Former Rockstar Dev Working on Game About Iranian Revolution

A writer with credits in Grand Theft Auto III, Max Payne and, later, Alan Wake is now working on an entirely different project, likely controversial in its own way: "1979: The Game," based on the Iran Revolution.


In an interview with the Russian news site RT (above) Navid Khonsari recently discussed the project. 1979: The Game is one of two projects for the studio Ink Stories, which Khonsari established with his wife in New York.

The game is focused on the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979, and will explore the events from the perspectives of the students, the hostages, and others involved in the incident, a signal event in the overthrow of Iran's monarchy.

"We're primarily looking at about 8 to 10 different roles," Khonsari told RT. "I'm using truths that exist in history, so the initial alliance of the U.S. with Saddam Hussein is one thing that we look in - maybe you come in through the border between Iran and Iraq; or maybe you use the U.S. alliance with the Taliban at that time."

Khonsari said one of the game's objectives is "to start some kind of social dialog amongst people who are going to play it - not just in the West, but around the world," Khonsari said. "It's not a matter of bad guys going after good guys, or good guys going after bad guys."

Khonsari worked for Rockstar between 2001 and 2005 and is credited with helping give GTA III its well-known cinematic presentation.

Former Rockstar cutscene director working on '1979: The Game,' about Iran Revolution [Joystiq]


I'm definitely interested in this project.

I would question whether it would actually be a game since part of the purpose of a game, I would think, would be to be fun in some way or another. Is this actually supposed to be fun, or just thought-provoking and interesting?

Regardless of that, I love the project and the complex ideas that are going into it. The realm of digital interactive entertainment, and thus videogames, needs more content on this level.

Will it sell well? Maybe not - it may depend both on how it's marketed and to whom, as well as what its creators consider "well". Nonetheless, if this is a high quality product with a strong, mature subject matter and can garner some attention and press while still impressing those who review it, then it could be a landmark work, and one whose nature I hope to see more of.