Why George Miller Doesn’t Like the Only Good Mad Max Video Game

There has only been one good Mad Max video game, and director George Miller doesn't seem to care for it very much.

Mad Max game
Photo: WB Games

During an interview with Gaming Bible, Furiosa director George Miller was asked about the possibility of a new Mad Max video game. Somewhat surprisingly, Miller not only referenced developer Avalanche Studios’ 2015 Mad Max video game but confessed that he was disappointed in that title.

“It wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be,” said Miller of the most recent Mad Max game. “We gave all of our material to a company to do it. But, you know, I’m one of those people who would rather not do something unless you can do it at the highest level or at least try to make it at a higher level.”

Well…ouch. So, what about the possibility of another Mad Max game somewhere down the (fury) road? Miller isn’t making any promises, but there is one person he’d love to see take a crack at the concept.

“I’ve just been speaking to [Hideo] Kojima here who came all the way from Japan,” Millers says. “If he would take it on…but he’s got so much fantastic stuff in his own head that I would never ask him. But if someone like that would take it on.”

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The Kojima name drop isn’t a surprise. Kojima has referred to Miller as “my god,” so he’s clearly a fan. It seems that admiration runs both ways, which makes sense given that Kojima is an auteur game creator with a tendency to do things his own way. That approach not only likely fundamentally speaks to Miller but has resulted in games that are as eclectic and energetic as Miller’s own work.

Miller’s comments about the 2015 Mad Max game require a little more context. As he notes, Miller and the team provided quite a bit of input and material to developer Avalanche Studios during that game’s development. The idea was for Avalanche’s Mad Max game to be released alongside or just before 2015’s Fury Road movie. Unfortunately, a number of logistical issues, publisher battles, and general chaos pushed the game back to its eventual September 2015 release date: four months after the release of Fury Road.

In essence, Miller seems to be commenting on the amount of time, money, and hope that went into that game and how so much went wrong between the conception of that title and its release. Actually, former Avalanche Studios boss Christofer Sundberg recently took to Twitter to share his thoughts on Miller’s comments, and he suggests that the director may not be entirely aware of how much the studio had to battle just to get that game made.

“This is complete nonsense and just shows complete arrogance,” says Sundberg regarding Miller’s comments. “They did everything they could to make this a complete linear game after having signed up with a developer of open-world games…After the first year of development, they realized that they had forced us to make a linear experience rather than the open-world game we pitched. We threw away a year of work and got to hear that ‘players want autonomy in this day and age.’ Well, no shit…”

Sundberg adds “I’m sure Hideo Kojima would make an awesome Mad Max game, but it would be a completely different experience.” Well, at least everyone seems to be on the same page there.

While it’s difficult to play 2015’s Mad Max and not see the symptoms of its turbulent development, the game has become a cult classic in recent years. Its car combat mechanics and dangerously chaotic wasteland environment are widely recognized as highlights that make it easier to overlook the obvious last-minute additions of certain open-world elements (repetitive quests, various technical problems, and largely uninspired Ubisoft-style open-world layout decisions). Part of the reason the game has grown in acclaim over the years is because there are so few open-world titles released since that come close to replicating the things it does well.

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Sadly, it doesn’t sound like we’ll ever get a direct sequel to that title. Still, it’s the best way to hop back into the Mad Max universe after watching Furiosa. Give it a shot, and I think you’ll find a lot to love.

Now, about that Kojima Mad Max game…