Friday, February 20, 2015

Trade Your Sheep For Cameras: "Settlers of Catan" Film Rights Sold

An article on VentureBeat suggests that the German board game classic The Settlers of Catan has been optioned for the silver screen by producer Gail Katz, who was introduced to the game by her obsessed college-aged children.

Settlers is easily one of the most popular and well-known board games, able to support several players and with straightforward rules that can lead to diabolical, contentious negotiations -- the best breaker of friendships since your group's last round of Munchkin.

With several expansions, variations, and even a Star Trek Catan board game, Settlers has been a strong presence in the board game community for many years -- and now, apparently, among the Silicon Valley elite, as well.

The article quotes Zynga cofounder Mark Pingus as saying "none of us have time to play 18 holes of golf, but we can handle a pizza and a board game."  Settlers has been popular in the Silicon Valley networking community for a decade, serving as a more palatable method of gaming and interaction for the tech elite that started in the same college gaming communities as so many other Settlers fans.

The appeal of Settlers runs deep, and fans of the game have strong opinions about their enjoyment (and about wheat); what Katz might develop as a concept for a film version of Settlers is anyone's guess, but any entry from geek fandom into the mainstream media market is potentially a welcome one.  Besides, it never hurts to have more people to recruit for a game night.

Whether the concept resembles Game of Thrones or not, the way has been paved by the well-received (and eerily accurate) The Lord of Catan for a movie that truly evokes the nature of the game itself -- we'll see what the future might hold for a film version of The Settlers of Catan.

I'm still holding out for a film in which Tim Cook and Elon Musk nearly come to blows over negotiating a trade of sheep for bricks, and don't tell me you aren't, too.

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