I put together this long winded post in an e-mail to my friends, I though I'd share it with you guys as well. I'm usually only contributing to the trolliness of this forum (casue the negative vibes here usually drive me nuts) so I thought this would be a nice contribution for a change:
I think EA's move to bring in a heavy weight like Spielberg is a great move and an exciting one for EA and for the industry. The game industry needs to evolve beyond what it is... beyond the creation of highly derivative games. The industry needs to develop it's ability to tells stories effectively and who better to contribute then someone from hollywood who's been telling stories through a lense for decades?
Take a second to look at the film industry... The art of film making continues to evolve and advance despite there being no new genres created in the last twenty years (or more?) Technology has enabled more people to tell the stories in the way that they want them to be told. Less limitations has enabled film makers to give us a wider variety of unique experiences.
Games are a lot like movies, they are for the most part about telling a story... games have the huge advantage here though, in a game you're a part of the story, you're not just watching it take place. Unfortunately, most game companies, can't tell a story in their games even if their lives depended on it. The game industry has a LONG way to go to refine it's ability to tell a story. Few games have really been able to tell immersive stories that truly tie a game together.
Bringing in talent like Spielberg adds a shit load of credibility to the table and could very well be the catalyst for the inclusion of some cool developments on this front. This of course remains to be seen and I have my doubts... but why would EA spend millions of dollars on Spielberg (I'm guessing they spent that much on him) if they didn't want to make something different or better? Spielberg's name on the box alone isn't worth that amount of money, he has to be able to bring something new to the table otherwise this move won't be worthwhile for EA.
Half life 2 was the best game to date with regards to making me feel like I was truly part of another world where a story was unraveling and the friendly NPC's really gave a shit about me and reacted to what I did in their world. The NPC's eyes and body language would show me that they were following me around the room. If I knocked something over while they were around they'd tell me to be carefull... If I walked away from them while they were talking they would yell at me to come in closer... etc. I think that the likes of Spielberg can add to these types of moments in games, make them more integral to the game play and hopefully bring us better games.
Currently the types of people that play games are very similar in many regards. We're mostly males, we're twenty something, we're typically techies, geeks, jocks or a combination of the above. When we can make games that are capable of getting us to feel emotion, then we'll start seeing people that are attracted to chick flicks, people with more socially oriented skills or desires i.e. women. When we are capable of creating games that develop an ability to get across some form of social progression, something that is able to truly tell the story of the plight of a person, a company, a country, a people (that doesn't involve war) then we will attract people that like documentaries or films on history. i.e. as our industry hones it's skills we'll start being able to create new experiences, different styles and stories but in similar genres to what are available today, as we do that we'll start attracting people that don't fit into the jock, geek or techie groups. This will develop the market by making new market segments available, thus encouraging publishers to make new games from totally different perspectives.
In order to create the games that will attract these different market segments, we need to hone the industries skills on the games that have been proven to attract the current market that is available to it. So we'll continue to see relatively derivative product, but better versions of it that will prove that we can expand beyond yet another WWII FPS.
Bringing in people like the Spielbergs of the world into the equation will hopefully help the industry tell stories better, get gamers to feel more emotion then just fear, anger, aggression... Once the industry has proving we can do that, I think we'll see the industry expand into different areas...
So on the contrary, I think that having brought in Spielberg to EA they are in fact setting up a path that gives EA the opportunity to advance the art of game making.
Let's just hope it happens.
As a side note, I find it funny that there are so many people on this board bitch about the sequelitis that this industry is faced with, but a post or two later, these very same people are begging for a remake of an old game that they used to play... It's fucking hillarious... and painfully ironic.