Just found out about this myself. Unclear at the moment whether it will skip over DMA Design entirely in favour of Rockstar. What I’ve been able to find out so far is that it is a 90 minute drama about the making of GTA which will air after the watershed.
I’ll update this post with the latest when I can. May be rough in places
Guy Cocker, who developed it, but didn’t write it has said on Facebook that he can’t yet answer the question of whether or not DMA Design is featured. Interesting.
Update: now that I’ve had a chance to talk with some DMA folk, it seems that this is the first anyone has heard of it. Definitely going to be a Rockstar only gig, I think.
Which would suppose that the famously insular Rockstar North is not involved at all.
Facebook contained this exchange:
Gary Penn: “Go, Guy! Is it all the way back to the quaint, humble DMA origins or focussed more on the far sexier Rockstar years?”
Guy Cocker: “Unfortunately I can’t say more at this stage Gary but I’ll hopefully be able to talk about it soon.”
It is part of the BBC’s new initiative to get kids coding, a season of (TV) programming which suggests we might see it around September this year. Reading between the lines, I believe that it has been written already (Guy “developed” it) by a so-far unnamed person, but not yet filmed. Update: filming begins April 20th and it is written by James Wood and directed by Owen Harris.
The BBC has form for this kind of production, having previously dramatised the creation of the ZX Spectrum by Clive Sinclair. It featured a supposed rivalry between the Spectrum and the BBC Micro. I say “supposed” because back in the day everyone knew the rivalry was Spectrum versus Commodore 64!
Update: Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Sam Houser is potentially to be played by Daniel Radcliffe, along with some other creative types who are involved.
More interesting, from my perspective, is the confirmation that it is based on the book Jacked, with the emphasis apparently being on the conflict between the Housers and self-styled anti-GTA nemesis Jack Thomson. This seems to me to be far from the BBC’s initial announcement that it was part of a season geared towards getting kids coding. This removes any doubt that the DMA years might have played a part.
It’s a shame that the story is not about the creation of the game itself, but about the politics surrounding it.
I may be wrong, I would be happy to be wrong, but here is a huge missed opportunity to dramatise what actually goes into making a game. But as ever, controversy sells.