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Newell: Let Developers Make Movies

Gamers and movie makers are frequently at odds. A lot of the blame often falls to filmmakers who know little or nothing about the gaming industry.

Apparently, Valve boss Gabe Newell agrees. In speaking to PC Gamer, Newell responded to the rumors about a movie based on the developer's Half-Life series. As it turns out, some filmmakers have indeed approached Valve with the possibility, but Newell says the team decided that only one particular group could do it: Valve themselves.

"There was a whole bunch of meetings with people from Hollywood. Directors down there wanted to make a Half-Life movie and stuff, so they’d bring in a writer or some talent agency would bring in writers, and they would pitch us on their story. And their stories were just so bad. I mean, brutally, the worst. Not understanding what made the game a good game, or what made the property an interesting thing for people to be a fan of."

Yeah, well, we've been saying for a while now that movies are suffering from a significant lack of artistic talent. For the record, Valve has produced some CG video shorts for Team Fortress 2, just as a test of their own movie-making abilities. Prior to those projects, Newell and Co. thought making a "Half-Life" movie on their own would be impossible, but now...they might just be able to pull it off. The question is whether or not fans of the series would want Valve to do it; might those followers be more interested in another game?

Tags: gabe newell, valve, movies and games

8/31/2010 8:48:31 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (48 posts)

BikerSaint
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 9:37:38 PM
Reply

I totally agree with you Gabe, so the treat's on me at Burger King tonight.

(But just so you know, go light cause I'm only carrying $ 20).

Last edited by BikerSaint on 8/31/2010 9:38:38 PM

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frostface
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 9:44:25 PM
Reply

I think they should make the movie. Valve have some seriously great games and great stories that the movie industry had nothing to do with.

The guys making the games have the talent and the passion and the experience of knowing intimately the most minuscule details in the games that make them so great.

And who said that they can't focus on making games and making movies? I'm sure they've enough people to split the work between.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Scarecrow
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 9:55:44 PM
Reply

No, let developers make games

Movies are inferior

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shadowpal2
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 12:27:04 AM

Hang on do you mean movies based off of games are inferior? Because yes that's quite true.

You did not mean to say that movies are inferior in general period did you? Because you honestly have to understand that movies just doesn't mean "HOLLYWOOD OH YEA THE SETS, THE EFFECTS, AND THE SEX!!"

Movies just like video games is a global language that is shared by many countries. Hollywood is not pumping out those classic artistic films these days - I understand, but hey would you not say that films like Shutter Island or INCEPTION were at the very least - a decent watch and there are still ideas to be expressed?

I personally love Japanese, Korean, and Hong Kong films - can't get enough of them.

Ever seen Audition? OldBoy? Battle Royale? Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance? Sympathy for Lady Vengeance? The Bird People in China? Memories of Murder? The Host? Finale in Blood? The Prostitute Trilogy? SAMMO HUNG?!(not a movie but a huge part of Hong Kong's film industry)

Even animation masters like Hayao Miyazaki or the late Satoshi Kon? Spirited Away? Tokyo Godfathers? Paranoia Agent? Princess Mononoke? Millennium Actress?

What about Mamoru Oshii and Ghost in the Shell?

Ever heard of Hideaki Anno's Evangelion? Possibly the most popular thing in Japan.

So if you really think films are inferior to games - I STRONGLY DISAGREE.

As much as I love those wonderfully crafted games, there are a ton of beautiful masterpieces of film out there and it's definitely being added onto - just like video games.

Last edited by shadowpal2 on 9/1/2010 12:31:18 AM

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SvenMD
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 8:17:29 AM

Shadowpal - I have The Host in my netflix instant queue....just haven't had time to watch it yet. But I'm excited; so if it's good I will try some others on your list.

Scarecrow - I definitely think that devs should be fully involved in the movie making process. I don't know that they really need to create it themselves...but they need to be involved in every step, and actually be able to make changes to the production.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 9:57:06 PM
Reply

I agree with Gabe on this one, game devs need creative control over movie adaptations. Sometimes I think Hollywood just wants to milk the money out of games and trash the industry.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 10:10:53 PM
Reply

I'm just tossing this into the Comments so people aren't confused-

I have jury duty tomorrow (ick) so I likely won't be able to update at the normal time. So don't freak out when nothing new is up before noon. ;)

Agree with this comment 9 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Hezzron
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 10:16:32 PM

Don't forget to stand up at some point and yell "You can't handle the truth!"

Agree with this comment 29 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Scarecrow
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 10:45:30 PM

Ben would be perfect for that

*throws the police up a tree/flagpole*

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 11:03:52 PM

Ugh...been there done that. I had to be on the jury for a DUI case. I was hoping for a Matlock type case, but nope.

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BTNwarrior
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 11:21:01 PM

next time just say something racist/sexist/or homophobic and you will not get stuck with jury duty

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shadowpal2
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 12:37:39 AM

Or pull off an Al Pacino and start screaming

You're out of ORDER! You're OUT OF ORDER. THIS WHOLE TRIAL IS OUT OF ORDER!

