Quantic Dream, French developers, has released an interactive adventure game for Sony’s Playstation 3. It is a combination of both. Willem Dafoe and Ellen Page are portrayed against a background of seemingly endless storylines using sophisticated motion-capture technology. The player decides the story’s direction.
Welcome to the age convergence entertainment. What does convergence entertainment actually mean? It is the fusion of multiple media types, styles, systems, and platforms into entertainment that we all can enjoy, and which is financially feasible.
This convergence is evident in all of our beloved media forms. Television now outperforms cinema at their own game, providing the intellectual and emotional experiences often reserved for big-screen cinema. Is there anything more cinematic that the last season of AMC’s Breaking Bad.
Media logic is not the only source of convergence. Gaming opens up a new, brave, and possibly disconcerting world of economic and aesthetic convergences.
Game In Cinema
It is easy to see the influence of gaming in cinema. With its high-stakes spectacles, formulaic stories, and familiar characters, Michael Bay’s entire filmography is heavily influenced by a gaming sensibility.
Is it really so outrageous to suggest that Inception (2010) gets a lot of its drama from a simple platform game? We enter the virtual world with Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), and complete a set of goals to advance to the next level.
Beyond: Two Souls is a clear example of how convergence entertainment will evolve. It promises a more complicated integration of media platforms and media genres.
Companies like Disney and Sony are investing more in entertainment media, channeling resources into music, cinema, television and merchandising, as well as the gaming industry.
Multi-faceted entertainment industries can no longer be separate by production streams. They are not separable by production streams. Instead, they converge revenue sources in a way that allows them to take a little bit of each.
Sony will also own Elysium (2013) by Neill Blomkamp, the follow-up to District 9 (2009). The PS4 will launch next month. It is a science fiction film and a gaming console.
Rock Star’s Grand Theft Auto V, (GTA V) was release recently. It recouped more that a billion dollars within its first three days. This is roughly the same time period as the studio’s opening weekend measure.
Tent-pole films are those that protect a studio from the financial losses of smaller, niche-market releases. GTA V’s monetary performance was not equal by Disney’s The Avengers (2012) or Avatar (2009) from 20th Century Fox.
The film industry faces a difficult truth. Despite a strong performance in a globalized entertainment market, gaming is outperforming films as a revenue source. This is true regardless of their many distribution streams, including theatre screenings, Blu-ray, DVD, and home entertainment providers.
Humble Console Game
Once a humble console game, gaming has become a more profitable art form than any other entertainment media. Gaming is no longer a hobby for teenagers and the mentally ill a common perception among gamers out there. It has the potential to reach a wide audience and appeal to a wide range of individual and collective fantasies.
Game designers have used a convergence media philosophy to diversify their target markets. An entertainment product should converge with other products that appeal to a wide range of interests. Sony, a multifaceted company, can benefit from the combination of its entertainment products and attract cinema customers to the gaming interface. This doubles the revenue for a Sony product.
Recently, I had the pleasure of being on a panel with David Cage, Quantic Dream’s visionary head, and also the founder of Beyond: Two Souls. This game is ambitious and offers a richly layered narrative experience. Publicity posters feature the high-wattage stars Elaine Page (and Willem Dafoe), dominating. This promotional material is very similar to any other set of movie posters released by Hollywood studios.