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Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#1 Copy


I was reading stuff online about like a Mistborn videogame?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, we'll still working on it. It's taking much longer than we thought. The developer, that producer of the game and I had chosen, they, ah, had a falling out and split and so we had to start over from scratch and that's what really threw us for a loop. We then took it to a really prestigious one-- game company that I love and they considered it for a long time, but it turned out that they just didn't have the time and couldn't do it. So now we are kind of back to square one finding a third group to do it.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#2 Copy


Who's going to make the Mistborn game, and when is it going to come out?

Brandon Sanderson

Who's going to make the Mistborn game and when's it going to come out. So they bought the rights to that like four years ago and then their game studio divided and the people-- the gaming guys were like "Yeah this happens" and they had an architecture but then it fell through and they said "Oh we're going to do it for nextgen" and since they said that we haven't really heard anything. So...

Y'know, this happens in gaming all the time, they're a good studio, they have lofty ideals, but most of the games they make are not on the scale of Mistborn. And so they have until 2017 to make something. I still have not seen any sort of playable architecture or anything like that… So we'll just wait and see... Their name is Little Orbit. They have mostly done movie tie-in games. There's a bunch of people-- It's the gaming industry out in California so three of the people there were from Interplay and three of the people there were from this studio and they've all made big games before but this studio itself, they just aren't being able to get it together to make a big game. So if they do-- I mean I really like them, if they get it going I'll be super excited to see it happen but once 2017 rolls around I probably won't renew their option and say "Well it's time to let this one lapse".

Mistborn: Birthright Official Cancellation ()
#4 Copy

Matthew Scott

Hello everyone.

This is Matthew Scott, the CEO for Little Orbit, and I think we're overdue for a final update on Mistborn: Birthright.

First, we can now definitively say that this project isn't going to happen. Please know that it's not for a lack of effort. Even as a publisher, the video game industry isn't easy, and sometimes the best will in the world isn't enough.

Second, I want to thank all of Sanderson's fans who reached out with their feedback, encouragement and support over the years. It was truly a great experience to be adopted as part of the Cosmere community.

Lastly, I would like to thank Brandon, himself. He was a patient, great business partner, who produced an amazing story for the game. I still hope he finds a way to release the details or reuse it in some fashion.

Mistborn has been a personal passion project of mine, that we started back in 2011.

Many people don't know that by mid 2012 our internal development group at Little Orbit had a completed vertical slice for the game that we showed to a few journalists at E3. The game was much smaller in scope at that point, but progress was good. Then in late summer, a partner in our development studio sold his stake to a major publisher, and we had to get creative on how to split up Little Orbit / Game Machine / Papaya Studios. In the end, half of the development team went along with the deal, so Mistborn got shelved for a time.

From there it took about a year to get the project back on track.

During the break, we internally agreed that Mistborn fans deserved a bigger/better version of the game. During this second iteration, we engaged a number of larger RPG developers, and we started talks with Obsidian. Chris Avellone was a huge advocate, and he has always been a big fan of Brandon. But after months of discussion, their schedule proved to be too complex, and the game went back on the shelf.

We spent more time to rethink our approach, and we decided to increase the budget as our search continued. In 2014, we started talks with High Voltage Studios. The goal was to use their Saints Row technology to make a spectacular open world Mistborn game. I still believe that this is the best vision for the game. It combined elements of Assassin's Creed and Dishonored with the physics gameplay of Allomancy. We got our funding secured and even had a kickoff with Brandon in early 2015.

And then the unthinkable happened.

In a series of months two of Little Orbit's retail distributors went out of business taking large chunks of our revenue with them. Funding for future titles was immediately canceled, and it nearly bankrupted the company. We barely survived.

In the end, I am deeply saddened we couldn't get this made, but rather than continue to hold onto the rights, I'd like to see someone else make the amazing Mistborn game we would all love to play.

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely, Matthew Scott CEO

Daily Dragon interview ()
#5 Copy

Daily Dragon

According to your blog, an RPG video game called Mistborn: Birthright, based on your Mistborn series, will be coming out in 2013. Can you give us a teaser?

Brandon Sanderson

It's set hundreds of years before the first trilogy. I'm writing the story, and it's about a young nobleman who gets entangled in events he did not expect at all. It should be a whole bunch of fun, and I'm trying to work into it things like the origins of the mistcloak and fun stuff like that, [so] we can dig into the past of the world and see the origins of a lot of things that we see later on in the series

Shadows of Self Edinburgh UK signing ()
#6 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

To forestall the other inevitable questions. Movies have been sold for: Mistborn, Emperor's Soul, and Steelheart. They are all in development, none have started filming. Be skeptical of any film deal until someone starts shooting a camera, okay? Right? Just be aware of that, when something starts filming, you can get excited. Until then, just know that people are paying me lots of money to not make movies from my books. *laughter* Which is very nice.

