Westworld was inspired by Red Dead Redemption, GTA and BioShock

This is quite an inspirational pedigree for an HBO show in the eyes of gamers. Westworld‘s second episode aired last night, though it was available a few days early online and on demand to get out of the way of the debates. The show has done well for itself critically, and fans are talking about its stars and premise quite a bit online. It’s about a futuristic park where guests pay money to live out their fantasies in the Wild West.

Over the weekend, Westworld Executive Producers Lisa Joy Nolan and Jonathan Nolan talked about where they drew inspiration for creating Westworld during a panel for the show at New York Comic Con. While talking about BioShock, Jonathan Nolan offered that video games are “amongst the most literate and thoughtful pieces of entertainment I’ve seen in the last ten years.” With praise like that, it’s no surprise how the pair were inspired to create Westworld.

They played video games. Not just any video games, either. The Nolans name dropped three games that a lot of gamers respect tremendously. The biggest for me is Red Dead Redemption, but they also mentioned specifically Grand Theft Auto‘s take on missions.

Actor Ben Barnes, who plays Logan, says that his character treats Westworld like “a Grand Theft Auto mission of indulgence.”

As for the creators, Jonathan Nolan offers this about his wife and the other Executive Producer: “My wife is the world’s most boring Grand Theft Auto player.”

Lisa Joy Nolan countered by saying that “the city looks beautiful if you just slow it down and take your time.”

Undoubtedly, Westworld takes a lot of inspiration from the open possibilities of video games. Heck, one of the show’s darker characters refers to the whole thing specifically as a game, saying often that it goes much deeper than what’s on the surface.

The show is darn good. Watch episodes one and two now on HBO if you haven’t already.

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