'We're changing the model,' says Bruckheimer studio

'We're changing the model,' says Bruckheimer studio
Michael French

By Michael French

May 12th 2009 at 1:12PM

Hollywood guru's team will kill off 'confusing' licensed IP and change how games are made

Jerry Bruckheimer has hand-picked key names from Ubisoft and Microsoft to run his new games studio - and now the team are promising to introduce a new way of making games.

Today the MTV-backed Jerry Bruckheimer Games Studio announced the appointment of former Microsoft man Jim Veevaert as president of production and Ubisoft man Jay Cohen as president of development.

In their respective former roles, the two oversaw big franchises such as Spliter Cell, Assassin's Creed, Ghost Recon, Halo and Gears of War.

At their offices in Santa Monica, however, the two will be working on devising and signing original IP that will have the same impact in games as Bruckheimer's productions Pirates of the Caribbean and CSI have had on film and TV respectively.

"We are going to create content that challenges the way things are done and the experiences gamers have today," said Bruckheimer.

Speaking exclusively to Develop, Cohen and Veevaert explained that they are pursuing a new business model to produce these new IPs. The plan is to minimise the 'disaster' other firms encounter when trying to create big franchises, or the 'confusion' created when working on licensed properties.

Said Cohen: "We have a very thin model; a shift in creating blockbuster triple-A franchises. To minimise disaster we’re frontloading experience and putting together a thin model with executive-level talent that is unencumbered by heavy process in order to be able to nurture and cultivate ideas that work efficiently and effectively.

"We want to leverage the expertise and brand values that Bruckheimer brings to storytelling and that he conveys in television and film – and the way he has successfully been able to connect with broad audiences repeatedly, from Pirates to CSI. Every time they come out you’re looking at an audience in the size of ten to fifteen million people in North America alone – that’s what we want to focus on. Big audiences, broad audiences, and connecting big experiences across multiple mediums.

"In the past studios had a challenge to bring the film experience right into the game or the game experience right into the film – that created a lot of confusion for consumers"

He added: "The traditional large publishers today, just by their nature and size and multitude of activities, find it a bit more difficult to move and act as swiftly and focused, and nurture and cultivate, a number of ideas and react as efficiently."

Instead, the Bruckheimer studio will make sure all the talent work closer together - and quicker, too: "It makes a big difference when you are trying to bring a creative experience to successful fruition by not having to go back and keep going to through layers and layers and layers of discussion, which really just make it more complicated."

Veevaert added: "We want to combine our energies in a way that has never been seen before, and when we bring a product to market we plan to deliver on all cylinders – meaning something that uses the talent that’s available to us in a creative aspect, as well as when we come to market we will be able to execute on things that people haven’t been able to do before in terms of how we deliver the entertainment experience and how that allows consumers to connect with the experience in an interactive and non interactive manner."

Click here for the full interview