The video game's kind of just in limbo. The guys who are working on it--there's a Mistborn video game--they're great, but they had setback after setback. So I would, if I were you, not hold my breath on that one. Maybe it'll happen, maybe it won't. If it does it's a happy surprise.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#7 Copy


Do you have any word on the Mistborn video games that are coming out?

Brandon Sanderson

I have no official word, other than to say that we did option the rights to the film to the people who are making the video game, and told them, "You have to make the video game or you can't make the film." I actually really like them, and their script treatments on the film are great. And it's not their fault, really, that the game hasn't taken off. It's just that they've had - these things happen in video games. The studio they were working with went under, and another one split, and this sort of stuff happens.

Google+ Hangout ()
#8 Copy

Google Moderator

Before we wrap up, Brandon have you got any news about movies or a Mistborn game?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, the Mistborn video game is very much a go. The guys at Little Orbit have just been awesome. We are working together to make an excellent game, I hope. I'm working on the story. I've turned in to them an overarching story for the whole, for the game and they are taking that and building the game and level design around that and then I will come back after they've done that and actually write the dialogue for the characters that moves the story along. So the video game is a completely go, cross-platform PS3, Xbox 360 and Steam for 2013.

The movie we are pitching to studios this month, so hopefully we can get something rolling on that, I have no news other than what I posted on my blog which is we've now got a good screenplay, it's quite good and now we're trying to pitch to studios and trying to convince somebody to pick this thing up and run with it. We're really hoping that, you know, fantasy has a really good reputation right now because of the excellent Game of Thrones adaptation, and so we're hoping that people will take a look at some good fantasy properties and that we can get a film made.

Brandon's Blog 2012 ()
#9 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Today we're officially announcing Mistborn: Birthright, an action-RPG set in the Mistborn world.

To those who have been paying close attention, much of this may not be surprising. The MB:B website went live earlier in the month, and I have tweeted several times about the impending game. In short, we're hoping to do a fun, fast-paced, action game with some RPG elements, cool Allomancy effects, and some (hopefully) killer dialogue. That last part is my job, as I'll be writing the story and most (if not all) of the game's dialogue.

The game will take place hundreds of years before the events of the books, during the early days of the Final Empire. People have often asked me if I will do prequels to Mistborn, and my response has frequently been that I won't likely write them as novels–but I might consider them for other mediums. We're going to try it here, and this will let us do some very cool things to expand the world. And yes, you get to play as a Mistborn.

The game is scheduled for fall of next year, and we're still very much in the preliminary stages of game design. That means that I don't have much to tell you other than what I wrote above. (Though the game's website will be posting screenshots and the like as they become available.)

So, since I can't tell you terribly much about the game quite yet, instead I'll tell you how it came to be. I've been keeping my eyes open for the chance to do a Mistborn game for some time; several chances arose, but they always fell through for one reason or another. I didn't want to give the rights to just anybody. I've been a gamer since my first Atari, and I wanted to do it right.

When Little Orbit first approached me, I was skeptical. I didn't recognize the company, and though they had worked on some professional projects, I didn't see anything in their pedigree that screamed Mistborn at me. However, I like to at least talk to people who are making offers on my work.

And so, I chatted with them. I met with them. And I was impressed. Not only did they have a love for Mistborn, they had more experience at this sort of thing than I'd originally assumed. The company is made up of people who have been in the business for a long time, and they had worked on a variety of games I really love. (They even have guys who were involved in the original Fallout and Baldur's Gate games.)

Their pitch materials were good and very persuasive. But the final thing that convinced me they were right came when we sat down and talked about the type of game we would make. Not only were they eager for me to be involved in the story, our discussions of what would make an awesome Mistborn game were synergistic and exciting. They envisioned the game the same way I always had.

The longer I've worked with them, the more impressed I've been. They keep their promises; they aren't just willing to let me be involved–they seem dedicated to making certain I'm pleased every step of the way. They don't need to go so far–I've said before that I feel an author shouldn't usually have control of game design, but leave that to people who know how to make fun games–but they have gone well beyond what is required of them.

These guys really, really want to make a great Mistborn game. I'm thrilled by what is coming your way when this thing is done.

