Movie directors were pulled out of the woodwork for E3 2009, among them Steven Spielberg and Titanic, Terminator 2 allumni James Cameron. Whom was at Ubisoft’s E3 2009 keynote to speak about the upcoming game adaptation of his film Avatar (which hits theaters on December 18th, 2009). The game will be the first videogame title that was made from the ground up in stereoscopic 3-D.
Although no actual game footage was shown, Cameron spoke at-length about his involvement in the videogame. He said that he handpicked Ubisoft to helm the Avatar game, saying that he didn’t want anything associated with Avatar to suck. And that Ubisoft had the pedigree needed to create a game in line with his vision.
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In order to achieve that, he spoke of how the game must not be “a slave” to the film, and thus the game had a lengthy game-centric production schedule instead of having to match the schedule of the film as in most licensed games based on movies. The game will also include new weapons, characters and storylines. In fact, the teams so worked together that some elements that were started in the game made it into the movie and vice versa.
Avatar takes place on a far away moon called Pandora some time in the 22nd century. The planet resembles Earth’s rain forests, covered in lush plant life and towering trees that stretch more than 4,000 feet above the ground. The larger-than-life atmosphere caries over to the creatures that inhabit this world. The dominant creatures on Pandora are the Navids, which look terrifyingly fierce but are actually quite docile. They are 10 feet tall, have blue skin, and resemble felines. Though they are peaceful, they will fight when provoked. However, humans cannot live on Pandora, so they create Navid/human hybrids that are known as avatars. These are real human beings that live, breathe, and otherwise interact with the world, but they are controlled by a human driver. And when the two species meet, conflict arises.
Here is part 1 and part 2 of James Cameron’s Ubisoft E3 2009 Avatar speech.
Additionally here is a GameSpot interview with James Cameron discussing Avatar the videogame.