When game show fans last saw video game versions of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, both were on the PlayStation 3 as downloadable games via the PlayStation Network. The games were unremarkable at the very least, if not disappointing, as both were lacking features and functionalities that were expected in those kinds of games. Neither game had the presence of familiar hosts, and and the experiences felt empty and unexciting.
The game show torch has now been passed.
THQ announced on February 1st that they had secured multi-year licenses for video game adaptations of both beloved television game shows. The interesting part of the licensing agreement is that it explicitly gives THQ rights to publish versions of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune for the Wii and Nintendo DS platforms, with “options for additional platforms”. Initial analysis of this announcement would lead to the belief that development of these games for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 does not seem to be a focus, at least at this time.
Another interesting sidebar to this announcement can be taken from this quote, taken from THQ Kids, Family, and Casual Games President Douglas Clemmer:
“We are excited to add two iconic properties such as ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ to our Kids, Family, and Casual Games portfolio. The opportunity to implement new features such as Wii Speak will re-imagine how these games are played and engage fans with a whole new level of interactivity.”
Could this mean the utilization of voice recognition technology so that typing correct responses will become a thing of the past? If that’s the case, it would change how we’ve been playing these games since their earliest incarnations. For now, all we can do is speculate until THQ gives us more information, but Wii owners look to have two more game show conversions to add to their libraries as 2010 rolls on.