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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Matthew WilsonI updated to a clean instill of windows 10.07/29/2015 - 2:36am
Mattsworknameargue that it's wrong, but then please admit it's wrong on ALL Fronts07/29/2015 - 2:06am
MattsworknameTechnoGeek: It's actually NOT, but it is a method used all across the specturm. See Rush limbaugh, MSNBC, Shawn hannity, etc etc, how many compagns have been brought up to try and shut them down by going after there advertisers. It's fine if you wanna07/29/2015 - 2:05am
Mattsworknamediscussed, while not what I liked and not the methods I wanted to see used, were , in a sense, the effort of thsoe game consuming masses to hold what they felt was supposed to be there press accountable for what many of them felt was Betrayal07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAs we say, the gamers are dead article set of a firestorm among the game consuming populace, who, ideally, were the intended audiance for sites like Kotaku, Polygon, Et all. As such, the turn about on them and the attacking of them, via the metods07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAndrew: Thats kind fo the issue at hand, Accountable is a matter of context. For a media group, it means accountable to its reader. to a goverment, to it's voters and tax payer, to a company, to it's share holders.07/29/2015 - 2:02am
Andrew EisenAnd again, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published?07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - I disagree with your 9:12 and 9:16 comment. There are myriad ways to address content you don't like. And they're far easier to execute in the online space.07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Banning in the legal sense? Not that I'm aware but there have certainly been groups of gamers who have worked towards getting content they don't like removed.07/28/2015 - 11:45pm
DanJAlexander's editorial was and continues to be grossly misrepresented by her opponents. And if you don't like a site, you stop reading it - same as not watching a tv show. They get your first click, but not your second.07/28/2015 - 11:40pm
TechnogeekYes, because actively trying to convince advertisers to influence the editorial content of media is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, especially for a movement that's ostensibly about journalistic ethics.07/28/2015 - 11:02pm
Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
 

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