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District 9 director Neill Blomkamp is making a game now

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Major Hollywood director Neill Blomkamp is venturing into the world of gaming, and he’s working on a big multiplayer shooter.

Blomkamp—the brains behind Chappie, Elysium and the excellent District 9—has joined the recently formed Gunzilla Games as its chief visionary officer. He’ll be working on a currently unannounced AAA multiplayer shooter, working with the studio to define the game’s overall design, storytelling, audio and more. Blomkamp told IGN that his role is “an egalitarian version of being a film director,” saying that he’ll be “bringing directorial skills” from his films to “the aesthetic of the game.”

It’s not technically Blomkamp’s first foray into gaming, having previously directed Conviction, a short movie for EA’s dearly departed Anthem. He was also meant to direct the Halo movie that was sadly canned before it ever saw the light of day. It’s his first time in actual game development though and, discussing some of the differences, Blomkamp said unlike film directing he’s “not acting like a single point that guides the creative team,” adding games require you to be “integrated into the team in a real way.”

I am very excited to join @GunzillaGames !!!! https://t.co/j0GsalxY14July 20, 2021

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“I can come in with a very definitive point of view, but it has to work on two levels,” he said. “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 says he hopes to create “a more convincing, awesome world to drop the player into” with the contribution of his narrative and directorial efforts. When asked if he could compare his role to the one George R.R. Martin is playing in the upcoming Elden Ring, Blomkamp responded “you’re thinking in the right way.” He also said he’s been a big gamer for a while, finding Remedy’s Control “highly fascinating” and that he’d also be interested in exploring a “near future science fiction” setting for Gunzilla’s shooter.

He doesn’t give away much more about the project than that, though he seems pretty psyched to be making the move from gamer to game developer. Blomkamp is an ace director, and I hope he can come in and find a way to express some of that talent in the shooter format—something which can feel awfully stagnant at times.

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