See... movies do have an influence!

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Club80
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 1:15:34 AM

Do a Peter Griffin and complain about all the honkies.

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JackC8
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 6:41:30 AM

I don't think game developers should make movies just for the sake of making movies. That business model only exists because Hollywood is creatively bankrupt and they figure that a movie based on a well known game will sell tickets on name recognition alone. Then they run it through the assembly line and turn out some puke inducing piece of crap, but after worldwide DVD distribution it probably turns a small profit.

On the other hand, if the game developers feel they really want to do a movie - they've got some ideas that they think would translate well to that medium - then sure, why not. Team up with an independent studio, maintain complete artistic control, have the programming staff do the CGI. Even if it didn't turn out to be a masterpiece, the influx of new and creative ideas would be an extremely welcome breath of fresh air.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

JackC8
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 6:42:53 AM

Oops, meant for this to be a new comment, not a response to jury duty :)

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Underdog15
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 11:06:34 AM

What? No posts by noon? That's it... the guys guilty.

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Hezzron
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 10:12:57 PM
Reply

Hollywood is full of vampires and parasites, looking to steal and butcher creative genius that they themselves don't have the capacity come up with.

Anyways, it's not as if video games need the movie business to make them profitable. Hollywood needs them more than they need Hollywood.

Oh....and ever since Mr. Newell has warmed up to the PS3, I've had to shelve all my fat jokes. Anybody know any other heavies badmouthing the PS3?

Agree with this comment 9 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Dancemachine55
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 12:07:17 AM

Hollywood isn't too bad.

About 95% of what comes out of Hollywood is complete rubbish, true. But now and then you get an original concept (or as close to original as it can possibly be) with movies like Inception, or The Matrix.

Not sure if those 2 movies are Hollywood, but you get my point.

Movies are a good place to unwind and chillout. Games are good for working your mind and blowing away players.

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shadowpal2
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 12:34:59 AM

I'm SORRY you DID NOT JUST SAY that the MATRIX was an original concept. YOU did NOT just say that.

(sigh!)

Ever heard of Ghost in the Shell? Hell the Wachowski Brothers even showed the producer Ghost in the Shell and tell the guy "YEA - that's what we want our movie to be like"

Big time ghost in the shell fans like me - understand that The Matrix was not completely - but still pretty heavily influenced by Ghost in the Shell.

But you're right, there are original works that come out here and there.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 12:40:23 AM

Shadow,

Nothing is "original" anymore but unique blending of ideas can make for something new and refreshing. Both the Matrix in 99 and Inception in 2010 did that. You can pick apart their layers if you must but as a whole they were amazingly inventive.

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 3:21:32 AM

What I mean to say is that there are some movies not based on books, comic books, video games or other media forms. Some movies are original ideas.

Okay, The Matrix wasn't the best example. But the story and level of special effects was on a whole other level from other movies around at the time.

Same thing goes with Inception. It's new, it's different, it actually makes the audience think for a change, and it has brilliant special effects and action scenes. (the hotel corridor fight scene was one particular standout moment in cinema. The constant shift in gravity was incredibly well done)

Basically, my point is that you shouldn't disregard or rip on EVERYTHING that comes out of Hollywood. Artistic creation does exist, its just that you have to sift through the crud to find the golden ones.

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Alienange
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 12:17:55 PM

@ Hezzron - Fat jokes aren't funny man! They're hillaaaarious.

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tes37
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 10:35:49 PM
Reply

I'm surprised by Mr. Newell lately. I totally agree with him. I wonder if someone slapped the sh*t out of him and brought him back to reality. He sounds like a different person.

In my opinion, Hollywood doesn't have anything to offer the gaming industry.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 11:02:21 PM

Oh come on.....he's unchanged in his views. It just took him a while to get into the PS3 mojo.

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tes37
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 11:08:05 PM

Well I wouldn't go as far as saying unchanged, because he has had a change of heart concerning the ps3.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 11:13:19 PM

I'll give you that though I think he was just waiting for the right time to invest enough development time into the system. As far as making amazing games, nothing has changed.

I hope you try/enjoy Portal2 when it arrives.

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tes37
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 11:15:35 PM

Since you haven't commented on the Heavy Rain article, I'll ask you here. What happened with your copy of the game?

I am interested in Portal 2. Don't think because I pick at Gabe that I'd pass on a game if it's good.

Last edited by tes37 on 8/31/2010 11:18:41 PM

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 11:24:31 PM

Oh gosh, what a long story. Amazon failed to deliver the game to me, after several days of waiting and receiving a $20 credit to my account I canceled shipment/purchase. I eventually found out it was a result of an accident involving the UPS center in Galesburg, IL (where all UPS packages go before showing up in my town which is 40minutes away). With the $20 credit I applied it to JustCause2.

I ended up getting busy with Star Ocean The Last Hope and classes. I've yet to play the game since this Summer I didn't play many games. I'm back to gaming again and I really need to buy it (especially since it's cheap now).

Did you enjoy the game?

