Saving Private Ryan: What Cult Game Was Born From Spielberg's Movie?

Saving Private Ryan: What Cult Game Was Born From Spielberg’s Movie?

We owe to Steven Spielberg the idea of ​​a game that will permanently mark the history of FPS games: Medal of Honor, released in 1999 on Playstation. The filmmaker had the idea for the title when he was in the middle of filming his war film.

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With more than 4.13 million admissions in France, including more than 700,000 in Paris-outskirts, Spielberg’s war film was one of the ten greatest successes of 1998. In the United States, it grossed over $ 216 million and over $ 480 million at the global box office. To this triumph in theaters was added a critical success and the Oscar for best director for Steven Spielberg.

Yes We must save the soldier Ryan entered through the front door in the history of American cinema, the very subject of the film provided Spielberg with the material for a game that marked the history of the video game industry.

World War II in his living room

We owe Spielberg the idea of ​​a game that will permanently mark the history of FPS games: Medal of Honor, released in 1999 on Playstation. The filmmaker had the idea for the title when he was in the middle of filming his war film. In 1997 he insisted that DreamWorks Interactive, studio subsidiary DreamWorks Founded in 1994 by filmmaker Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, is working on the development of a “realistic” war game set in World War II.

Spielberg, who was in the midst of post-production on his film at the time, pitched his idea at DreamWorks Interactive. He saw ‘Saving Private Ryan’ as an educational experience as well as an intellectual property. watched a lot of his teenage son play Goldeneye with his friends on Nintendo 64. Could DreamWorks create a WWII-based shooter that could get them to learn about that time while playing? “ says Jamie Russell, author in 2012 of a book, Generation Xbox: How Video Games Invaded Hollywood.

The trouble is that the developers do not really share the enthusiasm of the filmmaker … For them, it is necessary to go more towards a Fantasy orientation (!), Believing that the framework of the Second World War is completely outdated and old-fashioned, in addition to being weakly attractive for a game.

Peter Hirschmann, game producer interviewed in Jamie Russell’s book, recalls: “the team said that what people wanted at that time were mostly laser-beam guns. The idea of ​​creating a game in a relevant historical context and in a low tech gaming environment was a real challenge “.

Spielberg does not budge: historical precision for his future game is essential. And to better support his remarks, he brings in his suitcases military technical advisers and other historians, responsible for ensuring this principle throughout the development of the game. A first at the time, for a practice that has since been largely widespread in the video game industry.

Realism wanted in the game but whose violence and bloody effects will however be clearly purged when the title comes out. The Columbine shooting and yet another debate on violence in video games went through there …

Edited by Electronic Arts in 1999, the huge success of the title led to the creation of the studio Infinity ward by developers who worked on Medal of Honor, now gone to the competing publisher, Activision. Infinity ward which will develop, as gamers know, the now unbreakable license Call of Duty.

In 2000, the subsidiary DreamWorks Interactive was bought by Electronic Arts, which will further popularize the Medal of Honor franchise with Medal of Honor: Allied Assault released on PC in 2002, and its now famous sequence of the Allied landing straight inspired by that of Spielberg’s film.

Souvenir sequence for the most nostalgic among you …

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