George Miller’s Dream ‘Mad Max’ Game Sparks Fury From Original Dev

Furiosa director's comments praising Kojima, critiquing previous game draw fiery response from Avalanche founder

Mad Max

Christofer Sundberg, founder of Avalanche Software and creator of the Just Cause series, has furiously fired back at Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller after the filmmaker dismissed the developer’s 2015 Mad Max game while advocating for Hideo Kojima to take a crack at the franchise.

In a recent red carpet interview ahead of the premiere for his latest film Furiosa: A Mad Max Story, Miller revealed he would love to see the acclaimed Death Stranding creator put his stamp on an adaptation of the iconic post-apocalyptic wasteland.

“It wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be,” Miller bluntly stated regarding Avalanche’s Mad Max game which launched the same year as Fury Road. “I’m one of those people that’d rather not do something unless you can do it at the highest level.”

Those comments clearly rankled Sundberg, who took to Twitter to accuse Miller of “complete arrogance” and “nonsense” while defending Avalanche’s divisive open-world take on the property.

“I’m sure that Hideo Kojima would make an awesome Mad Max game,” Sundberg conceded. “However, the game we did would have been an entirely different experience.”

He claimed that after originally pitching an open-world game, the still unnamed publisher forced Avalanche “to make a linear experience rather than the open world game we pitched” partway through development.

“We threw away a year of work and heard that ‘players want autonomy in this day and age’,” Sundberg recounted. “Well, no sh*t…”

Larian Studios’ director of publishing Michael Douse piled on, alleging that Avalanche “didn’t even have access to the 2015 film, so it’s pretty difficult to capture the spirit of it when legal is precious about IP.”

For his part, Miller gave a backhanded compliment about supporting another Mad Max game adaptation, but only if it’s helmed “by someone like” the acclaimed Metal Gear and Death Stranding auteur Kojima, citing his philosophy that “I’d rather not do something unless you can do it at the highest level.”

That stance seems a direct slight at Avalanche’s post-apocalyptic open-world effort, which famously began development as a different IP before becoming a Mad Max game late in the process. While divisive among critics, it did develop a cult following for its brutal vehicular combat and striking visuals.

Miller’s comments align with reports from over a decade ago that he was collaborating with God of War reboot director Cory Barlog on a more narrative-driven Mad Max game that was ultimately scrapped when the IP rights were acquired for Avalanche’s version.

That the-one-that-got-away scenario appears to be fueling Miller’s desire to take a more hands-on “highest level” approach should Hollywood inevitably mine his adrenaline-fueled universe for gaming again.

The 78-year-old filmmaker seems to see the ideal candidate in his friend and creative muse Kojima, whom Miller has cast in a mystery role for the upcoming Death Stranding 2. The legendary developer has heaped praise on Miller’s Fury Road and its prequel spin-off film Furiosa, suggesting a potential mutual interest in collaborating.

Of course, any gaming adaptation of Mad Max’s brutal wasteland would mark a stark departure from the cerebral, arthouse territory Kojima has explored with the likes of Death Stranding. But the iconoclastic creator certainly has the vision and clout to put his unmistakable stamp on the property should such a project ever materialize.

Just don’t expect the original developers at Avalanche to be too thrilled about it. As Sundberg’s fiery tweets demonstrate, Miller clearly touched a nerve by so overtly disparaging their work while pontificating on his vision for the highest level of Mad Max gaming adaptation.

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