SyFy President on The Convergence of TV, Video Games

August 9, 2011 -

SyFy President David Howe sat down with The Hollywood Reporter for an exclusive interview to discuss the cable television network's big move into the video game space. Over the last few years Howe has been instrumental in establishing relationships with such game publishers as THQ and Trion Worlds to create partnerships that extend games into the entertainment world. One of those partnerships involved THQ's Red Faction, which the network extended into a movie franchise - Red Faction: Armageddon. With Trion Worlds, the network is going to tie the world of MMO's with an ongoing television series that will affect the game world and what happens in it.

First, Howe explains why the network is getting into the world of gaming this year:

"Our viewers are a very big video game playing audience. They understand technology. Video games have always been on our horizon because our audience is so techno-savvy. I think it’s a combination of our ambition through some of our ventures to grow new businesses and revenue streams, and also an attempt to create new ways of telling stories to capitalize on in the new development of technology. Video gaming has come a hell of a long way since the days of Pac-Man. Today’s big games like Call of Duty create real-time stories and characters that are much closer to the TV movie experience than it ever has been, so now is the time for us to really capitalize on that."

Next Howe addresses how partnerships with game publishers helps eliminate some of the challenges of turning video games into TV shows:

"We know the traditional Hollywood model of taking an existing property and trying to adapt it for a different media doesn’t work. Most gamers would always deride the spin-off game from a movie franchise or the spin-off of a movie from a game franchise because they’re usually created after the fact. The characters in the story were not designed for those particular media. They’ve had to be adapted and retrofitted to make them work. We wanted to come at it more smartly and co-create and co-develop."

Finally Howe talks about the success of Battle Star Galactica Online and how it opens up new opportunities for the Network and its key franchises:

"I think when you have a property like Battlestar Galactica, it’s timeless. Yet it’s great to have a TV series on air simultaneously, but it’s not necessary. Battlestar is a franchise that’s existed since the ‘80s. We took a run at it. Universal Pictures I think has a big development and potentially another movie. It’s a known franchise that will always work if you are true to its spirit and you really find the right vehicle to create properties and games that can live in isolation. We had great success with the TV series. We’ve seen great success with the video game. We’re developing a potential pilot for another spin-off series, Blood and Chrome, which will launch next year. We have an amazing franchise that we want to continue to exploit irrespective of whether the TV series is on air."

You can read the whole thing at The Hollywood Reporter.


Comments

Re: SyFy President on The Convergence of TV, Video Games

I'm sorry, but SyFy was dead to me from the moment they became SyFy.  It's the SciFi channel, for fuck's sake.  And they changed their name because they thought SciFi sounded too nerdy?  Eat a bowl of dicks, marketing executive assholes...  :/

No, I didn't even read the article.  I just get bent out of shape whenever I see "SyFy", and had to vent.

 
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WonderkarpCivility, Wikipedia, and the Conversation on Gamergate https://blog.wikimedia.org/2015/01/27/civility-wikipedia-gamergate/01/28/2015 - 11:45am
Wonderkarpone thing that surprised me...theres a lot of expanded universe books for star wars, star trek, alien, even videogames like resident evil....why not ghostbusters? There's a comic series and cartoon but thats it01/28/2015 - 11:37am
prh99Well it is Hollywood, remakes are the one thing they can be relied on for.01/28/2015 - 11:34am
E. Zachary KnightSo you want a sequel and not a reboot. Fair enough. I think either could work as you have said yourself.01/28/2015 - 11:32am
Wonderkarpotherwise, let it lie. Next thing you know they'll remake/reboot Alien or Godfather01/28/2015 - 11:28am
Wonderkarpand Ghostbusters is my favorite movie and its aged well. it doesnt need a remake. Just like Psycho didnt need one. If they threw in Dan Aykroyd, kept the original tech, and acknowledged the old films without crappy easter eggs, I'd be on board.01/28/2015 - 11:27am
WonderkarpI dont like Reboots/Remakes. For every Batman begins or Invasion of the Body Snatchers, there's a million Robocops, King Kongs, Star Treks, Amazing Spidermans, Taxis, Clash of teh titans, planet of the apes, footloose.01/28/2015 - 11:26am
prh99Wonderkarp, what more do you need? It's been ~26 years, and Harold Ramis died last year. If they can make something decent, who cares?01/28/2015 - 11:19am
prh99I wonder if they will fall into the trap of making those items more scarce in game in order to get people to pay.01/28/2015 - 11:14am
Wonderkarpso its not even ghostbusters then. just in name and concept only. you could call it ghost chasers or spook snatchers01/28/2015 - 11:09am
Andrew EisenKarp - According to the creative team, the new Ghostbusters is a new story, not a gender swapped rehash.01/28/2015 - 10:36am
WonderkarpMan. Resident Evil has fallen hard. I was a Huge fan in the late 90s. I think its time for a reboot. I was playing the hd remaster of the gamecube remake and the dialogue still sucks. Chris asking Rachel if she knows how to use a gun. SHE'S A COP!!01/28/2015 - 10:33am
E. Zachary KnightThe whole point of early Resident Evil games was to beat the game using only those weapons and ammo you could scavenge and use save files sparingly.01/28/2015 - 10:08am
E. Zachary KnightDoesn't the ability to buy health and weapons defeat the whole point of survival horror games?01/28/2015 - 10:07am
PHX Corphttp://www.gamerheadlines.com/2015/01/report-resident-evil-revelations-2-checkpoint-microtransactions/ Report: Resident Evil: Revelations 2 to Have Checkpoint Microtransactions01/28/2015 - 9:57am
Wonderkarpgoogle fiber coming to atlanta georgia. I'm gonna try to get a transfer to atlanta just to get google fiber. lol01/28/2015 - 9:13am
Wonderkarpotherwise Its just going to feel like another unnecessary reboot to me01/28/2015 - 9:09am
Wonderkarpmy god, thats an awesome ghostbusters cast. why couldnt it just be a sequal and not a reboot though!? I hate Reboots and I'd rather have a new story with new characters than a gender swapped rehash. Throw in Dan Aykroyd to link the two franchises.01/28/2015 - 9:08am
E. Zachary KnightThe mandatory free trial aspect was one of my favorite features and I was greatly disappointed when they ended that part of it.01/28/2015 - 8:31am
E. Zachary KnightMecha, I never considered that a problem as the Ouya is capable of rendering games at a better than PS2 capability. However, the ease of development for Android has greatly lowered the bar for the vast number of games published for Android based systems.01/28/2015 - 8:30am
 

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