other hand, often live or die within their first month of release.
Had Activision had the chance, it would have sent its PC game The Movies straight to video. The game, which was lauded by critics, performed poorly in retail when it was released late last year. Consequently, during its earnings report, Activision announced that subsequent console versions of the game would be scrapped.
Now it appears that the game's developer, Lionhead Studios, isn't ready to close up shop on the console project. In a post on the official The Movies forums, a member of Lionhead's development team, known as "Sam," writes, "Activision will not be publishing the console version of The Movies, but that does not mean the project is dead."
Don't start popping popcorn yet--it doesn't mean that it's alive and kicking, either. Aside from Fable, Lionhead front man Peter Molyneux's games, which include Black & White and Populous, are largely designed with a PC interface in mind. PC-centric games such as The Sims have also seen the sales of their console counterparts fall off greatly--generally because the controls don't always translate well. After the poor retail showing of the PC version of The Movies, it would be a huge risk for a publisher to take on the console editions.
PC movie fans need not fear, though. Sam's post goes on to say that Lionhead is "as dedicated to The Movies as they've ever been; an expansion pack is currently in development (which will be announced very shortly), and we are continuing to support The Movies Online." No other details of the expansion were announced.