By the late 1980s, Spielberg’s influence had extended beyond films and into television, the medium where he created programs like the anthology series Amazing Stories. Much like the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits of Spielberg’s youth, each episode told a self-contained story, though one idea of his would prove too expensive for the show. After also failing to get it financed as a film, Spielberg took the concept to his old pal George Lucas and his team at LucasArts. Those developers took the plot of astronauts discovering a lost alien race in a hollow asteroid and turned it into The Dig.
The Dig went through a lengthy five year development that saw staff, including multiple team leaders, exit the project. One of Spielberg’s largest contributions to the game was toning down some of Dig’s more mature themes following complaints that Jurassic Park was way too violent for the kids that ended up seeing it. The resulting point and click adventure game of 1995 was praised for its high production values, but many LucasArts fans didn’t appreciate the game’s more serious tone, instead favoring comedic games like Monkey Island. Afterwards, Spielberg had hoped the game would prove popular enough to spin The Dig off into the film he wanted to make in the first place, but it was not to be.