One of the most critically acclaimed and popular TV shows of the past few decades was Breaking Bad on AMC. Its spin-off, Better Call Saul, has also been hugely popular and successful. Now, ahead of Saul’s final episode, the creator behind both shows, Vince Gilligan, has confirmed that there were plans and attempts to make a video game set in the Breaking Bad universe, but it never happened. And he warns those still wanting a game to not hold their breath.
As spotted by ComicBook.com, Gilligan appeared on a recent episode of the Inside The Gilliverse podcast to talk about the final episodes of Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad’s legacy, and the future of the franchise and its characters. But at one point in the podcast, Gilligan was asked about the lack of Breaking Bad video games and if they had ever wanted to make a game set in that universe. Surprisingly, Gilligan was very candid, admitting that they had tried to get a game made, but that it just never happened for various reasons.
“I’m not much of a video game player, but how can you not know Grand Theft Auto?” said Gilligan on the podcast. “I remember saying to the guys—[who are] off running Apple now…who said yes originally to Breaking Bad— ‘Who owns Grand Theft Auto? Can’t you have a module, can’t there be a Breaking Bad [add-on]?’ Still makes sense to me!”
It appears Gilligan is suggesting that at one point he or his people contacted Rockstar Games about making something based on Breaking Bad, though by his own admittance, he’s not a big gamer, so it’s unclear. Regardless of who he talked to about making a GTA-like Breaking Bad game, it never happened. And this isn’t the only time that a Breaking Bad game was discussed, planned, and then eventually shelved.
“There have been quite a few attempts at video games,” said Gilligan. “And some of them kind of sort of made it to market. We tried to do a VR experience with the Sony PlayStation VR headset. We did a mobile game that lasted for a little while…”
According to Gilligan, a lot of “energy and effort and talent” went into writing new storylines for different games that never happened. And while a mobile game was released, it barely lasted a year before shutting down in 2020 with little fanfare. As for why none of these projects and planned games ever happened, it seems to just come down to a simple fact: Video games are a pain in the ass to make.
“Making a video game is damned hard, from what little I learned through this process,” admitted Gilligan. “It literally takes years and years and millions of dollars, especially when you are trying to break new ground with VR and whatnot. Never quite came to fruition. It’s a shame.”
Another possible roadblock is that Gilligan and his team are very concerned about making sure anything with the Breaking Bad name on it is up to their high-quality standards. During the podcast, he joked about the infamously bad E.T. game for the Atari 2600, joking that they didn’t want a game based on the show that was so bad it ended up buried in a desert. Instead, any game using Breaking Bad characters and set in that world would have to be “great” and would have to include all the details.
With all that said and with Better Call Saul wrapping up later this month, plus Gilligan saying he has no plans to revisit the franchise anytime soon, it seems unlikely the world will get the Breaking Bad game it deserves. In fact, Gilligan warned those of you who might be waiting for a GTA-like game starring Walter White that you shouldn’t “hold your breath” on it ever happening at this point.