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Last Updated: Friday, 14 October 2005, 08:18 GMT 09:18 UK
Spielberg takes film magic to EA
Steven Spielberg
Spielberg said to be a passionate and avid gamer
Steven Spielberg, who worked his magic with ET, is now looking do the same with games giant Electronic Arts (EA).

The acclaimed film director has agreed to develop three original games with EA's Los Angeles studios.

Work has already started on the first of the three projects, which EA says will be a next generation game which appeals to a broad audience.

The deal is a further sign of how Hollywood and the games industry are moving closer together.

Earlier this month, another Oscar-winning director, Peter Jackson, signed up to work on movie version of the best-selling sci-fi shooter Halo.

Jackson, whose latest project is King Kong, has also been closely involved in the game version of the giant ape film.

Creative force

Spielberg, 58, has made blockbuster movies such as ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The Oscar-winning director is said to be a passionate and avid gamer.

EA's Neil Young
You can expect it to be something that appeals to a broad audience
Neil Young, EA Los Angeles studios
For his work with EA, Spielberg will have an office at the company's LA studios to work side-by-side with the game developers.

Spielberg's role will be similar to that of an executive producer on a film.

The aim of the deal is to create three original games, rather than a title based on a movie.

"Having watched the game industry grow from a niche into a major creative force in entertainment, I have a great deal of respect for EA's understanding of the interactive format," said Spielberg.

The games under development will take advantage of new technology in upcoming gaming consoles, which offer powerful processing power and more realistic graphics.

"No one is more at the centre of understanding gameplay and great storytelling than Steven Spielberg," the head of EA's LA studios, Neil Young, told the BBC News website.

"Being able to draw from Steven Spielberg's experience in crafting incredible stories and combine that with our view of interactivity means you will have richer fiction, deeper characters and better sense of immersion."

Work has already started on the first of the three games. Electronic Arts has not released details of the project, but Young suggested it would take a couple of years to finish the game.

"You can expect it to be something that appeals to a broad audience," he said.

EA will own the intellectual properties on the games and will develop, publish and distribute them worldwide.

Spielberg's DreamWorks had produced games for a time under its DreamWorks Interactive division, but EA bought it in 2000.

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