Trends (cont.)

Whilst I’m on a flow about digital media trends, there’s this from Digital Media Wire.

The global PC game industry totaled $10.7 billion in 2007, led by online PC gaming revenue with $4.8 billion, while retail sales accounted for just 30% of total revenues, according to a report from the industry trade group the PC Gaming Alliance. Sales of digitally distributed games were nearly $2 billion, while advertising revenues — generated by in-game ads, portals and websites — were $800 million.

Of course, with that kind of spend and world-wide use, then Gaming is hardly just a “trend” anymore – it’s a ubiquitous fact of life.

Where I think it starts getting really interesting is the cross-over that’s already happening from movies to games. And I don’t just mean the typical soggy game spin-offs that happen after just about every action flick or even the increasing number of productions that actually grew out of original computer games (can we say Lara Croft?) No, the next trend is indeed that of computer games that are conceived and created as sequels to movies, fleshed-out artistic visions with cinematography, characterisation and story arches, as well as gameplay.

According to a story in the SA Sunday Times, an example of this hybridisation is: 

Developer Sierra is working on Ghostbusters: The Game. The story is being written by the original movie writers, Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd who, along with Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson, all appear. It’s Ghostbusters 3, conceived as a game.

Now I’m not your traditional early adopter – I’m still waiting for my first generation Apple i-phone – but when I get the chance to play Jason Bourne (Sierra launches a Bourne game-sequel in September) I’m first in line.  

Movieset

Digital Media Wire reports that the Vancouver-based company Movieset has received a ZAR11.4 million investment from the British Columbia Discovery Fund as part of a ZAR38 million round of financing, led by Rho Canada. The tecchie geek in me rejoices! –MovieSet offers behind-the-scenes video of films in production.

Check out for example, the star interviews from Battle in Seattle, a movie on the five remarkable days in 1999, when tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to protest the World Trade Organization. Battle in Seattle opens internationally in September this year.

Movieset has some lofty goals. Its CEO claims it will:

“revolutionize the way movies are produced and marketed and transform the relationship between filmmakers and fans, shifting the emphasis to the creative journey rather than just the end product.”

I don’t know about that. But there will always be movie fans who want more of an interaction with their favourite movies than 120 minutes in a cinema. If you don’t believe me, ask Universal Studio Theme Parks – now in Orlando, Hollywood, Japan and Spain.