This short interview with TellTale Games CEO Kevin Bruner highlights a fascinating development in the evolution of video games and visual media. Lionsgate is investing a sizable chunk of cash money to develop hybrid interactive media they’re calling “Super Shows.*” This feels like a no-brainer; TellTale’s episodic games based on The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are highly regarded enhancements of those properties. It stands to reason that building a game and video series together from the ground up could be the start of something new and more deeply engaging.
But something about this deal is bugging me. It’s not the partners or the mystery property they’re starting out with – I expect they’ll do just fine, based on past performance. It’s that I can’t think of a single collaboration like this between indie game devs and indie filmmakers. That’s not to say it hasn’t happened before – please, please let me know if you’ve got details – but this seems like the sort of idea that big players would poach from indies rather than dream up on their own.
It could be that the resources involved in an endeavor like this are just too much for most indies. They’d have to invest fat loot in development before they ever got to shooting or coding, and since it would have to be a labor of love (at first), finding enough artists willing to submit to one shared vision may be too much to ask. I do hope that once the concept has been proven (if it is), that indies will look to each other to build their own hybrids and find new ways to keep the media evolving.
* I would be happy to help them rename (and I’m quite affordable).