‘Jurassic World’ began as a game that Stephen Spielberg “loved”

Though a 'Jurassic World' game didn't see the light of day, Steven Spielberg loved the trailer so much it became a film

Xbox creator and Jurassic Park: Trespasser designer Seamus Blackley has outlined how a game pitch to director Stephen Spielberg eventually morphed into the Jurassic World movies.

Blackley mentioned the story in brief on his Twitter last week (July 23), writing: “I wrote a story and design, and made a trailer. The management at Universal changed, and the project became a film.”

In the ‘90s, Blackley worked at DreamWorks on locomotion physics, and the only way the company would fund a game that used them was if it was a Jurassic Park title. This became Jurassic Park: Trespasser, a 1998 game that Blackley was a producer on.

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Trespasser, a sequel to Spielberg’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park, was received poorly. Trespasser was a first-person game with no heads-up display, where the character’s health was conveyed via a heart-shaped tattoo in the female protagonist’s chest that the player could look down at. Protagonist Anne would also call out how much ammunition she had, similar to the video game version of Peter Jackson’s King Kong film.

In an update to his thread yesterday (July 25), Blackley said Trespasser was a game where “I led a brilliant team straight into hell,” (via VGC).

Blackley says he then received “a lot of death threats” for Trespasser, but revealed that the technology of the game had impressed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, so he asked him for a job.

“I figured I’d hide out deep inside Microsoft and vanish from history,” said Blackley. “I suck at hiding.”

Jurassic World Evolution 2
Jurassic World Evolution 2. Credit: Frontier Developments

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At Microsoft, Blackley came up with the idea of a console for the company whilst on a flight to Seattle, which led to the proposal and approval of the console. Whilst at Microsoft, he also became an agent of the Creative Artists Agency – a company that helps its clients with strategic marketing and consulting services – which Spielberg was a client of at the time.

Blackley and Spielberg had met numerous times before, and Blackley recalled the director telling him: “I don’t like you in this job. Why are you doing this job?”

Blackley later got a call from Jurassic Park owner Universal Pictures, who told him that Spielberg was considering a restart for the franchise, and that it could launch alongside a new Trespasser game.

Jurassic World Evolution 2
Jurassic World Evolution 2. Credit: Frontier Developments

After this, producer Kathleen Kennedy told Blackley to “write a story and gameplay pitch” for Spielberg, and make a trailer for him.

“I wrote a story about dinosaurs on Isla Sorna and the research sites escaping, and about how humans had to come to terms with the original owners of the planet,” explained Blackley. “My thesis was that audiences wanted to know the dinosaurs more than to kill them.”

This game was called Jurassic World, and a trailer for the pitch leaked back in 2013. you can watch it below:

“We had brought these earthlings back, sentient creatures, individuals. And so we need to learn to share, even to be friends. In our game, the humans that want to eliminate the dinosaurs are the enemies. The dinosaurs become our allies. By saving them, we save ourselves.”

Spielberg loved the trailer, but the co-president of Universal left and the game was scrapped. A movie was also in the works, which meant that team got all of the game assets and work as well. “Honestly this was the best outcome possible,” said Blackley.

More of the cancelled game will be shown soon, like the storyboards and art, according to Blackley, who’s set to have a discussion about it next month.

In other news, Riot Games says “almost every” future title it makes will be competitive.

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