Which Steven Spielberg has more than largely contributed to nourish with his works, Ready Player One is full of references to cult video games, with however the wish of the filmmaker to add new ones. The approach is obviously anything but trivial, because the fact is well known: Spielberg is a fan of video games, since he was affected by the virus in 1974, when he was in the middle of filming The Teeth of the Sea .
The person concerned never tires of telling this now famous anecdote, as he has just done when promoting his new film. For him, the Pong game represents “the Woodstock of video games, for the innovation it has brought to the rest of the world”. Nothing less. “I was filming The Dents of the Sea and I was living on the island of Martha Vineyard at the time. Someone once plugged in an arcade machine for a game called ‘Pong’ at the local fun fair. See me again with Richard Dreyfus, playing together, glued to the game. After each day of filming, we would go back to play. That’s how I plunged into the world of video games “.
“With a video game, I can play the Tempest game, and in 10 minutes I can feel like I’ve accomplished something today, when in reality I haven’t! the machine is above all a massage of my ego! ” Spielberg said in an interview filmed in 1982, to be discovered below …
An interest that has never wavered, he who would not miss for anything in the world each year the great video game mass at E3, in Los Angeles, to tour the stands of game publishers and try the latest novelties. And, far from crossing the aisles of the (very large) living room at a pace, it takes its time on the contrary. Several hours even.
Because he is a real jack-of-all-trades, nothing can resist or escape him: he is as capable of trying out a game like Battlefield 4 published by Electronic Arts or a title from the Call of Duty franchise , as of taking fun playing a Party Game or an MMORPG like World of Warcraft . “I have seven kids, we all play video games, even though it’s in different places. We all play Sims, but I play Heroic Fantasy games like World of Warcraft only with my older kids. ” explained the filmmaker in 2009 in an interview given to the Daily Mail ;”At home, we’re pretty politically correct, so I don’t play FPS with my kids. The games are too violent.
I just finished Call of Duty – World At War for example “. ET, the false start Spielberg’s enthusiasm for video games has nevertheless sounded like a false start, with the now legendary affair around the video game ET , which still resonates today as one of the biggest fiasco of the youngster history of video games.
In 1982, Atari disbursed the colossal sum of $ 25 million to acquire the rights to the film in order to make it a game. Spielberg demanded that the game be released for the Christmas period, leaving to developers only five weeks delay. In addition, the filmmaker asks that the game be like Pac Man, while the developers lean more for an adventure game.
Anticipating huge sales potential based on the film’s popularity, Atari has more than 5 million cartridges manufactured. If the game goes well at the beginning (1.5 million copies), between 2.5 and 3.5 million copies do not find a taker. Faced with a slump, some retailers successively lower the price of the game, from $ 50 to … $ 1, while unsold stocks are returned to the publisher. If Atari won $ 25 million, the deadweight loss amounted to $ 100 million. History will remember above all that the unsold cartridges were finally sent to a vacant lot in New Mexico to be buried there …