The Mad Max game has had a long, odd life. It was first mentioned way back in 2008 as a collaboration between God Of War 2 director Cory Barlog and the movie's director, George Miller. Whether the new 2015 Mad Max is the same game is unclear, but we do know from Magnus Nedfors, the current design director, that Miller was at least involved "super early on" with the current version.
Way back in 2008, when the Barlog/Miller version of the game was announced it, and an earlier version of Fury Road, were to be released together. Miller even went so far then as to say that "I'm delaying the movie in order to do a really good game".
Quite what happened to it all is unclear - initially the 2008 version was created without a publisher but we do know that Cory did ultimately work with developer Avalanche on a version of the game before returning to Sony Santa Monica. In 2013 Avalanche's head of communications Thomas Wiborgh confirmed that "Cory did work on Mad Max while at Avalanche Studios, but I can't elaborate further". That came after Avalanche CEO Christofer Sundberg has previously said that "when we worked together it wasn't on Mad Max".
However, Magnus Nedfor has told GamesRadar this about the current 2015 version of the game: "We had some contact in the beginning of the project. We had consultants from... George Miller was involved super early on just to give us the understanding of his world. So we could take that and form our own version of it, but still staying true to the universe. Then we have run with it, with that knowledge we have created our own game work, own game characters, our own story".
Whether that's from the original 2008 contact via Cory Barlog's project, or another meeting is unclear. Back in 2008 Miller said that Barlog has "already gone through all our material, all our bibles, all our preparation on the movie. He's gone off to do his thing". Miller seems interested in games but is happy to let other people take care of the specifics, adding at the time: "my job is to tell the story through film; at the same time it's someone like Corey's job to tell the story through the game. But there's a cohesion between the two".
In a 2008 blog post Barlog stated that "George and I have put the final touches on the Mad Max story and game design structure and mechanics" and mentioned that together they were looking for a publisher. At the time he talked about how much he'd learned in the process, a sentiment that he's still mirroring today. Check out this tweet from the recent Fury Road premier:
man, I learned so much working with this guy! Great film and a great night. pic.twitter.com/O0leaiQTbbMay 8, 2015
One thing that potentially links the 2008 and 2015 version of the game are the use of harpoons. They feature heavily as a mechanic in Mad Max the game , and the new film (not to mention the generic game goons also look a lot but not quite like the film's War Boys). So is that a left over from when Barlog and Miller were collaborating? The fact that the new game isn't an official tie-in does make it odd that it shares that one specific mechanic with the film when it doesn't even have Tom Hardy's face.
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