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How TV is Inspiring Video Games
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How TV is Inspiring Video Games

While many movies have been based on popular video games (think Tron, Doom, and Resident Evil), video games themsel...

How TV is Inspiring Video Games

While many movies have been based on popular video games (think Tron, Doom, and Resident Evil), video games themselves have begun cashing in on the depth and breadth of television shows with loyal fan followings.

 

The examples that come to mind immediately include The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, both titles developed by Telltale Games. The shows are currently in their 5th and 4th seasons, respectively, and may be good for another four or five before the well dries up completely.

As video games, however, they have the potential to go on forever. This is called episodic gaming, and it took a while for technology to catch up to the idea. That’s why it’s only recently gaining popularity.

 

Complexity and Diversity

While TV is completely dependent upon ratings as a measure of success, video games rely on solid sales statistics. Gamers provide ample economic incentive by continuously buying as long as producers keep, well, producing. Fans will engage in story lines, relate to characters, and become completely engrossed in their favourite virtual worlds. So, developers are willing to invest years crafting the gameplay to perfection.

 

Telltale is not the only player in the field. Double Fine Productions and Cardboard Computer are also experimenting with episodic gaming with Broken Age and Kentucky Route Zero, respectively.

 

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Your Princess Is In Another Castle…

A potential problem with this kind of video game is that there are sometimes major gaps between releases. This is because of complexities inherent within story and character development. Although it isn’t always necessarily a drawback. The wait between releases adds an anticipatory spice to the experience, just like the break between television seasons.

 

Unfortunately, there are some notable failures in this genre, even when the television shows themselves killed it on the small screen. The Sopranos: Road to Respect, 24: The Game, and Desperate Housewives: The Game were all miserable failures. This just goes to show that it isn’t enough for a show to be successful; the developer has to be able to transition to the game console without losing any appeal for the fans.

 

What are your favourite TV-inspired games? Share your picks in the comments.  

 

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