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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Andrew EisenZip - Bullies on both sides? What both sides? And of course bullies are worse than people who aren't bullies.08/29/2014 - 11:23am
Neeneko(2) yes, male tropes also have problems and gender studies looks at those too. But this highlights a privilage problem, the idea that if male issues are not brought up too female issues should not be discussed.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
Neeneko@ZippyDSMlee - jumping back (1) one can acknowledge systemic problems without requiring every male be a Neanderthal.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
MaskedPixelanteI don't like the new 3DS, mostly because it means there's a good chance future 3DS games won't be compatible with the current models.08/29/2014 - 9:30am
ConsterI don't get why Amazon decided to buy this "Twitch" fellow, really. It took him ages to beat Pokemon.08/29/2014 - 8:31am
ZippyDSMleeIt goes without saying that we need to et rid of the bullies on both sides that are far worse than Sarkeesian or Quin will ever be.08/29/2014 - 8:24am
ZippyDSMleeI'm talking more about the genreal movement and how silly it is, as for Sarkeesian half of what she is says rings hollw while the other half tend to be over exsagerated.08/29/2014 - 8:22am
Avalongod@Papa, agreed. I think people are reluctant to get involved if they're not the target. But I think we need to take responsibility as a community to confront harassing behavior, whether on gender or race.08/29/2014 - 7:23am
E. Zachary KnightSo Nintendo has given gamers what they want and have fractured the 3DS user base at the same time. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/224476/Nintendo_reveals_the_New_Nintendo_3DS.php08/29/2014 - 7:12am
Papa MidnightI could say the same about race. I certainly enjoyed being on the receiving end of this while playing StarCraft II this past week: http://i.imgur.com/mIZA1QB.png (and this is actually mild compared to what I usually see). Report players? What a joke...08/29/2014 - 12:29am
AvalongodWhether you approve of Sarkeesian's view or not, no woman deserves to be the target of that kind of harassment and it won't stop until men tell each other it's not appropriate under any circumstance.08/28/2014 - 8:44pm
AvalongodI'm guessing the twitter account was a troll, but come on, I'm sorry, it's just disgusting someone is saying those things to Sarkeesian whether serious or a joke.08/28/2014 - 8:43pm
ZippyDSMleesocial movement that is bringing most of these issue to the spot light to be nothing but trend mongering white knighting bullies who are not much better than the hateful moronic bullies on the other side.08/28/2014 - 5:20pm
ZippyDSMleereflects the world we live in while the rest is the worst stuff that should be focused on. Leaving whats reflected in the same boat as everything else that's exaggerated and skewed by media/fiction and happliy consumed by current society. I find the socia08/28/2014 - 5:20pm
ZippyDSMleemales live off the power fantasy but once you realize as a male you will never reach what fiction or media calls perfect it demoralizes you just the same. And I would not call female negative stereotypes rampant and out of control not when 70-80% of it re08/28/2014 - 5:19pm
ZippyDSMleeNot saying that there is not a difference in the treatment of males and females in media, but males are begin painted as near perfect superhumans with cliched flaws it dose as much damage to the psyche as how females are treated. Sure you could claim that08/28/2014 - 5:19pm
ZippyDSMleeNeeneko:As I said if you do not 100% belive it then you are a Neanderthal. Theres more gray to everything than black and white.08/28/2014 - 1:27pm
NeenekoMeh, the "PCism" is just trotted out when people do not know their place and dare to complain about things the speakers think are fine. How dare people complain about how they are treated/portrayed, it is not like it bother us, our feelings matter!08/28/2014 - 1:13pm
ZippyDSMleeNeeneko I do not think its against feminism but rather against PCisim’s and that most things are offensive since if you do not believe that you are a Neanderthal that beats women,ect..08/28/2014 - 12:48pm
Neenekocomplete with the standard 'she is a lying and attacking the game industry! threats are wrong but she did it to herself' comments.08/28/2014 - 11:28am
 

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