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Exclusive: Facebook Game, Mafia Wars, Being Developed Into a Feature Film

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | June 28, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | June 28, 2010 |

The extent of my knowledge when it comes to the social-networking game Mafia Wars is pretty much limited to the Mafia Wars badges that clutter Facebook feeds when I’m trying to find out something important, like what sandwich Skitz ate for lunch yesterday. From what I can gather from a cursory glance over on Wikipedia (oooh, when’s Wikipedia: The Movie going to come out?), Mafia Wars is like Sims for the Mafia: You master jobs to earn cash and experience, grow your criminal enterprise, and hire extra mafia members. I assume those jobs that need to be mastered include assassinations and the like. I assume also that it has an addictive quality, if 25 million people are playing the Zynga game. But, then again, it doesn’t take much to hook an iPhone audience — my wife once spent three weeks playing a FB game that involved building your own hair salon, and she’s much smarter than I am.

The point I’m getting at is this: Mafia Wars is being made into a movie, which I believe makes it the first Facebook game to get a feature development deal (don’t quote me on that, and I’m sure Farmville is close behind). Details are scant on the project, as what could the details possibly involve besides the logline, “crime thriller based on the popular video game.” Ted Field and Radar Pictures are developing the project, and given Radar Pictures’s recent output — Swing Vote, The Invention of Lying, All About Steve, Everybody’s Fine, and The Box — I wouldn’t buy a lot of HSX stock based on the idea. The project is being inputted into scriptwriting software out to writers now.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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