We knew that James Cameron is a gaming aficionado and that he has a vision of how the movie industry and video gaming may converge down the road... But how far down the road?
Seems we may have arrived. Cameron has gone out and hired Jacob Stephens, a classically trained and experienced video game designer away from Lucas Arts to join his "Avatar" effects team where he will be focusing on background and animation / design. Sure, this perhaps has happened before but I have not heard of it. Cameron gets it! He realizes just how closely related these two entertainment industries are and is seeking to optimize it. Stephens has created over 50 other video game environments that have gone on to win awards and become best sellers including several of the Star Wars games.
"I've been trying for years to find a job where my skills could be used in film, and it looks like I finally have" stated Stephens.
Cameron of course is working with Ubisoft to create "Avatar" the video game as well.
I can clearly envision Cameron building a stable of versatile movie AND game designers and using the exact same backgrounds and environments made for one in the other. Think about it: It saves a heckuva lot of development time and also translates the feeling and immersion from one medium to the other. Its all part of the same franchise regardless! Makes perfect sense. Of course Cameron makes perfect sense most of the time.
December 2009 seems like an eternity doesn't it? Well the wait is going to be well worth it. Can't wait to pick up a game controller for the game either!
Image courtesy of Press & Sun-Bulletin