A Memory of Light Baltimore signing ()
#10 Copy

BlairJ (paraphrased)

I did ask about Mistborn: Birthright.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Apparently it is going to make it's way to the next generation of consoles, so it should be a very nice representation. I did find out that Brandon is still writing 100% of the dialogue (there were some rumors a while back that he wouldn't be) and that it is well underway.

Firefight Atlanta signing ()
#11 Copy


What can you tell us about the Mistborn video game?

Brandon Sanderson

What can I tell you about the Mistborn video game. We are still working on the Mistborn video game. The same producer has the rights but the developer that we were hoping to use has fallen through and they have moved on. This is the third time we've moved to a new developer. We do not plan for it to come out this year. We keep pushing it back. I'm sorry. But the good news is the movie seems to be kind of inching forward again finally, so if the movie gets made that will push the video game to come out. And if a video game comes out that might push the movie to come out. So they are kind of intertwined and working well together.

A Memory of Light Birmingham Signing ()
#12 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

What about the Mistborn video game?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

We put it off until 2014, because of the new console generation. We had planned for it to come out right when the buzz was saying the new consoles were going to launch. And that felt like a bad idea to us. The Mistborn film is also in the works, but it is very early and it is not nearly as far along as the Wheel of Time film is. So if anyone's father is J. J. Abrams, have him call me.

Phoenix Comic-Con 2016 ()
#14 Copy

Badger (paraphrased)

What's the status of the video game (Birthright)?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

- It. Didn't work out.

- There was another author at the time trying to get something done with (if I recall correctly) the same company, and he didn't want to compete with them.

- They still have the game rights.

It's been delayed mostly until there's some sort of movie out because basically there's two ways they can do a video game. They can do a big AAA game that will be very very expensive and it could flop, or they could do a smaller indie game. Because there's not a huge established audience from a movie, they want to wait until then before producing a game.

- He wants the gameplay to be a bit like Infamous in design (if I recall correctly).

- Basically what's stopping them right now is it's just really really expensive.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#15 Copy


Has Mistborn: Birthright officially tanked?

Brandon Sanderson

Has Mistborn: Birthright officially tanked?

So this is the video game. So the kind of longer-- the short answer is yes. The kind of longer answer is the developer who was making the video game bought the movie rights for a year, because we wanted to combine the movie rights and the video game rights. We gave him only a year, because we were like, "You haven't made any films. But we want to tie these rights together. It sounds like a good thing." We gave him a year, and he lives in LA so he knows a lot of Holywood people. "Sure, give it a try." In a year he couldn't get a film made, or really moving. You can't make one in a year anyway, and so the rights for everything have lapsed, and now he's talking to the people that we sold the Mistborn rights to, to say, "Hey, maybe I can make the video game if you make the film."

The problem being that new IPs in video games are very hard to get funding for. And those who work in video games and know them are nodding their heads. And so he tried very hard. He's made a lot of video games. Most of his games as you know from looking at his developer site are all movie tie-ins, right? He wanted to try a book tie-in. He's made good games. He has a lot of people on his staff who've made really good games with a lot of different companies. They could make a good Mistborn game. They needed, you know $20 million. Which, they can usually go to people who give them funding, and say, "Hey, we're making the video game for, you know, Kung Fu Panda." Which they did. And they're like, "Oh, okay here's you're--you know-- $10 million, $20 million. We know this is a safe bet. This video game will sell."

When they say they're making one on Mistborn they're like, "Where's the movie?" And so it was very hard for him to get the funding. It was very hard for him to get things built. I think he still wants to make it. But now he's in talks with the guys making the movie, and I don't think it will ever happen unless the film gets made. If the film gets made I think it will happen. I pitched to him last week doing a 2D side-scroller Symphony of the Night style Metroidvania Mistborn game, which is something we can fund in-house, right? And just kind of do what a lot of the cool indie games are doing right now. It's like modern design aesthetics, but a 2D sort of thing. Salt and Sanctuary comes to mind, if you guys played that. You know, you can do some really cool stylized stuff and really interesting game mechanics, but if you want to go full 3D, this generation console, like 20 million is like the low end of what you need. And so that's where we are.

Shadows of Self Newcastle UK signing ()
#16 Copy


What is the status of the White Sand graphic novel?

Brandon Sanderson

White Sand graphic novel. Let me run down the big list of things people are waiting for. So, White Sand graphic novel is on the good list, that's going really well. The author we had adapt it was fantastic and the artist is doing a great job. We're doing it in eighteen issues. However, because the people with The Wheel of Time (I don't know if any of you guys bought those graphic novels) but they released those individually, people bought subscriptions up front and then it took them forever to deliver on those. Because I have been burnt by that I said "You can't release any of the issues until you have a certain amount done". So because of that, they just decided they would release them only as graphic novels. So they're doing six-issue chunks. So it's kind of weird, there's eighteen issues, but really it's three books of six issues, and they are working on issue number six right now to release the first chunk next year. And we're very pleased with it.

