July 11, 2007

Gaming -- Spielberg and EA

PQRS block game coming out for Nintendo Wii console (motion sensing). Steven Spielberg teamed up with EA (Electronic Arts) for the game. Next up Indiana Jones?

When Steven Spielberg signed a deal with Electronic Arts Inc. two years ago to make three videogames with the world's biggest publisher, everyone assumed the titles would all ooze the kind of storytelling and characters Mr. Spielberg is known for at the movies. Instead, the first game to come out of the collaboration is all about, well, blocks.

The game, code-named PQRS (a title that samples from the latter half of the alphabet), is part of a wave of new games EA of Redwood City, Calif., is making for Nintendo Co.'s Wii console, with its motion-sensing controller that has proved a big hit with families and other game novices. What PQRS lacks in dinosaurs, extra-terrestrials and other Spielbergean characters, it will attempt to make up for with simpler pleasures.

In PQRS, players will create structures out of virtual blocks that they then slowly destroy using a variety of methods, attempting to keep the structures standing as long as possible. For instance, players will be able to aim a hose at a tower by aiming their Wii controllers, selectively spraying away blocks. People familiar with the matter say the company is hoping to get it out in time for the holiday season, though officially the company will say only that it expects to release it by the end of March.

The second game the director is doing with EA – code-named, naturally, LMNO – is more consistent with the Spielberg film canon. Designed for Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360, the consoles best able to reproduce movie-like images, EA will say only that the game is set against the backdrop of an "epic story." Players assume the role of a character who follows the action of the game with a female companion in tow.

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Posted by staff at July 11, 2007 08:35 AM