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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quiknkoldhttp://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/10/femme-doms-of-videogames-bayonetta-doesnt-care-if.html10/30/2014 - 1:15pm
quiknkoldIf he calls himself the Effing Robot King, I can die happy10/30/2014 - 1:14pm
Michael ChandraAlso, yay for him being Ultron. :D10/30/2014 - 1:08pm
Michael Chandra"We become who we are. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can by its first few chapters. And most certainly by its last."10/30/2014 - 1:07pm
prh99""We are what we repeatedly do..."10/30/2014 - 12:30pm
Andrew EisenI would, however, call someone who routinely kills time by playing random games on their phone a gamer.10/30/2014 - 12:15pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, AE, Yeah, that is why I have a hard time understanding critics of Sarkeesian. I look at her videos as a Feminist review of video games, but for some reason, others look at them as personal attacks.10/30/2014 - 12:01pm
E. Zachary KnightDefinitely a good answer. That is the way I lean. If you actively chose to stop gaming, or just stopped out of habit, then yeah, you are no longer a gamer.10/30/2014 - 11:45am
Matthew WilsonAE i agree, but it is worth pointing out the fact that that is whats happening.10/30/2014 - 11:45am
quiknkoldbehavior to warrant having a Title that doesnt involve a piece of paper.10/30/2014 - 11:43am
quiknkoldwaiting in line. Thats not being a Gamer. Thats akin to me reading a Pamphlet in line and calling myself an active reader. or watching a movie trailer on a tv in walmart and calling myself an active movie goer. There has to be some form of repetitive10/30/2014 - 11:42am
quiknkoldbeing A Gamer is a Conscious decision. I am consciously engaging in this form of media and showing some form of enthusiasm. The only person I Wouldnt call a gamer is somebody who has a random game on their phone just to kill 5 minutes cause they are10/30/2014 - 11:41am
E. Zachary KnightSo how much time must pass since the last time you played a game before you are no longer a gamer?10/30/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew Eisen"Plays" is present tense so the clarification doesn't seem necessary to me.10/30/2014 - 11:18am
quiknkoldI would change that from "One who plays games" To "One who currently plays games". Like my friend as a kid playd games but then he stopped and hasnt for the last decade+ so I wouldnt call him a Gamer.10/30/2014 - 11:16am
Andrew EisenHmm, that sounds like a great idea for a series of articles! I bet they'd be well-received and not taken the complete wrong way at all!10/30/2014 - 11:12am
Andrew EisenThat's right, gamer simply means one who plays games. That's it. The idea that "gamer" refers to something very limited and specific, well, that's no longer applicable in this day and age of mainstream gaming.10/30/2014 - 11:12am
Andrew EisenMatthew - As I said last night, that is not a bad thing. Different types of reviews to serve different interests is a GOOD thing and should be encouraged! There is not, nor should there be, only one way to review a game or anything else.10/30/2014 - 11:01am
ZippyDSMleeAnyone see this? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/29/1339617/-Cartoon-Gamergate-Contagion-Spreads?detail=facebook10/30/2014 - 10:55am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Matthew, yeah, there is no "wrong" way to review a game. It all depends on who the reviewer wants reading the review.10/30/2014 - 10:48am
 

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