Bruckheimer busts into games

Blockbuster film producer teams with MTV Games to establish new "incubation studio," gives progress report on Prince of Persia film.


Jerry Bruckheimer has a style, and that style is big and loud. The producer has helped create films from Top Gun to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and TV shows like C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation and The Amazing Race, developing a reputation for unapologetically entertaining fare and blockbuster hits.

Now Bruckheimer is following fellow filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and John Woo into the world of game development. MTV Games today announced that it has partnered with the producer to launch Jerry Bruckheimer Game Studio. Described as "a game incubation studio," the operation will conceive games but won't actually develop them.

"It'll be an idea [house]," Bruckheimer explained to GameSpot. "We'll work with other developers and studios to hire an executive team and come up with something we feel is interesting. We'll work with them just like we do with writers and directors [in film] and television--it's about getting the best and the brightest."

As for who the best and the brightest could be, MTV Games isn't ruling out anyone. The publisher's vice president of electronic games and interactive products, Bob Picunko, said the deal allows them the leeway to secure the best talent they can find, whether that means working with an independent studio or going through fellow publishers to get access to their internal teams.

That flexibility appears to be a theme incorporated throughout the agreement. Picunko said Bruckheimer's team could wind up making console games, PC titles, handheld, or even mobile games.

"We've left the palette relatively open," Picunko said. "Our hope is to have the first effort be a big game that people will be lining up at midnight to buy it the night before it comes out, but all options are on the table right now."

While the studio is going to "seek out and deliver new game concepts and intellectual property," Picunko said the company would love to see those properties migrate to other media, specifically TV and film.

Bruckheimer is currently putting together one such game-to-film adaptation: He is producing the upcoming Prince of Persia movie. The filmmaker updated the status of the film, confirming that as reported, Donnie Brasco director Mike Newell has been tapped to helm the project. He also said that location scouting is set to begin next month, with a possible 2009 release date in mind.

Bruckheimer has seen his work migrate in the film-to-game direction many times, from Days of Thunder and Top Gun on the NES to Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean games on current platforms, but he noted those titles were made facing unfortunate constraints. "They do the best job they can," Bruckheimer said of the developers who adapt his film work for games. "It's a very short period of time you have to develop these games because the movies come out so quickly. By the time you get a green light, the movie will be out in eight or nine months or a year after the gamers get involved. I don't think they really have the time to develop something as exciting as if you start with a fresh venture."

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