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COMMENT: Convergence is back

COMMENT: Convergence is back
Mainly because it is 20 years’ time now, and we’re still no nearer to popping pills for dinner or living absurdly decedant lives. Unless you’re Kate Moss, I suppose.

And it is particularly difficult to decipher what will happen to the games industry once the entertainment giants have moved in.

This week, Brash and MTV are putting their cards on an increasingly crowded games industry table – and they follow a long list of other entertainment companies like Warner, Paramount, Disney and Fox which (amongst many others) are investing heavily in our industry.

If money really does talk, these media giants could be stalking the land crushing everything in their path before we know it.

And the entertainment companies we’ve been speaking to over the last few months all share one quirk: they keep talking about synergies. They all share IP that can be leveraged across all forms of entertainment, and have the distribution network to send it all out in one neat, efficient entertainment package.

And on a similar theme, thanks to Brash’s appropriately cocksure comments on this week’s cover – the idea of converging movies and gaming is back on the agenda.

The existing process is a little clunky; movie studio A licences a title out to publisher B and they rush out a fairly generic game. And as much as they might protest that voice talent is involved and scriptwriters have been consulted, there’s a huge list of games-of-movies that have dismally failed to reach their potential, both critically and at retail.

The most eye-catching element within Brash’s vision is gaming’s elevated status – becoming the equal, and in many respects, the superior medium to good ol’ film.

A few years back, the convergence of games and movies was a theme talked about as much as casual gaming is now – but the market wasn’t mature enough to pull it off properly.

Much like entering the games publishing business, maybe these huge entertainment companies have had to try – and fail – once first before they can really begin to make their ambitious vision a reality.

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