After 5 years of negotiations with the Chaplin family, who hold the management of Charlie Chaplin’s image rights, the Canadian studio B Df’rent Games has obtained the license to develop a video game dedicated to the legendary actor. The go-ahead came after the family viewed and approved the project. The conditions imposed by the heirs are: “no violence, sexism or racism. Just pure storytelling”. “Conditions that are much more important than money,” he said Yves Durandmuseographer and expert on Charlie Chaplin.
Durand helped found the museum in Switzerland Chaplin’s World, in collaboration with the actor’s children. And it was Durand himself who acted as a link between the artist’s family and Robert Young, co-founder of Montreal-based game developer B Df’rent Games. The studio now has free access to Charlie Chaplin’s pictures, films, music and private archive material.
“One of the most fascinating things about Chaplin is that if you still show a film of his to a group of 10- and 15-year-olds, they start laughing,” Young said. “What he did, how he did it, how he expressed himself, how he moved still makes people laugh today. The figure of him lends itself well to video games “
After five years of negotiations, the development of the Charlie Chaplin video game is underway
Young, who describes Chaplin as a “humanitarian, pacifist and spokesperson for universal values”, says he hopes to bring these values to video games as well. His purpose is in fact to create a “social impact” game, and to do so he will collaborate with Indie Asyluma video game developer cooperative in Montreal.
“We spent five years talking to the family – continued Young – e more than negotiations on copyright it was a question of finding common lines regarding the values of the game”.
Although the Chaplin video game concept is still under development, Christopher Chancey of Indie Asylum (via CBC) reports that the game will deal with the theme of the social struggle between rich and poor. Young promises that the developers will be very meticulous, just like Charlie Chaplin was in his work. The development phase will be supported by a crowdfunding campaign that will begin in 2023 and Young doesn’t rule out the title being released the same year.