Gary Whitta, January 28, 2012
21 July 1972 |
Poplar, London, England
Video game designer
Gary Leslie Whitta (born 21 July 1972 in Poplar, London) is an English-born American screenwriter, author, game designer, and video game journalist. He is known as the former editor-in-chief of both the UK and US editions of PC Gamer magazine and contributor to gaming magazine ACE.
Whitta began his career as a writer and games journalist for ACE magazine. When ACE closed down in 1992, he became deputy editor of The One for Amiga Games and was involved with founding the original PC Gamer magazine in the UK. A few years later, he moved to the United States to become editor-in-chief of the newer, US version, of PC Gamer. He left the magazine in early 2000, but continued to write columns for the publication.
Besides his involvement setting up PC Gamer, Whitta has a long history of involvement with print and online magazines of all kinds. ACE magazine was owned by UK publisher Future Publishing, and in early 2000 Whitta worked with Future to establish a film magazine, Total Movie magazine. Due to financial difficulties at the publisher, Total Movie was canceled after only a couple issues in early 2001. According to Whitta:
I should take a minute to sort out the speculation as to why the magazine died: it was not due to any failure on its part. Actually, we were doing really well, with sell-through rates on the newsstand in the 60-80% region in many places (if you know anything about magazine publishing, you know that's pretty impressive), and we had just finished our first monthly issue and DVD when we learned it would not be printed and published.
While no longer managing or editing, Whitta still contributes game reviews and opinion pieces for a number of gaming publications. His articles can be found in various places, including PC Gamer and 1UP. He also shows up in industry podcasts, for example with Tested.com, PC Gamer and Next Generation.
In addition to contributing to periodicals, Whitta has written a number of screenplays and TV episodes. A partial list, including the text of those which were not picked up, could at one time be found on his homepage. Included among them are both film scripts and TV episodes for Star Trek: Voyager and Futurama.
Whitta has found Hollywood success as the screenwriter of the film The Book of Eli. He was also working on a script known as the "Monkey Project" with Chris Weston, which would have reimagined the classic Buddhist novel Journey to the West (and the related classic television series Monkey) as an animated series. However, Weston pulled out of the project.
More recent rumors have tied him to a Blizzard project, possibly a title based on the Diablo series of games. It was announced on FirstShowing.net that Whitta was set to write the script for the live-action version of Akira. However, Whitta is no longer attached to the project. He wrote the script for the action thriller film Undying. His latest screenwriting work was the sci-fi film After Earth. He was hired to script the first Star Wars stand-alone film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, with Gareth Edwards directing. On January 9, 2015, he announced to have amicably parted ways with the film.
In the realm of game development, Whitta has consulted on a number of game titles. Perhaps his best known contributions have been as a writer for Duke Nukem Forever, Prey, and Gears of War. He has also consulted on general game design for Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Activision, Midway Games, and others. More recently, Whitta has been tapped to oversee the narrative development of Telltale Games' episodic video game adaptation of The Walking Dead, while writing its fourth episode.
Whitta is also the writer behind a popular short series of comic books based on the Death, Jr. character, together with cover artist Mike Mignola and illustrator Ted Naifeh. Having been extended to a second three-part series, the writing has received praise as "charming and cleverly subversive" and for its "quirky characters and slick humor". Whitta spoke about his experience writing this comic with Silver Bullet Comics in May 2005.
Whitta was a frequent commentator on the PC Gamer podcast and he co-hosted the Game Theory podcast with Colin Campbell, which has since stopped being produced. In September 2011, Whitta and Campbell, then News and Features Editor at IGN, started a new podcast in the same vain of Game Theory, called IGN's Game Business Show. He also commentated on the Next Gen podcast until the podcast was canceled.
He was a weekly co-host of This is Only a Test (Tested) and an occasional guest on Behind the Screened Door (Screened), the Giant Bombcast (Giant Bomb) the Comic Vine Podcast, before Whiskey Media was sold in two deals to CBS Interactive and BermanBraun. In October 2011, Whitta helped raise over $50,000 for Child's Play when he co-hosted a 24-hour-long, live-streamed edition of This is Only a Test with Tested creators Will Smith and Norman Chan. Whitta continues to chair the Octoberkast charity event every year, creating the "Space Rocks" game in 2013.
- Whitta, Gary (13 February 2013). "Gary Whitta". Google+. Google. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
- Knight, Gareth. "Amiga history guide". ACE. ACE. Retrieved 2007-09-21.
- PC Gamer, 1996.
- CHUD.com Forum archive, February 2001.
- IW2 review. PC Gamer, July 2005.
- "1Up profile page". 1up.com. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- PC Gamer podcast, June 2006.
- "HIGHLIGHTS: This Week's Podcast - Edge Magazine". Next-gen.biz. 2007-01-19. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- QT3 Forums March 2007. A reinterpretation of the Australian film Freedom Deep and the subject of pending legal action.
- Chris Weston blog, September 2006.
- Diablo Movie confirmed. June 2007.
- "It's Official - Live-Action Akira Confirmed Already for 2009! «". Firstshowing.net. 2008-02-20. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- "Kurt Russell Goes Dark in 'Undying'". Bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- Kit, Borys (May 22, 2014). "'Star Wars' Spinoff Hires 'Godzilla' Director Gareth Edwards (Exclusive)". TV line. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
- DNF script 3D Realms forums.
- GaryWhitta.com biography.
- Prey info at 3D Realms[dead link]
- "The Walking Dead Episode 4: Around Every Corner sneaks over in October". Joystiq. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
- Image Comics Press Release, September 2005.
- QT3 Forums, February 2006
- Shrew Review April 2005.
- IGN Comics April, 2005.
- Silver Bullet Comics Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- The Boys (comics)
- "IGN's Game Business Show". Tested. 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
- "OCTOBERKAST! 24 Hours of This is Only a Test For the Kids!". Tested. 2011-10-14. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
- Whitta, Gary. "I became an American Citizen Today". Retrieved 2010-03-25.
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