At the DICE summit in Las Vegas Wednesday night, Pirates of the Caribbean creator Gore Verbinski gave a chat to game creators about movies, gaming, and his perspective of the industry in general. Beyond his generally complementary comments towards gaming, one particularly interesting aside that perked our interest was the displeasure he expressed towards Disney for not adapting the Pirates universe for an MMO more quickly than they did. According to Verbinski, they didn't even think of starting the project until a few years after the release of the original movie, and did so without his input. Of course, as we all know, they did eventually release Pirates of the Caribbean Online this past year, but Verbinski's comments certainly make us wonder if the game is all that it could have been.
As we reported earlier today, Disney has ramped up its efforts in the MMO space considerably, putting a significant capital investment into what they see as an extension of the brand immersion seen in their theme parks. This conflicts somewhat with Verbinski's perception that the studios see MMOs in the same way that they see plush toys. One has to imagine that Pirates of the Caribbean Online would have been met with considerably more fanfare if it had the Pirates of the Burning Sea gameplay under the hood, but at what point does this sort of discussion degenerate into armchair quarterbacking? In this case, while I don't doubt Verbinski's sincerity on this issue, it sure seems like was hamming it up for the crowd.