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EA: Yeah, That One Steven Spielberg Video Game Is Never Coming Out

EA: Yeah, That One Steven Spielberg Video Game Is Never Coming Out (photo)

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Spotting Steven Spielberg at the Electronics Entertainment Expo is kind of like playing “Where’s Waldo?” You know he’s going to be there; it’s just a matter of where you’ll see him. The first time I saw him at E3 a few years back, shock ran through me. “One of the greatest filmmakers ever loves video games?!” It’s never surprising to see younger I’m pretty sure I saw him in Electronic Arts’ massive booth, checking out (I think) a Medal of Honor game before that series got its controversial reboot in the new game that comes out this week. Spielberg actually had a hand in creating the WWII shooter series.

Anyway, it wasn’t a surprise, then, when EA announced a partnership a few tears later between their LA development studio and Spielberg to create new video game properties. In the 2005 official statement, Spielberg then said:

“I have been playing EA games for years and have watched them master the interactive format.” Spielberg said in a statement. “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. I’m looking forward to working closely with the team in Los Angeles.”

The first games to bear Spielberg’s name were the Boom Blox games for the Wii. Formerly known under the PQRS codename, they were clever physics-based puzzles games with cute characters but not what anyone was expecting from the Spielberg/EA union. What people were really waiting for was LMNO, an ambitious, story-driven sci-fi project that was announced at the same time. A 2007 article from Newsweek–written by one N’Gai Croal–describes the game:

The second game, code-named LMNO and made for Xbox 360 and PS3, can be described as “North by Northwest” meets “E.T.” –if E.T. were female, grown up and, um, hot. You don’t play as the girl, however. You’re an ex-secret agent, and the bond that you forge while on the run with the computer-controlled woman–good, bad, indifferent–determines the nature of her special abilities and the ways in which she’ll assist you. Says Spielberg: “The challenge is, can the game have an emotional impact on players while they are actively manipulating the world?” Based on the clever ways in which he and EA are extracting a genuine performance from their digital Eve–complete with eyes that widen, lips that curl and translucent skin that lights up in different colors to express her quicksilver moods–we think Spielberg’s got yet another hit on his hands.

But it seems like LMNO–pronounced ‘elemental’–will never see the light of day. Developer Jake Kazdal–an industry veteran who worked at the EA LA studio, as well as at Sega and other companies–went on Gamasutra’s podcast and told the story of how politics seemingly killed the game. Joystiq further expounds in a post full of other goodies []:

Kazdal expanded on the project as it once was, saying, “I don’t wanna get the EA police on me. I can’t say too much. It was very ambitious. We had a small team — very smart people on it. And we spent a lot of time thinking and talking. And doing some stuff. And it just sort of … I don’t know exactly what was the thing that made it fall apart.” He further explained the cancellation of the project — a project he claims to have worked on for two and a half years — by saying, “I’m sure anybody you ask is gonna tell you something a little bit different, but it didn’t end up ever taking off. There was some rival game stuff that may or may not have come out of EA that was basically the same thing minus some of the stuff we were doing. There was just a lot of politics.”

Ironically enough, Kazdal’s gone indie and the Skulls of the Shogun game that his Haunted Temple Studios is making has been hotly anticipated ever since showing at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle this summer. Chances are, politics won’t torpedo this project.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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