A portion of a Gamasutra interview with Night Trap co-creator Tom Zito…
“What I can tell you, without disclosing confidences, is that if we raised exactly three hundred and thirty thousand dollars, we’d have enough money to pay the developer, press the discs that we need to press, and fulfill the orders that we would have received.”
Like every movie ever made, Super Mario Bros. started off with the best of intentions. In early 1990, just weeks after The Wizard hit the box office, White decided to get serious about making a movie based on Nintendo’s incredibly popular plumber. With The Wizard, which starred Fred Savage and centered around an autistic videogame prodigy, Nintendo had agreed to license their logos, trademarks, and game footage to Universal Pictures, who produced and distributed the movie. Nintendo was paid $100,000 for the intellectual property, but notably, and contrary to public opinion, they had no creative approval over the final film beyond the initial script and the implementation of game footage. On one hand, this deal could be viewed as a major coup for Nintendo, who was actually being paid to have a ninety-minute commercial produced about its games. But on the other hand, in this case the dominant hand, a company who considered their best quality to be control had effectively parted with that right for a modest sum. This is not to say that Universal kept Nintendo in the dark, because they didn’t—White even had an open invitation to visit the set in Reno—but it cautioned Nintendo against getting involved in a similar situation, especially after the resulting film turned out to be exceptionally mediocre, fun and watchable but not much more than a ninety-minute Nintendo commercial. Perhaps Nintendo’s commercials were guilty of being “just good enough,” but everything else the company produced was great, so when White pushed the idea of a Mario movie, Arakawa had been open to the idea as long as the movie could achieve greatness.
Get a better look at the upcoming Atlus USA RPG.
The following comes from a Total Xbox interview with J Studios business development chief Daniel Kaplan…
It’s mostly about platforms that make sense… With the release of PS4 and Xbox One I think we have fulfilled most of the needs for now. There aren’t many platforms left to release on. We’ll see, whatever makes sense and if the platform has the user base for it. We won’t release on the platform if the base is very small because it’s much too big of an effort.