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New games: Cattle Call is the chance to become a Hollywood super-agent

A new game challenges you to navigate Hollywood's intricacies and become the best agent in town.

Balancing egos, ambition, and the resources to get it done – no, this isn’t Europa Universalis IV. This is Cattle Call: Hollywood Talent Manager, a forthcoming game where you take the role of a talent agent and try to make your way through the treacherous labyrinth that is the big-budget movie industry.

Hollywood is a place so packed with its own weird traditions and kingmakers that it makes perfect sense as the basis for a grand strategy game. In Cattle Call, you’re an agent, and that means acting as a coach, a talent scout, and occasionally a therapist to your roster of wannabe big-screen stars.

While developers Funny Angle Games are clearly taking a lighthearted approach to most of the writing in Cattle Call, there’s an evident depth to what they’re trying to accomplish with the game. Actors have their own goals, as well as their own problems, and hiring the ones that work best with your business (out of a pool of some 5,000 randomly-generated potential stars) could make for some interesting decisions here.

Here’s a trailer, to give you a sense of what the game’s like.

It’s clearly a data-driven experience, with tons of stats, reports, and performance reviews to track. And as soon as you start thinking about the business of movie production, it quickly becomes clear how complex that world is. Do you encourage a starting actor to do an open mic at a noted comedy club? How do you break the news to someone about a bad review?

What will be undoubtedly be interesting is how Cattle Call winds up handling the darker side of the movie business, like substance abuse and sexual harassment. It’s clear from the screenshots and promotional materials that these subjects are treated in the game, and working those in appropriately is going to be difficult to pull off.

In any case, Cattle Call comes out October 25 on Steam. If you’re an Entourage fan who also enjoys a bit of Football Manager, this is probably one to check out.

But that’s just one of the upcoming PC games of 2018 to get excited about – we’ll be covering plenty more of them before the year is over. To borrow a phrase from Entourage’s Ari Gold, we’ll tell you “the parts that matter.”