The Movies is an original strategy-simulation game that calls on players to use both their creativity and their management skills. Developed by Lionhead Studios (led by visionary designer Peter Molyneux), the game puts players in charge of their own Hollywood movie studio, with authority over everything from project approval and budgeting decisions to conception, scripting, directing, and editing of the movies the studio produces.
The business sim aspects of The Movies put players in charge of developing the studio and keeping it running smoothly. Beginning with an empty lot, players build their business by purchasing the facilities and equipment they'll need to produce a feature film, from actors' trailers and wardrobes to stages, lighting, and cameras. They'll have to decide which movies are made, how much is spent on the productions, and even how they'll treat their star actors. Will they abide distracting on-set romances and childish tantrums for the sake of the art, or send actors packing when they don't recognize the producer's ultimate authority?
The movie-making aspects of the game are designed to give players realistic cinematic tools and near-complete creative freedom. Inspired players can take charge of every step in the process: hiring the talent, approving the script, shooting the scenes, and editing the final product in post-production. The game's 3D actors, props, sets, and editing tools are designed to allow creative players to take extensive control over every shot and put professional polish on their final film.
Whether players prefer to spend their time schmoozing the front office or shooting on the soundstage, in the end, the studio will live or die by the financial success of its movies. There is lots of money to by made by following trends, sticking to popular genres and actors, and staying on schedule, but a well-run studio can stay afloat with independent films and pet projects as well. Even if the player takes no direct role in the creation of the films themselves, responsible budgeting and proper marketing can make nearly any movie profitable.
For those players who would rather pour themselves into the movie-making gameplay without worrying about all the paperwork, the game also features a sandbox mode, which gives them freedom to use any of the studio tools without worrying about balancing the budgets or winning the box office. Films created by players in the game can be uploaded and shared on the Internet, so virtual producers and directors can share their favorite creations with a real live audience.