Gabe Newell explains why Hollywood has not made a Half-Life movie.
Valve's boss has not green lit any Hollywood movies based on the studio's games because he believes fans would be disappointed by the end product.
Speaking in an interview with Jamie Russell for the book "Generation Xbox: How Video Games Invaded Hollywood", Gabe Newell said that if Valve went down the path of licensing property to a Hollywood studio, they'd be losing control and the fans would be ill-served.
"Most people were just trying to vampire off the success and popularity of the [Half-Life] property, without any real understanding of what made it an interesting or successful property in the first place," Newell said. (Russell, 288)
"This writer was trying to convince us that it'd be cool to have this new modern cavalry with these Kevlar-armoured horses charging across this field. It has absolutely nothing to do with what made Half-Life an interesting entertainment experience for our customers," he said.
"It was just bizarre." (Russell, 288-289)
"Most of it will be terrible," says Newell. "But some of it will be brilliant."
Newell continued to say that Valve no longer has the luxury to just being a games company - its fans are cross-media consumers who want to view movies based on their favorite games and vice versa. He added that Valve fans could possibly service the gaming community better than Hollywood, using the Star Wars films as an example.
"If Lucasfilm has taken all the assets they had created for Star Wars: Episodes 1, 2 and 3 and released them to the fan community and said ‘you guys go and make three 90-minute movies', in aggregate the community would have built better movies than George Lucas did. I'm not being hyperbolic at all," Newell said.
"I mean literally they would have made better, higher quality entertainment than he did. The key is to connect the dots for the community in terms of giving them the tools that they need. If you can mod a game like Half-Life 2, there's no reason why you can mod a movie like The Phantom Menace." (Russell, 290)
Newell believes that Hollywood will have to collaborate with their fanbases to create entertainment experiences to best service the fans.
"Most of it will be terrible," says Newell. "But some of it will be brilliant." (Russell, 290-291)