How Pixar almost saved the Games Industry

Pixar create something unique and sublime. Intelligent, moving stories that appeal to all ages. They render it … drawing images with computers. They use PhotoRealistic Renderman.  Pixar create believable worlds filled with anthropomorphic characters voiced by familiar Hollywood stars.  The result?: Asinine, trite and saccharine? The very fact that it isn’t stuns me. The films only improve with repeated viewing revealing further humour, knowing references and depth. Pixar movies have replayability. Pixar movies have bloopers. What more can you say?

Games are often shallow, lacking in a compelling reason to return. The second pass is often invalid, as the content lacks surprises and depth.

Buzz Lightyear is a stunning character: funny, overblown, conceited and genuinely engaging. Buzz Lightyear is the greatest character video games never had. The opening sequence of Toy Story 2 still makes me wish for a flash forward to the next-next generation of consoles that can achieve the visual polish of a Pixar movie. By that time we can only presume that software will be a service,  and if my games are sitting on a server somewhere deep in Switzerland (or Redmond for that matter), then I expect that level of visual fidelity pushed back via a high-definition video stream.

Media Molecule are the closest we currently have to a Pixar, creating worlds unbridled by limited imagination. Little Big Planet is a world awash with ideas, constantly changing and evolving  (in a way Pixar cannot do) empowering the viewer to create content and publish.

Media Molecule are content platform creators. Pixar are content broadcasters.

Around 2004 Steve Jobs had contemplated selling Pixar to Microsoft, due to an ongoing dispute with Disney (ahead of their eventual acquisition). What would have happened if Steve Jobs had sold Pixar to Microsoft?

Pixar are the revolution the games industry needs. Lets be entirely clear here, I am not referring to the licensed games rehashing Pixar IP, as a commercial tie-in or brand extension. Empowering Pixar to create games lacking the constraints of technology would astound and engage a whole new audience in an immensely powerful way. The inevitable thought of Pixar and Kinect feels like a secret sauce recipe waiting to happen.


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