Sci-Fi game for new project

By Tim Surette

Jun 03, 2008

Games based on television shows are nothing new; just look at the interactive adaptations of CSI, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, and Heroes (currently in development). Likewise, games are consistently making the transition to other screens, though the trend is generally toward the Cineplex and not television.

Now, game maker Trion World Network and television-show maker Sci-Fi Channel are trying to make the idea of the television-to-game crossover a two-way street, according to The Los Angeles Times, in what could be the coolest thing ever or another failed attempt at synergy between two fields of entertainment.

The two companies are creating a property that will simultaneously exist on both of their preferred forms of media. Northern California-based Trion will develop a massively multiplayer online game (think World of Warcraft), and Sci-Fi, which has seen its popular Battlestar Galactica get the game treatment, will produce a television show based on the same storyline and universe.

But instead of merely being two independent representations of the same idea, the two will actually feed off of each other. For instance, if the television show starts up an epic battle between who-knows-what and what-knows-who, it'll be up to the players to fight out that battle online. Consequently, the results of the online battle will shape what happens on the television show. (How that will work from a technical standpoint is anyone's guess.)

"A television show that is on once a week isn't enough. The fans today want the experience to go beyond that," Sci-Fi Channel president Dave Howe told the Times. "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."

Neither company has announced a title or premise for the projects, but it will reportedly take place 80 to 100 years in the future on "an Earth that looks very different from today." Both the show and game are aimed to debut in 2010, and more details should be revealed at this year's Comic-Con in July.

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  • Graidenmaiden Jun 12, 2008

    This looks pretty interesting. I wonder how it'll work out.

  • BirdofP Jun 07, 2008


    I wonder if that would actually work

  • Kadodian Jun 05, 2008

    Really sounds interesting.

  • mr_laurie Jun 05, 2008

    Not all MMOs have monthly fees - have a look at the Guild Wars series, nevermind the freebie online MMOs.

    I'm not sure how this will work myself given the normal lead time between a show being produced and shown - I just can't see the online gaming influencing the plot or script much

  • pgsuperfan Jun 04, 2008

    I agree

  • CrashMacKenzie Jun 04, 2008

    Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

  • topoopon Jun 04, 2008

    This sounds like "Captain Power"

  • LeopardKitten Jun 04, 2008

    The premise is good, but the multiplayer online games need some work. First off they ALL have monthly fees, so what happens when you like more than one multiplayer online game? I mean seriously the fees add up. I honestly will not play ANY game that has a monthly fee. Once it's paid for that should be it! Maybe they will think of another way to run this game but I doubt it, everyone's greedy.

  • scootervin Jun 04, 2008

    That is a truly fascinating idea!! I hope it works out! I'm sure the online game will be able to hold up it's'll just be up to them to also tune in to see the show so it can get high enough ratings to stay on the air. Sci-Fi has such brilliant ideas! They think outside the box!

  • shsteve Jun 04, 2008

    It won't work. In the end, you'll just have two seperate mediums vying for your attention, rather than working as one. If the one side is too dense with information, the other will ultimately fail to appeal with its shallowness. Ultimately, if you do find a balance, then the sacrifices made will probably have an impact on both sides. If the ratings aren't a success, down goes the game. If the game is bad, the show won't suffer too badly, since more people will watch than play. But that just screams 'marketing ploy'...which it is.

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