Thursday, March 04, 2010

Can Gaming Save the Publishing Industry?

This week Random House announced the formation of a 15 person division to focus on the creation of "original transmedia intellectual property" or, what my mother would call books.

To be less fancy about it: the book publisher is crossing over into the risky world of creating original content. Random House is betting that its team can fill the gaming industry's need for: (a) more complex plots, better character development and dialogue, and (b) a story that seamlessly threads across games, books, movies and social platforms. It is currently shopping two storylines created by the division, and also announced a deal with software publisher Stardock to work on Elemental: War of Magic, to be released in September.

Publishing and game development are two industries that are heavily supported by government funding. I am wondering how this kind of convergence will impact both streams of funding. Would Ontario's online gaming development funds could be used by gaming developers to pay for this kind of service? Stay tuned.