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.