Best known for his films District 9, Elysium and Chappie, South African-born Neill Blomkamp joins the relatively new AAA game developer Gunzilla Games as the chief visionary officer to work on an unrevealed multiplayer FPS game.
While he is most well-known for his work on Hollywood blockbusters, he also co-founded the independent film studio Oats Studios with his brother Mike Blomkamp. Using a combination of live-action and photo-realistic computer-generated mediums, they created sci-fi experimental digital short films which are available on YouTube and Steam. A few of which stars pretty big Hollywood names like Sigourney Weaver and Dakota Fanning.
According to IGN, Gunzilla Games began its journey last year and started pre-production on its first game which is currently unnamed. The studio features the developmental talents from Crytek, Ubisoft and EA among others.
Blomkamp is officially labelled a visionary
Blomkamp said in the interview with IGN that his expertise would guide the upcoming game in the design, sound and narrative departments. He explained that his unorthodox role of chief visionary officer will serve as “an egalitarian version of being a film director”.
“The difference [from directing a film] is not acting like a single point that guides the creative team,” he said. “It’s making sure that you’re integrated into the team in a real way. I can come in with a very definitive point of view, but it has to work on two levels. It has to be accepted by the greater team as the right creative direction to go in. And it also has to be, first and foremost, something that can integrate into the architecture of gameplay in a way that’s beneficial to the game,” Blomkamp explains.
Blomkamp’s role at Gunzilla Games will be a long term one but we doubt it’ll mean we won’t still get other projects from the director, screenwriter and now visionary officer. But for the time being, he will be focusing on exploring and introducing narrative elements into the upcoming multiplayer shooter. Not unlike George R.R. Martin’s role in the upcoming From Software game Elden Ring.
Could the future of cinema be games?
The move from filmmaker to video game creator isn’t too surprising when you think about it. Especially since, thanks in part to the pandemic last year, the video games industry outperformed the film industry. This is the main reason that Blomkamp cites for his transition into games.
“Games will become what films were in the 20th century,” Blomkamp said. “They’ll just be the thing that is the dominant form of cultural entertainment and [I want] to be in that. Mixing my history in visual effects and interest in 3D graphics means I want to have a home base in the creation of games for a really long time. So if the game is a success and everything works out, hopefully, I’m staying at Gunzilla for a long time.”
While we don’t have any more details about the game, for now, we will be keeping a close eye on its development because narrative elements in a multiplayer FPS sound very intriguing, and if anyone can pull that off it’s got to be Neill Blomkamp.