Verbinski wants 'zero narrative' approach in new game project

Verbinski wants 'zero narrative' approach in new game project
Michael French

By Michael French

March 10th 2008 at 3:02PM

Pirates of the Caribbean director developing new title, says the 'broken' games industry model 'has to change'

The director of Pirates of the Caribbean, Gore Verbinski, has said he wants to start overseeing production of a new games project, despite last month pointing out the shortcomings of the medium at the DICE conference.

Speaking to the LA Times, he said: "I've got something in mind that I've had for about a year. I didn't want to jump into gaming from the executive level. I really want to sort of engage on a creative level."

The concept behind the game is "a little bit out there" he said, adding that despite enjoying the likes of Halo and BioShock he's "not interested in jumping in to compete with those guys".

"I want to come in from a completely different direction. I've had a tremendous experience in the film industry, taking knocks and figuring out how to navigate that world. Before I assume I know how to navigate this one, I want to observe."

Verbinski said it's the narrative elements of video games that attract him most: "We are on the brink of something phenomenal. It's a completely different form of narrative than being told a story in the traditional sense. So all the narrative rules, although I enjoy them, you have to start throwing them away and say, 'Wow, look at what you can do here in this world!'

"I'm interested in exploring an emotional response to a game, which I haven't really seen. I've seen the visceral adrenaline response, but I haven't really played a game where I feel… tremendous loss.

"I'm also interested in anti-narrative. The initial response is that gaming needs good writing. I've heard that. They need screenwriters. Well, hold on a second. Before you jump to that conclusion, I don't want to impose cinema's narrative onto a completely different medium. I think that's naive. The fact that the player is also the audience means you shouldn't be imposing a scenario where the audience is passive. Don't put those rules onto gaming. So out of that came in my mind new forms of narrative. I said, 'Well, wait a minute, what if there is zero narrative?'"

He also repeated his criticisms of Disney's attemtp to create Pirates of the Carribean tie-in games, saying that "model for producing games is broken. I think it's kind of a merchandising model rather than an art-form model. So I don't blame the people internally at Disney. I just think things have to change because it's diminishing the brand of gaming overall when you're producing stuff just to make a shelf date."