James Cameron Pushes 3D Gaming with Avatar

After 14 years in the making, James Cameron believes he can deliver on Avatar

By Eliot Fish in LA

While Hollywood bigwig Steven Spielberg trawls the E3 Expo floor for inspiration, Titanic director James Cameron is grinding out the completion of his upcoming sci-fi blockbuster Avatar in collaboration with Ubisoft.

The game based on the film is important for two reasons: it pushes stereoscopic 3D graphics and shares the same digital assets as the movie itself – in fact, Ubisoft created 100 visual FX shots for Avatar (Ubisoft acquired Hybride Studios in 2008, the studio responsible for the effects in 300 and Sin City).

Cameron wrote the treatment for Avatar 14 years ago and took it to his team at Digital Domain, only to be told “we cannot do this; the technology does not exist”. After seeing Gollum in Lord of the Rings, Cameron decided to dust off his ambitious concept and partner with Ubisoft.

“I felt Ubisoft brought the same passion, commitment, and imagination to Avatar as they bring to their own in-house creations,” explained Cameron at Ubisoft’s E3 press conference, adding that he was determined Avatar not suffer the same fate as other film-to-game adaptations. “We utilised highly sophisticated technologies in creating Avatar so, when it came to choosing a game company, I wanted a partner that would not only be inspired creatively by the world of Avatar, but would have the capacity to keep up with the challenging demands of its technological needs. Ubisoft was that company.”

The game, which is coming to all next-gen platforms, is being demoed at E3 on a giant 103-inch 3D HD Panasonic plasma screen, capable of displaying images separately to the left and right eye of the viewer, and the effect is undeniably stunning. The average consumer isn’t going to have the luxury of enjoying the game on one of these monster screens, but the technology behind the game will ensure it has a similar eye-candy impact on more modest set-ups.