Aggro Me: TV Linked MMO - Science Fiction?
TV Linked MMO - Science Fiction?
The Sci-Fi channel is developing an as yet unnamed MMO which will be linked to a television show.
You can read the article in the LA Times here.
The article itself is unique in that it takes until paragraph four to reference WoW. Also, the writer uses Matrix Online as the example of a licensed flop as opposed to SWG.
But, back to the matter at hand, just how will this MMO and the TV show on the Sci-Fi channel interact?
"For example, we can tell them that there will be an alien invasion at a certain place in the game, at a certain time, and to be there with all their friends and be ready. The outcome depends on them. And then that battle will be part of the universe in the show."
It will also be a means for marketing research of sorts:
"The virtual world that pulls in fans of the show will also give Buttler and his team hard data about which characters, settings and story lines stir the most interests. He said that will help the show's producers bend their story lines to audience tastes."
And maybe your raid will be on tv:
"The game will continue to grow, and 'footage' of players in battles or other mass gatherings will be incorporated into the series."
Nothing like a "mass gathering" for online fun.
I've seen some discussion of this story along the lines of "Battlestar Galactica is great so this will be awesome" or "Sci-Fi original movies are horrible so this will suck." But what about the game studio Sci-Fi is working with?
Trion World Networks is referenced in the article as "an on-the-rise gaming company based in Redwood City, California." What makes them "on-the-rise" is unclear. I had never heard of them, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. So what's the scoop?
They have a website.
They have some loot.
The CEO likes to talk smack.
They offer a lot of career opportunities.
They are also working on a fantasy MMO.
That's about all I've got. So will this succeed? Maybe, to some degree, but I'm dubious. I've yet to play an MMO that really makes the players feel like the outcome of their actions is important to the game world. Now their actions will change a television show? There will be some novelty value (gimmick value?) to it but I don't see this being perfected on the first try. I also don't think there will be quite the level of interaction between the game and show as implied by the article.
But hopefully it turns out to be cool. I do like to see companies trying different things, especially when they are talking about a dynamically changing universe. And I'm sure this is only the beginning of links between MMO's and other media.
G4TV seems to think the setting is Stargate but the article leads me to believe that's just wrong.
It's worth noting that the Sci-Fi channel recently launched a pretty decent new gaming site called Fidgit edited by Tom Chick.