GAMING

Almost 20 years later, I still want a remake of the PC simulation game that turned me into a Hollywood movie mogul and rocked my world

When I was 13 years old, my life was completely consumed by The Movies – the 2005 management sim developed by Lionhead that made me feel like a true film director and Hollywood mogul. From putting together scripts to hiring actors and turning them into bonafide stars, I spent my days building up my very own studio that grew over the course of several decades. As times changed from 1920s all the way to the ’00s and beyond, so too did the technology and the demands of the audiences. That’s really where the challenge came in, as you constantly had to adapt to ensure your movies hit it off at the box office, rake in awards, and keep the costs of the studio afloat. 

But as satisfying as it was to see my studio evolve from a few facilities to a thriving movie empire and household name, it’s stayed with me for all these years for an entirely different reason. Alongside being in charge of running just about everything, you could also make your own custom scripts to craft and shape every movie you made scene by scene. I spent hours meticulously putting together short films to show off to my family, like I was putting on my own premieres at home. Sometimes, I’d even rope my dad into recording lines of dialog that my actors would lip sync to make the scene really come alive. Everything I made in that game is now sadly lost to time, but I’ll always fondly remember how creative it allowed me to be. What I wouldn’t give for a remake or re-release. 

Star power  

The Movies

(Image credit: Activision)

I’ve always enjoyed watching films both and new, which lent itself perfectly to the set up of The Movies when I came to play it back in 2005. I grew up on a diet of ’80s action movies, ’90s teen flicks, and romances and screwball comedies from the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s. As I got a little older, my dad gave me an education in the likes of The Godfather, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Planet of the Apes, Friday the 13th, and Alien. The beauty of Lionhead’s sim was the way it played out over the decades and captured different parts of film history, from silent cinema to over-the-top blockbusters. 

Because of the toolsets Lionhead provided, it was easy to emulate the classics I grew up watching. Many of the built-in scenes you could add in the advanced movie maker feature were playful homages to iconic movie moments, albeit with their own goofy spin. Once I had the right sets and costumes, I can remember excitedly creating my own Clint Eastwood-inspired Western, with my actors tensely dueling with pistols against a desert backdrop, sporting wide-brimmed hats and boots with spurs. If I wanted to make my own version of Star Trek, I absolutely could thanks to the sci-fi sets. And a detective noir? A piece of cake. In many ways, The Movies always felt like a big, humorous love-letter to cinema.

The Movies

(Image credit: Activision)

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