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Opinion: Scarface Writer Cagey On Game Adaptations

A new report from the Hollywood Reporter has highlighted reservations held by Hollywood
A new report from the Hollywood Reporter has highlighted reservations held by Hollywood scriptwriter David McKenna concerning video game adaptations of popular movies, noting, "I don't think every movie makes a good video game, just like not every story makes a good movie." McKenna, whose Hollywood work includes Blow and American History X, recently completed his first video game script with Vivendi's upcoming Radical Games-developed Scarface: The World Is Yours. After lamenting that movie adaptations are "getting to the point where you're just bastardizing the whole business just to make a buck," he further offered his opinion that that such adaptations offered very little merit on their own, though he was quick to point out that he was impressed to see what Radical put together with Scarface. McKenna cited the film's singular viewpoint and over-the-top darkly humorous main character as particularly apt for a game translation. “What they've done in this game is amazing,” the writer added. “There are certain things you can buy in this game, including Manny's and Tina's ashes. That's the type of details these guys have come up with.” The game picks up in an alternate scenario where gangster Tony Montana survived the assault on his Miami home. The game puts players in his shoes as he tries to re-establish his criminal empire. Al Pacino, who played Montana in the 1983 film, licensed his likeness (though not his voice) to Vivendi for the game, despite being the lone holdout in The Godfather's cast not to lend his support to EA's game adaptation of that film. Further commenting on his first time experience in working within the video game industry, McKenna noted that the job was a great deal of work, and did not pay as well as he might have liked. “I think that if they come to the realization that they can hire good writers to create video games, in the long run it will help sell more copies,” he said. “You get what you pay for, unless writers and actors make sacrifices like we did on this game. But they're not going to be making sacrifices too many times, trust me.” Scarface: The World Is Yours ships on October 6 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC, with a version for the PSP titled Scarface: Money. Power. Respect scheduled to ship that same day.

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