After months of hype and controversy, Michael Moore's newest film, Fahrenheit 9/11, is doing massive numbers at the box office. In its opening weekend it brought in more money than any other documentary before it, and is on its way to hitting the one-hundred million dollar mark, a truly impressive feet for a $6,000,000 film about the evils of our current President.
But as impressive as those numbers are, not even Michael Moore could believe it when Electronic Arts decided to purchase the license to Fahrenheit 9/11. "Here's the biggest video game company in the world buying up the most controversial movie of the Summer, it's a match made in heaven," remarked a spokesperson. Although it will probably won't be a Halo-killer, EA is banking a lot of money on the chance that it might spur on a brand new franchise. Not much is known about the actual game play, but EA insiders assure us that it will be open-ended like Grand Theft Auto, feature the flavor of Michael Moore's movies (and TV shows), while providing a fun environment full of interactive events, similar to their sports line.
Although they were quiet about the exact details surrounding the online modes, Electronic Arts did insist that the game would include online voter registration and one-sided information about the candidates. EA is also considering allowing Xbox Live owners a chance to vote together, so you can talk through the process and attempt to change other voters mind; all this in an attempt to get out the youth vote.
Of course, Electronic Arts has had prior experience when it comes to the delicate craft of porting a documentary to video game. Few remember EA's first attempt, Roger & Me, a first generation Genesis port that introduced the video game world to our overweight hero, Michael Moore. Due to a licensing dispute, Electronic Arts was never able to port the game to the Super NES, although they had intended to.
It would seem as though Fahrenheit 9/11 is just the first of several documentaries Electronic Arts is considering releasing in the PlayStation 2's lifecycle. Several of their development houses are working on ports of such movies as Super Size Me, Hoop Dreams, and Winged Migration. No information has been made available about what kind of games they will be, but Defunct Games will be the first to bring you any information.
It's anybody's guess whether Michael Moore Hates America, the counterpoint documentary by Michael Wilson, will be picked up by one of EA's competitors. Sega and Electronic Arts have always fought it out in the Football arena; one can only hope that these two rivals can make dueling political games with updated content and debates. The skies the limit with Sega's first person mode and EA's long standing tradition for quality titles. Who will win, and will documentary-based video games be the next big thing? Perhaps only time will tell.