Will Wright’s latest endeavor, Stupid Fun Club, isn’t just a game studio — it’s a multimedia factory.
With Bar Karma, now running on Current TV, Wright has started the ball rolling on, what I hope, will be a successful and long-standing company. If Stupid Fun Club proves a hit, it could lead other studios to strike out on their own as multimedia developers.
This is important for several reasons. The chief one being control over IP in other forms of media. In addition, the freedom of running a multimedia studio means having the ability to create medium-appropriate content. A developer with an idea that doesn’t strictly lend itself to video games doesn’t just have to sit it — they’d have the freedom to develop it as a show, movie, toy line — whatever.
For example, imagine if Ubisoft had the freedom and ability to develop an Assassin’s Creed film in conjunction with the game series. While a high quality film wouldn’t be guaranteed, at least it would be made on their terms to their specifications.
Another great aspect of this type of studio environment is innovation. Going back to Bar Karma, it isn’t just another science fiction drama made for TV — as with all things Wright, he turned the format on his head and reinvented it. Bar Karma is a show made by fan committee. Logging onto the shows site, it’s viewers can help in all aspects of the story. From plot to back story to product placement, it’s a show built by it’s own fan base. Almost along the lines of a Choose Your Own Adventure story on a large scale.
The idea of a multimedia studio isn’t a cheap one… I’m sure a lot is riding on the line for Will Wright. Still, it’s a model I hope more developers and studios will take a risk in. It could lead to great things in all forms of entertainment.
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