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tes37
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 11:27:09 PM

It's one of my favorites this gen. I highly recommend it. I'm waiting for Move to play again.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 11:42:31 PM

Limited: Play Heavy Rain. Extraordinarily bad things will happen to you if you don't. ;)

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Qubex
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 12:21:11 AM

tes37, there is a lot of Gabe to slap...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 10:45:16 PM
Reply

Newell is like a new man after accepting the PS3. He's kind of likable through his words. Anyways I would much rather have another game over a movie, but this is what Ive been saying forever! The developers need to create and form a team to work on the movies if a movie is being done based on their game. Bottom line!

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 12:13:19 AM

Actually, it's not really what Gabe says or how he says it these days, what has changed is the PS3 community's perception of Gabe Newell now that he has become the bigger man, swallowed his pride (see what I did there?) and accepted the PS3 as a competetive and even superior console this generation.

This gives Gabe a positive appearance to PS3 fans, and the only thing that's changed with him is his stance on PS3 support. His ideas and opinions on game development are still very much the same.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 11:05:07 PM
Reply

Everything Valve is in charge of is golden. Glad you mentioned their TF2 shorts since they're full of evidence proving their video abilities. The only negative I see with this is making a movie would take away time they could be spending on a videogame.

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556pineapple
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 @ 11:37:14 PM
Reply

It's been a while since I've seen the TF2 videos, but I remember the "Meet the Classes" ones, and those were hilarious. It's funny that this article is up now, because I just mentioned the same idea to someone a couple weeks ago. Game movies should be left in the control of developers, maybe with some Hollywood consultants to help them out with more technical details.

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Snaaaake
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 12:07:00 AM
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Kojima-sensei, nuff said.

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 12:15:00 AM

Kojima has been making movies for years. They're just a little more interactive than your average movie.

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 2:09:10 AM
Reply

My first idea upon reading the headline was 'Uh, duh... Developers already make movies, they're called CUTSCENES MIKE!' But then I realised it was Gabe shoving aside the food to speak, and I read the article and all the comments and now... Well, to be perfectly honest I still feel like saying the same thing.

I think that developers should indeed retain crative control over any of their IPs when and if they go to Hollywood. The developers need to be able to say to the director, or the editor or whatever 'No, this is wrong, this is crap, redo it.' Unfortunately, Hollywood only sees the dollars that they can reap from tapping into a much-loved concept and so butcher it in their attempt to cater to both the fans, and an all new audience. So yes. I agree wholly with Mr. Newell. Leave it to the developers.
/rant
Peace.

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gangan19
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 3:06:46 AM
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i will never agree with this man! evens if its something good

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___________
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 3:41:58 AM
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its only beneficial, simply because i dont think movie makers really A understand the game, and B dont really care about it.
this is why i was worried when i heard there was a uncharted movie being made, but now that ND are helping out my worries are rested.
if there was a half life move being made, valve, and only valve should be the ones making it.

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RobiinzZ
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 8:19:47 AM
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I think this is kinda cool,
Video devs taking over, making great games and great movies would be pretty awsome.

As long as making a movie wouldn't mean, decreased quilty in games or anythin.

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ChronowerX_GT
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 10:06:24 AM
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Half Life, I thought was pretty boring (I gave up after 3 hours.) But if someone was gonna make a movie I'd like them to be in control.

I'd want Hideo Kojima to make a MGS movie if one was going to be made. And I'd want Rockstar to make a GTA or RDR one.

They're the ones that made the game popular by getting the formula and all the other stuff right. To me, they've got a better chance of getting the movie right as well rather than some Tom, Dick or Harry.

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Benzin
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 12:02:34 PM
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Gabe Newell is awesome.

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Highlander
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 12:14:33 PM
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Key thoughts from the article.

<<Newell and Co. thought making a "Half-Life" movie on their own would be impossible, but now...they might just be able to pull it off. The question is whether or not fans of the series would want Valve to do it; might those followers be more interested in another game?>>

For me, I would prefer a game developer to spend two years making a kick ass game that I can spend dozens of hours enjoying instead of having that same group spend two years making a movie I might not see, and even if I do will only last 2 hours at best.

Make a new game.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 12:42:43 PM

Exactly.

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Fane1024
Friday, September 03, 2010 @ 7:34:10 PM

Since when could Valve make a game in two years?

;)

Half-Life The Movie, debuting in 2036, to co-incide with the release of Half-Life 2 Episode 4.

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Alienange
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 12:38:26 PM
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There's a huge difference between video shorts and a two hour production that people will pay money to go see in a theater. I will say one thing though, the writing in games has been superior to that found in Hollywood for YEARS now.

Instead of casting a bunch of nonsense actors, game developers should take the Pixar route. A realistically animated movie with great writing and great voice acting. Then those silly movie goers will understand why gaming is the superior form of entertainment.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 @ 6:36:02 PM
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Valve promises "3 big surprises" are coming "You're going to be "shocked", reckons Gabe.

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=262521





Last edited by BikerSaint on 9/1/2010 6:36:47 PM

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