Activision game turns players into ‘players’

Cyberbiz brief

Activision has signed a multi-year deal with vidgame designer Peter Molyneux for publishing rights to his film-biz simulation, “The Movies.”

Activision’s deal with Molyneux’s Lionhead Studios gives the Santa Monica publisher worldwide rights to distribute “The Movies,” and any sequels and add-ons, on PC and console platforrms. The game lets a player run a movie studio, beginning in the silent era and progressing through to the present and beyond. After picking cast, crew and script, and overseeing production and editing, the finished “film” screens on opening night. The player has to balance fractious talent, tight money and audience demands to keep his studio going.

Blighty-based Molyneux is one of the vidgame biz’ most storied developers, known for “god game” simulation titles such as “Populous,” “Dungeon Keeper,” “Theme Park” and “Black & White.” The latter title sold more than 2 million copies after its 2001 release. Its novel premise allowed players to raise up a demi-god of either good or evil proclivities that rules a population of human worshippers. A sequel is in development.

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