So, the big list. I am working on Stormlight 3 right now, so you can follow on the progress bars. Once I'm done touring, which I've been doing for way too long, you'll start to see those inch up again, and if I finish it by May or June then it can come out next year. If I don't finish it by then it would be the following Spring. So that's what I'm working on right now.

In the queue we have the sequel to Shadows of Self coming out in January and we have the last of The Reckoners, and that is coming out in February. That's a little too close, I wish they hadn't scheduled them like that, but I'm not in charge when they put the books. 

After I write Stormlight 3 my goal is to write a new book that's kind of in the teen-ish-- it's kind of hard because Steelheart here is not published by a teen publisher, the only one published by a teen publisher here is Rithmatist. But something for the Steelheart-- like older teen/young adult-ish, crazy, wacky things like that; I've signed a contract on that. So that'll be my next project. 

Then I'm going to do Rithmatist 2, then I'm going to do Wax and Wayne 4, which is the last of that sequence. Then I'm going to do Stormlight 4.

If the book you're waiting for is not in that list then it's going to come after Stormlight 4 so don't hold your breath.

Mistborn videogame is basically vaporware at this point I'm afraid. I love the guys that are making it. They're still working on it, they still plan to release it. I haven't seen even a demo or early footage or anything like that, so I'm not certain they'll be able to do anything and you guys should not hold your breath on that.

So, movies, I've sold Mistborn, The Emperor's Soul and Steelheart, all are in production, but that doesn't mean anything in Hollywood, in production can mean anything. None of them have started filming yet. Until something starts filming you should assume that it's a hopeful dream. Those are the hopeful dreams that people are paying me a lot of money for. So, there you are.

Oathbringer release party ()
#17 Copy


Are you planning on doing more graphic novels, outside of the White Sand series?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, there's a couple of things here. Like, we don't want to do another one 'til White Sand is done. They come to us and said, "We wanna do more!" because White Sand sold so well. We're like "No, you finish what you have, then we'll look at doing it." So, we're exploring other options, but we won't start any until what we've started is finished. I really wanna do the story I had for Mistborn, the video game, as a graphic novel with Ben McSweeney.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#18 Copy


The Mistborn video game.

Brandon Sanderson

News on the Mistborn video game. They are currently planning on 2017 I think? *crowd groans* Eah, I dunno. I love the company, don't get me wrong. They are great people. I'm going to consider it vaporware until I see more coming out of them. They've just had so many problems getting started that-- Everything they show me is promising but I've not yet played anything playable. So let's just hope they do a good job and hope they are able to keep it moving forward but I can't promise you anything anytime soon.

Firefight Houston signing ()
#19 Copy

Questioner 1

So, last time you were here, I know that the Mistborn movie had kinda fell through. Any other nibbles, are we gonna see something?

Brandon Sanderson

Any other nibbles? ...So, Mistborn had just fallen through last time. We did resell Mistborn, and I've seen the treatment. So, the steps to getting a film made. Start with them giving me money. *laughter* The important part. Step two is usually a treatment, this is where they take the book and they do, not a full screenplay, but kind of a ten-page summary adaptation of what they're going to cut, what they're going to add, that they will then hand to a screenwriter. Next step would be to give that to the screenwriter that they hire, who they usually have hired, and have them do a screenplay of it. Next step then, generally, is going to people with lots of money and say "Hey, will you fund this?" Conversely, they can go to people who are content-makers, like a director or the talent, so to speak, or a star, and get them attached. So, when one of those happens, it's easier to get the other ones. And then, finally, is a green light. So, you can see, we're right at the beginning again. We had gotten to the screenplay stage last time, but the screenplays were just not that great, and the people who were doing it before were just not very powerful in Hollywood. I love them, they were great guys, but they came to me very early on, and so it was a longshot.

So, the new treatments are very good. I'm hopeful for what's happening there. For other things, we have The Emperor's Soul, in works with DMG. They worked with Marvel on the Iron Man films. They're a part of the funding company for those. We have just sold Steelheart to Fox. Specifically, to the producer and director of Real Steel (which is a great film, if you haven't seen it) and the Night at the Museum movies. And then, we have one more in the works... Legion. We have a Legion television show in the works.

