The recent movie trilogy would certainly never have been made without Steven Spielberg and Seamus Blackley.
After the success of the first trilogy (especially the first two films) Jurassic Park, the license is unearthed by Universal in 2015 which will give 3 new films: Jurassic World (2015), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) and the recent Jurassic World: The Next World (2022). What if we told you that in reality, this sequel could have been a succession of video games signed Steven Spielberg and Seamus Blackley?
That’s what Blackley, the father of the Xbox, reveals in a Twitter thread which details the anecdote.
From the flop of Jurassic Park Trepasser to the design of the Xbox
For that, you have to go back in 1998. At the time, Blackley was working for Dreamwork Interactive and working on Jurassic Park Trepasser, a FPS supposed to be sold as the direct sequel of the movie The Lost World released in 97. During the development, the software loses its budget and is hastily released in 1998 without having had the chance to be polished. It is a real oven full of bugs and absolutely not optimized which fails very quickly.
However, the game offers enough technical prowess for the time and this tour de force allows Blackley to make a place for himself at MicrosoftThe opportunity for him to “disappear” from the scene to be forgotten.
Except that discretion is obviously not his strong point and the man will be part of the team that will create the very first Xbox. A few years later, Blackley left Microsoft to found the Capital Entertainment Group with Kevin Bachus, one of his former comrades at Microsoft.
With his new company, Blackley is brought in to work with the CAA (Creative Artists Agency), to help them financially, including Steven Spielberg is a member. The two men met many times and worked together on various projects by keeping good contacts. The famous director will go so far as to say to Blackley that he “wastes his talent” to do such a job.
Years go by and Blackley finally receives a phone call fromUniversal who offers him a job and announces to him that Spielberg is decided to put Jurassic Park back on the videogame scene by proposing a sequel/reboot of Trepasser.
Back to the roots and birth of Jurassic World
Around 2012, Seamus leaves his job at CEG to work on this new game with Steven Spielberg. The idea this time is to offer something different. For the developer, players would be more fascinated if they had the opportunity to interact with dinosaurs, trying to understand them and live with them, instead of shooting them in a silly FPS.
I wrote a story about dinosaurs escaping from Isla Sorna and the research sites, and how humans had to reconcile with the original owners of the planet. My thesis was that the public wanted to UNDERSTAND dinosaurs, more than kill them.
From this concept came many artworks, storyboards and especially a trailer to expose his idea to Steven Spielberg and Universal. The name of the game is also presented: Jurassic world
After the demonstration, the feedback is positive, even from Spielberg who will find himself more motivated than ever, and Blackley goes to work.
Meanwhile, at Universal, the management changes hands and the project is finally put on hold for a while before being simply cancelled. Blackley will be thanked. The developer therefore packs his bags and gives the fruit of his work to Frank Marshallone of the heads of Universal.
We know what happened next, a few years later, Colin Trevorrow released the film Jurassic World, which gave birth to two other films, the last of which, The World After, was also signed by him. Films that will be co-produced by Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall.
But Jurassic Park had the right to games anyway
So we were close to see Jurassic Park come back to life through a recent (for the time) video game, instead the pitch and the ideas ended up in Hollywood’s sleeve and made 3 hyper profitable blockbusters. On the video game side, in addition to mobile games, we had the right to an ersatz narrative game with Jurassic Park: The Game which takes up the events of the first films, as well as a VR game focused on infiltration and survival, Jurassic World Aftermatch.
But it is mainly Jurassic World Evolution that have marked the license. Two titles developed by Frontiers (Planet Zoo) that offer us the possibility to build and manage our own dino park by surfing on the different movies of the license. For the time being, whether in the cinema or on the videogame scene, the license has no announced project.