Vince Gilligan once pitched a Breaking Bad game in the style of GTA. For all his writing is some of the sharpest on TV and his characters and themes have provided the medium with some of its darkest and most fearsome moments, it's endearingly sweet how naive he is about the whole thing. It's easy to forget, as grown adults who had dedicated their lives to toys, that many other grown ups have not touched a video game in decades, and are often perplexed at how their popularity has entered the stratosphere, and confused as to the evolution games have rapidly undergone. A lot of times when I hear these interlopers discuss video games, it draws an eyeroll or a shrug, but when Gilligan recently talked about his game idea, I can't help but smile.
On a recent episode of the Inside the Gilliverse podcast (side note: that's just a bad name all over, right?), Gilligan revealed his lack of knowledge of the video game world in such a charming way. "I'm not much of a video game player, but how can you not know Grand Theft Auto," he said on the show. "I remember saying to the guys that are off running Apple now, who said yes originally to Breaking Bad, 'Who owns Grand Theft Auto? Can't you have a module, can there be a Breaking Bad [game]?' [It] still makes sense to me!"
It makes absolutely zero sense to me, Vince mate. A Breaking Bad module? Like a mission or DLC pack, a la Stranger Things in Far Cry? I guess that maybe could have worked, although I likely would have hated such a cheap tie-in, but is that even what he means? Or does he mean more of a sandbox adventure game, much like GTA, but set in the world of Breaking Bad? Inside the Gilliverse, one might say.
It has such a brilliant stoner energy to it. "Hey dude, why don't we just like, make GTA? Like, it's us brah, but it's GTA? Wouldn't that be sick dog?" It means absolutely nothing! He spoke to some people who do not have any link to GTA and tried to get a Breaking Bad 'module' in GTA! But it's so darn cute and I want his little sandbox dreams to come true.
A little while ago Norman Reedus seemed to leak Death Stranding 2, bizarrely telling interviewers that it wasn't like Ms. Pac-Man. This is a man who is close friends with Hideo Kojima, and who has starred in one of the most engrossing and original video games of this century. And yet his touchstone for whether or not a video game is any good is how it compares to Ms. Pac-Man, which launched in 1982. There's a part of me that thinks it’s hilarious that this is how we found out about Death Stranding 2 rather than as some Keighley Keynote Kommerical, but it's also a little strange to see video games still discussed in this way. Imagine if you interviewed Vin Diesel on the set of Fast 10 and he told you "it's real cool baby, it's nothing like Rocky 3!"
I felt very little for the Reedus thing besides minor irritation, but the Gilligan thing fascinates me. I want someone to hold his hand and take him on a tour of a video game studio. Show him where the modules are made. Tell him what a GTA game is. I want someone to make his Breaking Bad sandbox. It's a pretty great idea, even if expressed in such a clumsy way. GTA But It's Breaking Bad is a helluva sell. Rockstar themselves are probably too wrapped up in other projects, but I'd quite like to see Rocksteady, CDPR, or Edios take a crack at it. Don't do it for me. Do it for the Gilliverse.
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