So, as far as I know, the Wheel of Time rights have lapsed, and there's a discussion of what to do with those now. Because the people trying to make a film of those were not able to get a film made. They should have been doing a television show all along, I know, but-- Anyway. So there we are, that's how it stands, and the video game is still kinda spinning its heels as well.

Questioner 1

So, have they optioned the first trilogy, or just the first book? How does that work?

Brandon Sanderson

With Mistborn, they have optioned the entire thing. They basically optioned the whole world. Though, the people who have The Emperor's Soul, it's very fun, because they started to go down the cosmere rabbit hole. Yes, for those who don't know, my epic fantasy books are all connected, and they're all in the same universe. And so, their guy they assigned to it, the studio exec, read the book, and he's like, "Ah, there's some references to other things." And he went and read those, and he went and read those, and now he's read everything. He called me, and he's like, "Uhhhhh...." He's flown out twice to try to get a handle on the whole cosmere thing, what they can put in, what they can't put in. They wanna have a Hoid cameo at the very least, and stuff like that. So that's been very, very fun.

Questioner 2

Will you be able to advise on these movies? Do you have any creative control at all?

Brandon Sanderson

Do I have creative control, or can I advise? Well, in several of the contracts, mostly the Mistborn and the Emperor's Soul one, I have executive producer roles. In Hollywood, executive producer is the throwaway credit, though. That's one that they pat you on the head, bring out out, let you watch, and then they give you, like, a chair with your name on it you can take home or something, I don't know. They've been very easy to work with so far, so I have confidence that they would allow me, and in both contracts we got the requirement that I can come on-set anytime I want to, not just the one time, which is good. And they've taken my advice on the treatments. I am not powerful enough to get anything more than that. You have to be, like, two levels above me before you can really get any influence in Hollywood. Even, like, Tom Clancy, when he was starting, couldn't. JK Rowling could. And people like that. So, if I can get a good film made, and it takes off, I think all future contracts I'll have more influence, but right now I'm just kind of up to what they will let me.

Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
#20 Copy


...I'm actually a video game designer.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh cool.


And the one thing that I kept thinking as I was reading The Stormlight Archive was "Oh my god. I want to play that" Is there any, kind of, y'know-- Do you see those moving in to some other media besides just books, or video games or...

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent question. So, other media. I like video games a lot. I remember-- You're going to get a lot of stories tonight, this is what happens, I'm a storyteller-- I was 11 years old, my father shipped me off to visit my uncle for the first time on my own. Got on the airplane and everything, went to Utah from Nebraska. And my dad gave me two hundreds, two one hundred dollar bills, he said "Pay for your food" and things like this... *laughter* You're laughing you know what happens. I just let my uncle pay for everything and at the end of it my conscience had gotten to me and I said "Uncle [Don?] my dad gave me money, I should give this to you to pay for the food". And he just laughed at it, like "No you're not going to do that. We're going to the mall right now. We're going to spend that money because if you don't your dad will take it back" And I went and I bought a Nintendo, original NES, with my two hundred dollars at KB Toys. And I came back with it and my dad was like "Where did you get that?"

I love video games and I want to be involved-- Which is why, some of you have watched, I did the novellas for Infinity Blade, which is a video game. Which you can read online but if you havenit played the games they won’t make any sense. I'm just going to warn you right there. I am involved-- We have sold the rights to Mistborn as a video game, but we have entered some development problems, the video game industry is almost as bad as the movie industry when it comes to delays and things like this. You have studios fall through, get divided, all sorts of things. I'm still hoping but the deal was I got to write the story and all the dialogue for the video game. It's going to be-- We are going to do it-- an action RPG, the model I told them I wanted to use was Infamous, which was one of my favorites from lately, in the Mistborn world. If we can get that working then I bet I can get a Stormlight book turned into a video game.

As movies go, movies are even harder. I was on the phone with movie producers right before I came here. I got a phone call, and we're doing a lot of that, talking with them, we've sold a lot of rights, we've seen a lot of scripts, but nothing's ever been made. So right now we have Legion, Emperor's Soul, Mistborn, and Steelheart all have significant motion but far from actually done. And The Wheel of Time is kind of off-again, on-again, off-again, on-again with adaptations. I think television show is what they are currently working towards.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#21 Copy


If [Mistborn: Birthright] doesn't come out, would we see a book based around the story that was written for the game?

Brandon Sanderson

It's possible. I did send in an outline for the story of it. I could use that for a story, though I've got a full plate right now.


Would you consider doing it as a graphic novel (if the White Sand graphic novels do well of course, though I really don't have any doubts about that)?

Brandon Sanderson

You know, that's actually a really good idea.

This could be a very elegant solution. I'll think about it.