FARMINGDALE, Connecticut — Citing influences that include his son and a Leonardo DiCaprio movie, 50 Cent sat down with MTV News at his house on Wednesday to talk about his newly announced second video game, "Blood on the Sand."
(Check out these photos of the game.)
The rap icon did his interview in style, sitting at a broad wooden desk in front of a small framed picture of himself with Bill Gates and across from Mike Tyson's old bookshelf. He said he was excited about his new game, which he thinks makes him look like a "superhero."
The developers of "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand" already told MTV News that 50 had a significant hand in crafting the story for his new virtual adventure. What they didn't say was that he drew his ideas from the big screen. "I enjoyed 'Blood Diamond,' and I wanted to take some of that concept and move it into the video game front," he said.
He explained that this new game is a big departure from his last, the urban crime drama "50 Cent: Bulletproof." This game sets 50 out on an international adventure filled with some high action. "I think for entertainment purposes it's better to do something like that than to make it feel like it's totally real," 50 said. "Because you've got some people out there, people that should be in Creedmor [psychiatric facility] that are still on the street. They can't decipher between entertainment and reality, so you gotta make it a little more out-there."
50 recalled a meeting he and G-Unit's Tony Yayo had with the new game's creators, in which they pushed the creators to take things just that mile further. "Let's say you're playing 'Grand Theft Auto' and it turns into 'Outrun,' " he said, recalling the twists he suggested. He described "Outrun," an old Sega racing game, as one of his favorites and said he liked the idea of having to go on a sudden speed drive as a break from the action. "I wanted to get to a point where you acquire so much that you can't physically be able to carry it, so now you're just running away with what you got from that portion of the actual video game."
Now, just because 50 knows a lot about hip-hop, it doesn't mean he knows all about video games too — and he admitted as much, while at the same time revealing his secret weapon. "I wasn't a crazy video-game head," he said. "But my son is crazy about them, so he sits and plays them all day. I'll play with him ... he beats me at those games. He likes to bring me around so he can beat me." And his son gives him tips. "His judgment sets a strong impression on me. It almost simplifies things. A lot of the stuff that might come into play when I'm choosing what I would actually do doesn't matter to him. He just wants to have fun."
It was the way his son plays games, in fact, that compelled 50 to load his games up with as much exclusive music as possible. "That part was picked up when I was with my son also. He'll turn [a] video game down and turn the music on because he's going to be there a while."
What's 50's reaction? Make sure the players won't want to turn off the music in his games. He's promising "a lot of new material" for "Blood on the Sand." "When you put good quality material into the game, I think you can tolerate the game longer."
So has he got this new game all figured out? He's confident that the game will impress players when it arrives this Christmas season on Xbox 360 and PS3. And he even sounds ready to answer critics' complaints about his first one, "Bulletproof." Yes, it sold millions, but he knows it could have been better. "Some things on the first game was a little difficult to control," he said. "We made some modifications to make it a little bit easier."
Are all bases covered? Story, music, better controls and graphics that make him look like a superhero. It's all a rap icon could want out of his very own video game.