Entertainment Converging

by Nitin M

In what looks like another move in the direction of convergence of entertainment formats, movie house Paramount Pictures has inked a deal with Microsoft to provide movie based content for Redmond-based Microsoft’s Xbox Live service.

To kick off the arrangement, content from Paramount’s two upcoming blockbusters Mission: Impossible III and Nacho Libre will be available to Xbox Live users.

Full Story Here.

Such deals are not uncommon in the industry with most major publishers signing deals with mainstream entertainment talent whereby their likenesses, voices and even characters from movies are integrated into gaming content.

With Hollywood box office revenues dropping, partly due to a large number of consumers spending more time playing video games, movie industry execs are now busy signing up strategic deals with major gaming publishers. Over the last few years, surveys of American households conducted by the Entertainment Software Association (formerly the Interactive Digital Software Association) have shown that more and more people are playing video games as opposed to going to the cinema. You can find a bunch of their survey results here.

A video game based on a movie is now commonplace as can be seen over the last few years with the likes of the Spider-Man and X-Men franchises. Even classics like The Godfather and the Star Wars franchise have all been turned into videogames giving people the opportunity to “live” the movie experience. In addition to commercially feasibility, movie related video games now compliment the movies as it allows the franchise owner to deliver a package of entertainment based on their IP.

Video games give writers to unfold a story in a way that is not possible with movies, books or any other form of mainstream entertainment. Add to that the explosive growth of video game technology and you have what many hail to be the future of entertainment.

I have been a strong advocate for the interactive nature of video games as a great medium for telling stories.

Product placement in movies is now a thing of the past. Its all about advertising in games now. That can of Red Bull in that scene from the Judge Dredd video game is one that comes to mind immediately.

Movies do not offer the same leve of replay value that games can. With most new games becoming more and more non-linear and with game worlds becoming more and more open the possibilities are almost endless.

In an earlier post, I talked about Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider franchise. This is an example of a great video game franchise that made it to movies successfully. Others that have done the same are Wing Commander, Bloodrayne and Doom.

On the anvil to be turned into video games are Superman and Scarface, among others.