Charlie Chaplin enters the era of the metaverse

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Charlie Chaplin enters the ; era of the metaverse

Chaplin is known on five continents, all generations combined, according to Yves Durand.

The Quebec studio B Df'rent Games created a surprise last week by announcing that it had obtained an exclusive worldwide license to develop video games based on the images, films, music and archives of Charlie Chaplin.

< p class="e-p">The project manager is above all Yves Durand, museographer who has also known the Chaplin family for fifteen years. He worked very hard to establish a bond of trust with the heirs and heiresses of the actor, director and screenwriter, by participating in the foundation in 2016 of the Swiss museum Chaplin's World.

“If we hadn't done Chaplin's museum in Switzerland, we would never have obtained this license. »

— Yves Durand, co-founder of B Df’rent Games

In an hour of rights negotiations with the family, 55 minutes were about respecting Chaplin's work, and 5, about the amount of the check, illustrious Yves Durand, co-founder of the studio. That is to say that the main concerns of the Chaplin estate, which forms a board of directors with the artist's eight children, were not monetary, but rather moral: we must not distort the work of their father.

“I remember during the negotiations saying to them: "If your father was here, he would be okay as long as it respects his work." »

— Yves Durand

Founded in early 2022 specifically to obtain these rights, B Df'rent Games could have done business with a French, Ukrainian or American giant to adapt into games video the legacy of the silent filmmaker. However, it was on the Montreal group of independent studios Indie Asylum that his choice fell.

Indie Asylum, which is also an investment fund, was ideal for taking part in this ambitious project.

There is a collective, even cooperative, dimension within Indie Asylum. Their values ​​and philosophy fit perfectly with those conveyed by Charlie Chaplin in his films, explains Robert Young, co-founder of B Df’rent Games. He says it took about eight months to find the perfect partner in the global pool of gaming companies.

“I prefer to work with a collective of creators and creators than with a giant, with whom we could not go so far. »

— Yves Durand

B Df'rent Games is also the result of an association with the company Miralupa, whose expertise revolves around technological innovation , especially augmented reality.

One would therefore think that this technology will have a place of choice in the company's future games. After all, the license obtained by the studio includes all variations of games on existing and even future platforms… including the metaverse!, exclaims Yves Durand.

Yves Durand wanted B Df'rent Games to obtain the exclusive rights to Charlie Chaplin's work in order to avoid being overtaken by a giant like Pixar, for example.

We can thus imagine ourselves frequenting a virtual world in a few years in which we could stroll with the mythical vagabond.

A point and click game (point and click) – a genre in which you progress through an adventure by clicking on objects in a still, sometimes animated, image and interacting with a computer mouse – would be an interesting avenue, according to Danny Godin, COO of Indie Asylum.

The point and click is a natural link with Chaplin's work, but we really haven't reached the point point to declare [anything about it], he says.

“All genres are on the table , both in terms of character representations and what he could do on screen.

—Danny Godin

What is certain is that the games will be different, as the name of the studio indicates.

We want the small, or the good, to try to win against the evil, as Chaplin does in his films, notes Yves Durand.

“We will bring out images, scenarios, stories, the themes he addressed, and project them into today's world. »

—Yves Durand

You might even see a Charlie Chaplin in color: The only thing you can't misrepresent is the original material from his cinematic work, he says.

Yves Durand says he wants to consult the famous filmmaker's vast fan base throughout the creative process.

Charlie Chaplin is also very popular with young people: the official YouTube channel in tribute to the filmmaker accumulates some 30 million views per month, mainly from young Internet users on five continents.

With its global license, B Df'rent Games intends to collaborate with “several stakeholders in cinema and culture around the world”, d 'after Yves Durand, who adds “nothing to be able to reveal for the moment”.

Charlot has a naive, rebellious look, and he walks like a child. That's why young people love him, and families too, says Yves Durand.

“His humanism makes him the hero ideal for the 21st century. »

—Yves Durand

Although teams from Indie Asylum have already been working on the creative aspect of the project for several weeks, B Df'rent Games is still at the research and development stage.

The Fans of the mustachioed wanderer in the bowler hat can still expect to play their first Tramp video game within a year and a half.

We'll take the time necessary to to do things well. […] It will not be in two or three years all the same, but if it takes more time, we will take it, underlines Robert Young.

We don't have never needed Charlot so much, pleads Yves Durand.

Filmmaker Charlie Chaplin died on December 25, 1977.

To the question to to know if Charlie Chaplin had an unsuspected link with Quebec, Yves Durand laughs: No, not at all.

The only time Charlie Chaplin came to Quebec was in 1910. He arrived with an English theater company that was touring North America. He had traveled third class, in the bottom of the boat, at the end of the autumn. He was a bit lost at the time, he says.

He only stayed one night, and he didn't like Quebec very much, reveals- he, specifying that it was a time when it was commonplace to throw tomatoes at the artists on stage.

Otherwise, the filmmaker went through a few times Montreal for promotional tours.

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