The announcement of the Retro Video Game System, a cartridge-based console, is the latest case study in the debate of whether gaming should continue evolving beyond its roots.
Defiance: A TV Show and A Video Game?
Earlier this month Trion released their new shooter MMO Defiance (Read our review of the game here), that takes place in a hypothetical post-apocalyptic earth in the year 2046. The interesting thing is the game was planned to be released with a TV show, also called Defiance, which premieres tomorrow night on the SyFy channel. Trion and the SyFy channel have teamed up to tackle an awesome project: “For the first time in history, a TV show and a game will exist concurrently in a shared universe, influencing and impacting the other!”
But what does this really mean?
Interviews with different parts of both production teams have supplied us with all kinds of different information. In one interview with executive show producer Kevin Murphy fans we learned “You have to play the game in real time, between episodes of the series, to get the fullest experience.” He also stated that both the show and the game will exchange characters and themes back and forth.
So both the game and the show are going to build off of each other, but they’re not going to be the same story. If you’ve played the game you already know that it takes place in San Francisco, but the show takes place in the town of “Defiance,” what used to be St. Louis. Different locations means a different storyline.But after watching the trailer it’s clear that the main characters of the show, Nolan and Irisa are the same as your character’s companions in the video game. So it looks like some things are going to be the same across the TV show video game border, but they will each be their own worlds.
It’ll be easy to see the TV show’s effect on the game. Each week as more and more of Defiance’s world is discovered more content can be updated to the game. Maybe as the TV show characters explore more of the world more multiplayer maps are going to be released in-game, or more zones open for players to adventure through like the TV show characters. There are all sorts of ways that the TV show can affect the game.
What I’m interested in is how the game is going to affect the TV show. SyFy is already done filming and editing the first season of the show, so it doesn’t seem likely that anything done in-game is going to make any serious changes on cable television. And how would it? Will Trion ask players for their opinions on the show? Release little questionaries’ at the end of a quest to see if you’d like the show go in that direction?
Honestly, I have no idea how the whole thing will work out, but it’s exciting to watch. If this project does get pulled off well then there’s no doubt gamers will start seeing their hobby blended with all sorts of different media. Don’t forget to tune in to the debut of the Defiance TV show tomorrow night on the SyFY channel to see how well this TV show video game relationship ends up working.