Hollywood director JJ Abrams was not in the least bit happy with Star Trek: The Video Game. He also believes it may actually have hurt Star Trek: Into Darkness, and doesn't care who knows it.
Speaking to Gamerhub at the DVD launch party for Star Trek: Into Darkness, Abrams expressed his frustration at the game in no uncertain terms.
"The last game, which was obviously a big disappointment to me, was something that we were actually involved in from the very beginning and then we sort of realised that it was not going in a place where we were going to get what we wanted, so we dropped out and they continued to do it despite... y'know," said Abrams. I believe "y'know," in this instance, is polite-speak for "it sucked."
"To me the video game could have been something that actually really benefitted the series and was an exciting, fun game with great gameplay, and instead it was not and was something that I think, for me emotionally it hurt, 'cos we were working our asses off making the movie and then this game came out and it got, this isn't even my opinion, it got universally panned and I think that it was something without question that didn't help the movie and arguably hurt it."
Ouch. Thankfully, the experience hasn't put Abrams off the idea of film/game crossover projects. He's currently working on a couple of Portal and Half Life related projects with Valve, and knows exactly how movie/game collaborations are usually viewed.
"I think that, we all know is that anyone who loves video games and loves movies... very, very rarely does a movie based on a game, or a game based on a movie, really work," he said. "It usually ends up being something that everyone that goes to play feels like this was a marketing decision made by a room full of people that wanted to capitalise on a title. That's no way to make a game and no way to make a movie.
"The dream is - we're working with Valve right now on a couple of projects - is to say okay, despite its existence as a game, despite its existence as a movie, what makes this great? And starting from scratch, let's make this from the ground up great, regardless of what's come before.
"And that's me, whether it's a video game or a book or a movie or a song. Anything that is based on something else, it needs to exist on its own terms. And a lot of times these seem to exist as an ancillary product, in which case it will suck."
Amen, brother. If only JJ had thought to put Into Darkness' deleted Benedict Cumberbatch shower scene into the game somehow. I'd have bought it 1,000,000 times over - problem solved.