Hollywood’s flirtation with online gaming is developing into a committed relationship – with Paramount the latest Tinseltown giant to bypass retail for a major movie tie-in.
The studio has created a download-only game of its new Star Trek movie – disregarding the opportunity to release a boxed product spin-off of the huge cinema release.
The title will appear on both Xbox Live and PSN – and spearheads the firm’s fresh online publishing strategy, which avoids traditional retail distribution.
Paramount will also release online console games based on movies Top Gun, The Warriors and Days Of Thunder this year.
“We’re not doing any retail at this point as a standalone publisher,” Paramount’s senior VP of video games John Kavanagh told MCV this week.
The news follows Warner Bros’ digital-only release of its Watchmen game, which complemented the blockbuster’s release last month.
Warner’s senior VP of production and development Samantha Ryan said that releasing the title over XBLA and PSN would stop it getting “lost” and “crammed in” at retail. She added that “it’s quite possible this is an approach that [Warner will] take to future films”.
Paramount’s Kavanagh promised that the studio’s self-publishing plans would not reduce licensing opportunities for its third-party games distribution partners.
“We don’t have a strict percentage [of licensed properties], but we know our limits. Building an XBLA or PSN game is much less complicated than a triple-A retail title,” he commented.
“Where we think it appropriate, we would consider doing a big movie franchise online ourselves, but we’re still very keen to keep working with our publishing partners.”
The Star Trek game is due for release next month, and will cost around £10.