Director Neill Blomkamp Developing Multiplayer Video Game

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Sci-fi director Neill Blomkamp was originally set to direct movie based in a shooter video game series — Halo — and now he’s developing a shooter video game, sans the film part. The unnamed game in question is a multiplayer shooter with narrative elements, but no further details were revealed.

In an interview with IGN, the District 9 and Chappie director spoke about joining new German developer Gunzilla Games as chief visionary officer. It sounds like a vague role, but it appears like he would be giving his experience directing films and translate it into video games. He even said it was like “an egalitarian version of being a film director.”

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Blomkamp seemed to have high hopes for the shooter. He stressed that “player agency and the ability for players to just interact with it in a shooter environment” was the top priority, as nebulous as that statement is. Worldbuilding and narrative, two features not typically associated with multiplayer games, were also important to him. He reminisced that he spent about 95% of his time thinking about the worldbuilding for his film Elysium to tell the 5% the viewer sees, which is a mentality he wants to carry over to this game.

He didn’t reveal much else but did state that is still fascinated by science fiction; something that’s pretty evident when looking at his filmography. Blomkamp also cited Remedy’s Control, a Game of the Year contender that originally released in 2019, as a “fascinating” game. Its environmental destruction, ray tracing capabilities, and “really interesting design language” were highlights, but it’s not clear if these will carry over into whatever Gunzilla is creating.

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Blomkamp also spoke about what he thinks of the video game medium and how it is the next dominant form of entertainment that he wants to get in on. He said he looks at passive forms of media like books or television shows as something that will always be there, but “highly interactive” pieces of media will be more alluring. While he did admit that he did not have game design experience, he thinks that he has “other expertise” that can still pay off and “potentially make the game interesting.”

As was previously stated, Blomkamp was originally set to direct a Halo movie, but the project fell through as studio funding stopped. He did, however, direct a few Halo shorts that were collectively called Halo Landfall. That seven-minute collection is on YouTube.